HARRISBURG, June 12 – The House today unanimously adopted two resolutions introduced by state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, and state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre/Mifflin, congratulating the Penn State University men’s wrestling and basketball teams on championship-winning seasons. House Resolution 956, introduced by Conklin, congratulated Coach Cael Sanderson and the Penn State men’s wrestling team on its seventh National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I championship in eight years. “Last year, the Penn State wrestling team was described as ‘dominant,’ but it’s time we use the correct word and call them what they truly are – a dynasty,” Conklin said. “I can’t tell you how much pride we have in what this team has done. These amazing young men fought back from points behind – from what many thought were overwhelming odds – to capture this championship.” House Resolution 954, introduced by Benninghoff, recognized Coach Patrick Chambers and the Penn State men's basketball team for their victory over the University of Utah and becoming the National Invitation Tournament champions in 2018. “It was a great year to be a Nittany Lion fan,” Benninghoff said. “Congratulations to both teams on their outstanding seasons, athleticism and leadership on behalf of all of us in Centre County and across this commonwealth. We are proud to have cheered you on in your Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, May 14 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced the award of a $4,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to the Centre County Historical Society. “I am pleased to know that the Centre County Historical Society, also the oldest and largest organization in Centre County, is receiving this grant in order to continue to preserve our history and culture,” Conklin said. “Grants like these are imperative to helping our local county, regional and state museums continue to thrive.” Grant monies are intended to strengthen the commonwealth’s communities by supporting the general operations of eligible museums and official county historical societies that are not supported by other state agency funding programs. The CCHS was founded in 1904 and disseminates Centre County history, offers programs and exhibits to both children and adults, maintains artifacts, books, maps, photographs and manuscripts, and publishes publications, according to its website. CCHS was one of 142 museums and official county historical societies from 55 counties in Pennsylvania that were awarded a part of almost a total of $2 million in grants. For information about the grants, visit PHMC or CCHS to learn more about the Historical Society. Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, May 10 – Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has awarded $935,000 to Centre County to improve public safety. The funds will be used in State College for pedestrian safety through sidewalk improvements, fencing, street lights, street furniture and landscape features for traffic calming. “Public safety plays an integral part in keeping our community secure over all,” Conklin said. “This grant not only bolsters the safety of our students and residents, but will also help in keeping the neighborhood beautiful.” Grants were presented to communities to support transportation alternatives. Those include, on-and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities, and environmental mitigation, trails that serve as a transportation purpose, along with safer routes to school projects. Nearly $66.8 million was awarded to 82 projects across the commonwealth through the Surface Transportation Block Grant program, where the funds fall under Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside. For more information, visit PennDOT’s TA Set-Aside Funding Site . Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, May 4 – Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced that Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership Inc. will receive a $77,500 small business loan to help renovate the Moshannon Valley Enterprise Center in order to repair its floors, roof and crack in the sewer line. Through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, the loan is for 15 years at a low-interest fixed rate of 2.5 percent. The Moshannon Valley Enterprise Center has approximately 22,000 square feet of available space for businesses to rent at a low cost and is located in Philipsburg. The loan will provide funds for the renovation of about a 13,000-square-foot section of the building. “These loans are essential to helping to create and sustain jobs for those living in Centre County and throughout Pennsylvania,” Conklin said. “Revitalizing the Moshannon Valley Enterprise Center is a great investment, because in turn, they will continue to help curb unemployment, further economic development, and provide support for existing businesses and entrepreneurs to grow.” The Moshannon Valley was one of eight business projects in six counties across the commonwealth that secured part of the $8.6 million in loans from PIDA this month. Aside from this project in Centre, projects in Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Crawford and Lancaster counties also secured loans. Moshannon Valley is a private, non-profit corporation that was founded in 1988 after the Moshannon Valley Read more
HARRISBURG, April 17 – Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced today that a workforce development board serving Centre County will receive a $135,240 Strategic Innovation grant to expand digital communications in the region. “This grant will improve access to skills-based learning and job opportunities in our region by enhancing online resources that connect job seekers with training programs and employers,” Conklin said. “I’m encouraged that this will open more doors for Pennsylvanians seeking to join the workforce. Creating jobs and putting people first is all part of our Democratic Plan for PA.” The funds, made available through the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board, will permit development partners in the region to expand digital communications and enhance community engagement through: An online regional Career Hub promoting work-based learning, A website for the region’s CareerLink® offices, An update to the Central PA Workforce Development Corporation’s website, and Additional outreach materials The grant is one of 16 projects receiving a total of $3.5 million. Such grants are made available by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry through local workforce development boards across the state. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, today announced the award of $245,500 in state grants to help the State College Area School District buy and install three solar energy systems at three of the district’s elementary schools. “I’m ecstatic that the State College Area School District was included in this grant disbursement,” Conklin said. “I know full well the students at these schools are going to benefit from the installation of alternative energy in more ways that they know. Plus, it shows them the importance and significance of alternative energy at a young age.” One of the Solar Energy Program grants, worth $93,500 , will be used for the purchase and installation of a 63.9-kilowatt solar power system to be located on a new two-story classroom and existing gym at the Spring Creek Elementary School . The solar panels will produce 74,053 kilowatts annually, approximately 28.45 percent of the building’s energy use, and save the district $5,769 in energy costs. The district will fund the remaining $93,500 . Another $85,250 grant will be used for the purchase and installation of a 59.3-kilowatt solar power system to be located on a new two-story classroom and existing gym at the Corl Street Elementary School . The solar panels will produce 68,700 kilowatts annually, approximately 20 percent of the building’s energy use, and save the district $5,352 in energy costs. The district will assume the Read more
HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, will be introducing legislation in the near future that will enact combined reporting to close the "Delaware loophole” and reduce the Corporate Net Income tax rate from 9.99 percent to 7.99 percent. The legislation is geared toward enhancing job growth in Pennsylvania, and protecting small and medium-sized businesses, while ensuring taxpayers are not footing the bill for larger corporations. Pennsylvania’s current CNI tax rate is 9.99 percent, the second highest in the nation behind Iowa, which has a tax rate of 12 percent. The Delaware loophole is a longstanding, legal practice that large corporations in Pennsylvania use to exploit a state law that allows them to establish holding companies in Delaware. Doing so enables companies to transfer all profits earned in the commonwealth to their out-of-state subsidiary because, unlike Pennsylvania, Delaware does not have a CNI tax. “If Pennsylvania is going to be an innovator in business development, we need to consider reducing the corporate tax burden,” Conklin said. “But, this should not be done at the expense of hard-working families across the commonwealth.” In his ongoing effort to close the loophole, Conklin also recently introduced legislation, House Bill 1719 , which would require corporations and their related subsidiaries to file taxes as a single company for state CNI tax purposes. Nearly 76 percent of the Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, Jan. 22 – State Rep. Scott Conklin praised today’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that the state’s Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011 violates the Pennsylvania Constitution. The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the commonwealth arguing that the state’s congressional redistricting that took place in 2011 was done in order to maximize the number of Republicans elected within certain districts after the 2010 census. “I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the 2011 Congressional redistricting plan,” said Conklin, D-Centre County. “This decision underscores the need for Congressional redistricting reform. The political interests of incumbents should not come before the interests of the Pennsylvania electorate.” The Supreme Court is prohibiting use of the current redistricting system in the 2018 elections, beginning with the primaries scheduled for May 15. The Supreme Court will draw and use its own plan in this year’s election if the General Assembly does not pass a new plan by Feb. 9 or if Gov. Tom Wolf does not approve the plan by Feb. 15. “The law of the land is that voters choose their elected officials,” said Conklin. “For far too long, the redistricting process has allowed incumbents to choose their voters.” Last week, Conklin introduced a bill that would create a Congressional Redistricting Commission and provide Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, Jan. 16 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, today announced a bill that would create a Congressional Redistricting Commission and provide guidelines for the congressional redistricting process. By amending the Pennsylvania Election Code, H.B. 2020, the Congressional Redistricting Commission would be established each year following a decennial census, as well as require the commission to adhere to redistricting principles created by state and federal law and court precedents. “The intent of my bill is to put integrity back into the process of redistricting and to insure that congressional districts are drawn by considering the fair and equal representation of the citizens of Pennsylvania rather than the political parties currently drawing maps,” said Conklin, D-Centre. Last year, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and others filed a lawsuit arguing that the state’s congressional redistricting that took place in 2011 was done in order to maximize the number of Republicans elected within certain districts. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is now expected to hear oral arguments regarding the case. Conklin said he would like to see Pennsylvanians have the authority to draw congressional maps, and leave partisanship out of it. “Over the past year, I have watched partisanship and gridlock in Washington, which have caused divisions in our nation and our commonwealth,” said Conklin, also the Democratic chairman of Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, Oct. 25 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, invites the public to explore the high-tech offerings of the Pennsylvania CareerLink mobile career center, which will visit his legislative office in Philipsburg from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14. Known simply as The Link, the bus-like vehicle is equipped with seven computers, internet access, printing capabilities and a presentation screen – all to assist residents in their job-search efforts. Professional staff support for job matching, career guidance, workforce training and employer recruitment is also part of The Link experience, Conklin said. “I’m pleased and excited to present this opportunity to residents of the 77 th Legislative District and Centre County,” Conklin said. “As our society and economy grow more technical by leaps and bounds, this is one way for us to help job-seekers and employers keep up with the times.” In addition to Centre County, the mobile center hits the road to provide its services to Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. For more information, please contact Conklin’s legislative office in Philipsburg at (814) 342-4872. It is located at 209 E. Presqueisle St. Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, Aug. 7 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, is co-hosting a “Pathways to Pardons” event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16 at the State College Municipal Building, 243 S. Allen St. Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who chairs the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, has partnered with Conklin to present the event, where they and others will explain the process for obtaining a pardon or expungement of a past criminal conviction in Pennsylvania. Conklin understands the need to remove such impediments for those who may have made a mistake, paid for it and now wish to obtain gainful employment. The program is free, open to the public and will include a question-and-answer session. Stack created the “Pathways to Pardons” program to bring together experts in corrections, drug and alcohol treatment, probation and parole, and public interest law to give step-by-step help to people who want to remove barriers to employment by clearing a minor criminal conviction from their records. For more information, please contact Conklin’s office at (814) 238-5477. Media coverage is invited. Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, June 19 – Separate resolutions honoring eight Penn State teams that earned Big Ten championships, introduced by state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, unanimously passed the House last week. Conklin said the resolutions coincided with “B1G Champs on the Hill” day, where Penn State coaches and athletes from the championship teams were recognized in Harrisburg for their accomplishments. “The 2016-17 academic year was one of great success for Penn State athletics, with eight teams winning Big Ten Conference championships,” Conklin said. “With much pride and rooting interest, I am proud to sponsor these resolutions honoring their achievements.” The football, wrestling, men’s ice hockey, field hockey, women’s soccer, women’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field, and men’s volleyball teams are those recognized by Conklin’s resolutions. “The Big Ten is one of the nation’s most respected and competitive sports conferences, so having this many champions in a single year is quite impressive,” Conklin said. “It is my hope that we have even more reasons to celebrate Penn State’s academic and athletic excellence in the years to come.” Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, June 9 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, today announced a $108,964 state grant to Patton Township to fund the Valley Vista Drive School Crossing Project. Conklin said the source of funding – PennDOT’s 2016 Automated Red Light Enforcement Program – comes from red light violations in Philadelphia. An eight-member committee then distributes the money statewide for relatively low-cost projects that improve safety, enhance mobility and reduce congestion. “It is great to report that a project in the 77 th Legislative District has qualified for some of this funding,” Conklin said. “But it’s even better to report that because of this money, a school crossing will be made safer for our children.” Conklin said the ARLE grants can be applied for and used for improvements to traffic signals, roadways at intersections with traffic signals, or school zones – and such things as installing guiderails or making roadside safety enhancements. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 6 – In an effort to ensure a quality higher education system for students and for Pennsylvania’s future workforce needs, state Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, today joined other state lawmakers to push for a comprehensive study of every public college and university in the state. Hanna was joined at a Capitol news conference by state Reps. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, Scott Conklin, D-Centre, and others to discuss and promote a long-term sustainability and viability study of Pennsylvania’s public institutions of higher education. The lawmakers discussed House Resolution 331 , which would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct the feasibility study and analyze all 14 universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the state’s 14 community colleges, the Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, the Rural Regional College of Northern Pennsylvania, the Allegheny College of Maryland and four state-related universities. Hanna said that there are many proposals suggesting studies of one institution over another. However, in order to provide an accurate and thorough analysis of the future of public higher education in this state, he said it is important for the LBFC to analyze not just PASSHE, but all of the state’s public institutions of higher education. “All Pennsylvania residents benefit from the skills and education gained Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, May 23 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, received a 2017 Champions for Children award from Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC), in recognition of his hard work over the years to improve public policies and increase state investments that benefit the commonwealth’s children. The award was presented in conjunction with PPC’s 25 th Anniversary celebration at the state Capitol on Monday, in which nearly 60 policymakers and the governor were honored. “Representative Conklin understands how public policy can impact a child’s life, and his legislative career has focused on improving child well-being and making Pennsylvania a top state to raise a child and be a child,” said Joan L. Benso, PPC president and CEO. “We thank him for his commitment to Pennsylvania kids and look forward to continuing our partnership to advance policies and investments that will improve the lives of every child in Pennsylvania.” Conklin serves as Democratic chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee. “I am honored to receive this award, but the real champions are those who tirelessly advocate for policies and programs that help our children become productive and well-adjusted members of society,” Conklin said. “Working together, we can make a difference in the lives of many.” Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, May 12 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced that more than $146,000 in state funding has been awarded to areas within the 77 th Legislative District to make intersection and traffic signal improvements. Conklin said the funding will be administered through the Department of Transportation as part of the Green Light-Go Municipal Signal Partnership Program. The projects include: - $80,000 for traffic signal upgrades within Ferguson Township. - $198,082 for the Valley Vista Drive adaptive signal project. "It is welcomed news for Centre County to be included in this statewide program," Conklin said. "As the bedrock of local communities, infrastructure improvements go a long way to keeping our neighborhoods safe, attractive and efficient." The Green Light-Go Program was established under Act 89 of 2013. The grants may be used for traffic studies, removal of unneeded traffic signals, replacement of signals with LED lights and retiming signals to improve traffic flow and safety. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 27 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, this week voted in favor of legislation that would strengthen the state's animal cruelty law. The legislation, H.B. 1238 , would update Pennsylvania's animal cruelty provisions by breaking down various cruelty to animal offenses and resulting penalties. "Animals deserve to be protected, period," Conklin said. Conklin said the three categories of offenses include neglect of an animal, cruelty to an animal and aggravated cruelty to an animal. They would be classified as a summary offense, second-degree misdemeanor and third-degree felony, respectively. "This means not providing food, water or a clean environment, abandoning an animal, torturing or causing bodily injury to an animal would no longer be tolerated," Conklin said. "No human deserves inhumane treatment, why should animals? "I sincerely hope our senators across the hall agree and we can swiftly see this bill signed into law." The legislation passed the House by vote of 167-20; it now awaits action by the Senate. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin speaks at a Capitol news conference honoring volunteers and advocates who work to prevent child abuse.
HARRISBURG, March 22 – A bill that would create a task force to examine the opioid epidemic’s impact on infants and children has cleared the House Children and Youth Committee, according to its Democratic chairman, state Rep. Scott Conklin. House Bill 235 , of which Conklin, D-Centre, was prime co-sponsor, seeks to identify strategies, make short- and long-term recommendations, improve outcomes for pregnant and parenting women, and promote the health, safety and permanency of at-risk infants and young children due to parental alcohol and drug abuse. “This bill aims to help the truly innocent victims of the opioid abuse crisis plaguing our commonwealth – infants and children,” Conklin said. “The scope of the problem is staggering, as parental substance abuse was a factor in 56 percent of the infant protective custody cases in Pennsylvania in 2014.” Conklin also noted that between 2010 and 2014, more than 7,500 infants covered by Medicaid – 61 percent of whom died before reaching age 1 – were found to suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome because their mothers had used heroin or prescribed opioids during pregnancy. The task force would include representatives of the state departments of Human Services, Health, and Drug and Alcohol Programs; three members each from the state House and state Senate; and four appointed by the governor. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin was in Erie to talk about renewable energy at a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing. Conklin believes that Pennsylvania should focus on all sources of energy found right at home. Read more
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