Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more
PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare are Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for older adults, offering low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. As of this year, the legislature passed a law excluding Social Security Medicare Part B premiums from being counted towards income levels. Read more
Pennsylvania has a Children's Health Insurance Program that provides free and low-cost health insurance to children. CHIP is not welfare – it covers children of working parents whose employers don't offer coverage and who can't afford private insurance. If you can't afford health insurance for your children, chances are they are eligible for CHIP. Read more
Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more
In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more
HARRISBURG, Dec. 9 – Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin has introduced a two-bill package aiming to enact a pair of business tax reforms that he says could provide revenue alternatives to help end Pennsylvania's current state budget impasse. Conklin's legislation, H.B.1757 , would eliminate the current vendor discount which is a practiced utilized by Pennsylvania retailers. It allows retailers to retain 1 percent of the sales tax they send to the commonwealth if it is transferred on time. Conklin said the elimination of this practice could provide up to $85 million in yearly revenue. "We're missing out. Point blank," Conklin said. "Failing to collect revenue from two sources that are right at our fingertips is a missed opportunity." Additionally, Conklin has introduced a bill, H.B. 1758 , that would implement a business tax policy called combined reporting by closing the so-called Delaware Loophole. The term was coined to describe a legal tax planning practice of multi-state corporations to reduce their Pennsylvania tax liabilities by transferring the ownership of intangible assets to an affiliated company in Delaware. Conklin said that if enacted, the state would be projected to receive up to $700 million in new revenue by the 2018-19 fiscal year. "Not one penny, not one dime of that would come from you, me or any Pennsylvanian," Conklin said. "My bills would avoid going into the Read more
Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin talks about the importance of extending the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2017. Pennsylvania's CHIP program puts health coverage within reach for all uninsured kids and teens who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin speaks out against a short-term stopgap budget that does nothing more than create another budget crisis for schools and non-profit social service agencies until October and urges the passage of a true compromise budget that delivers long-term, sustainable funding. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin talks about why he supports Governor Tom Wolf's budget proposal and the need to better support human services and public education. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 7 – State Reps. Brian Sims, D-Phila., and Scott Conklin, D-Centre, plan to introduce legislation reforming Pennsylvania's voter registration system by instituting automatic registration of all eligible voters, with provisions for opting out. "Voting is a fundamental right of all Americans, but one which many forgo due to the burdens associated with voter registration, and the time and financial costs resulting from going to the polls. As technology continues its rapid advance, legislators must find efficient and less taxing methods for helping the citizens of Pennsylvania to exercise this fundamental right," Sims said. Conklin said, "Under our proposal, the responsibility of voter registration would be passed from eligible voters onto the Pennsylvania Department of State and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Beginning July 1, 2015, the secretary of the commonwealth would initiate a program to automatically register eligible voters whose information is provided to PennDOT for obtaining a driver’s license or non-driver identification card. The Department of State would use the PennDOT data, which includes information on whether a person is a citizen, to register voters. These newly registered voters would then be sent a postcard with information on how to opt out of registration altogether and how to choose a party affiliation. Under our proposal, a newly registered voter would have 21 days to opt out of Read more
HARRISBURG, April 1 – Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin said the House of Representatives has adopted a measure honoring the life and service of Robert Bradley Jr., who served as a State College Borough police officer for 19 years. Bradley died Feb. 9 after collapsing while on duty. House Resolution 135 is a condolence resolution that is designed to pay tribute to Bradley's commitment to protecting the lives of others. "This a small token of appreciation to present to Officer Bradley's family. For their loss, they have my deepest sympathy," Conklin said. "Following this tragedy, kinder words about Robert as a police officer, a friend and family man have never been spoken." In addition to his law enforcement career, Bradley was a criminal justice instructor at Kaplan University and a criminal procedures instructor at the University of Phoenix. Bradley also practiced law part-time at the Law Office of Robert W. Bradley. Bradley, a 1989 graduate of Bellefonte High School, received a bachelor's degree from the Pennsylvania State University and graduated as valedictorian from Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Municipal Police Training Academy in 1995. He also earned his juris doctor degree from Widener University School of Law in 2007. "Officer Bradley's commitment to law enforcement and the community he called home are indicative of someone who lived to serve others," Conklin said. "While the void Read more
HARRISBURG, March 25 – Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin released the following statement congratulating Sgt. Adam Hartswick for his commitment to the U.S. Army following his retirement ceremony held today in Bethesda, Md.: "Regretfully, I could not be with Adam today because my legislative duties find me in Harrisburg taking part in budget hearings before the House Appropriations Committee. However, my thoughts are solidly with Adam and his family. "I would like to extend my personal thank you to an exemplary soldier and young man. Getting to know Adam through our local work together is a true privilege. The signing of the Sgt. Adam Hartswick Interchange bill into law is a career highlight of mine. "Adam is a true inspiration to his family, the community he calls home and his fellow soldiers who are overcoming adversity just as he has. "Sergeant Hartswick has a bright future ahead of him and I am certain that what he does in his next phase of life will be just as meaningful as his military service. "Congratulations. Today, we salute you." Read more
HARRISBURG, March 13 – Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin has been appointed to serve as the Democratic chairman of the Children and Youth Committee in the House of Representatives. “I’m honored and very excited to take on this job and contribute to the success of Governor Tom Wolf’s ambitious agenda to improve the lives of children,” Conklin said. Democratic Leader Frank Dermody said Conklin was a natural choice to lead the committee’s Democrats. “With his background as a former county commissioner, Representative Conklin is very familiar with how children and youth services are delivered through county agencies,” Dermody said. “Scott also was part of the concentrated and successful effort to improve Pennsylvania’s child protection laws in the last three years.” Conklin will work with the committee’s majority chairperson, Rep. Katharine Watson of Bucks County. “This House committee is known for the ability of members to put partisan differences aside and work productively for the protection and benefit of children,” Conklin said. “I look forward to continuing that tradition.” Conklin was first elected to the House in 2006 and currently is serving his fifth term. Read more
HARRISBURG, March 3 – Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin released the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf's 2015-16 budget address: "Governor Wolf's plan is comprehensive and ambitious. "The plan makes investments in the state’s future with increases in education funding. We are looking to rebuild a broken education funding system that was the product of the last four years. Penn State is a leader in higher education and Governor Wolf made it clear that he recognizes that. With a proposed funding increase, we can restore cuts that have been made and better prepare students for their careers in the workforce. He is proposing an increase in funding for Penn State of more than 10 percent and that would be meaningful. "I am pleased that the governor and I share the same sentiments when it comes to utilizing opportunities within the Marcellus Shale natural gas development. We would tap into a new revenue source that would still keep us on top as an energy leader without using a single dime of taxpayers' money. Why not use this budget as an opportunity to provide an additional revenue source to help those who need it most? "As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will be actively involved in the next step of the process which includes three weeks of public hearings and discussions about state agencies' needs. The governor has laid the groundwork, the House and Senate will now pick up their Read more
STATE COLLEGE, Feb. 24 – Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin released the following statement on the announcement of ESPN's suspension of Keith Olbermann for a week. The suspension is a result of comments Olbermann made against the Pennsylvania State University's student body relating to the university's annual pediatric cancer fundraiser, THON: "I commend ESPN's decision, but more importantly, I commend the fundraising effort of Penn State students. "The only headlines we should be reading are ones praising the charitable acts of Penn State students. The only focus should remain on the millions raised to fight pediatric cancer. It is unfortunate that Mr. Olbermann decided instead to attack the integrity of this great university and its student body. "He was totally off target. When you have young people raising almost $14 million to help sick children in this country, to have someone of his credentials use his personal prejudice against Penn State -- a university high in academics, high in achievement -- is unacceptable. "There should be nothing but congratulations for these young people," Conklin said. Read more
Domestic Violence Victims Need Support at State Level Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced today that he took the oath of office to begin his fifth term representing the 77th Legislative District. "Representing the Centre Region in the Pennsylvania General Assembly is very humbling," Conklin said. The swearing-in ceremony in the House chamber marked the beginning of the 199th Legislative Session. The state constitution mandates that the legislature convene at noon on the first Tuesday of January each year. "Lowering and keeping our unemployment rate low is at the top of my priority list," Conklin said. "In addition, I will be fighting to increase public education funding and lower school property taxes that burden so many Centre County residents. "This marks the beginning of a new two-year term and I am ready to hit the ground running." The 77th Legislative District includes Philipsburg, State College borough, Huston and Rush townships, and portions of Ferguson and Patton townships. Conklin has two constituent service centers in his district. The State College service center is located at 301 S. Allen St., Suite 102, and can be reached at (814) 238-5477. The Philipsburg service center is located at 209 E. Presqueisle St. and can be reached at (814) 342-4872. Various resources and links to state programs also are available at www.pahouse.com/Conklin. Read more
Recently, my office received information about phone calls received statewide in which an individual claimed to be from the IRS and demanded payment on taxes owed.
Please be aware – this phone call is a scam, and the IRS will NOT initiate first contact with you on the phone about taxes owed.
Always be wary of unsolicited phone calls in which an individual claims to represent a business or government entity and aggressively demands payment. The IRS does not operate this way and will always send official correspondence through the mail to make its first contact with you.
Landmark legislation passed during the 2013-14 Legislative Session now allows first responders, including law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS or other organizations the ability to administer a medication known as naloxone, a life-saving opioid-overdose antidote.
The law also allows individuals such as friends or family members who might be in a position to help a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Additionally, Act 139 provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses.
House Bill 993, which renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, was signed into law as Act 132 during the 2013-14 Legislative Session.
According to advocates for the change, renaming the department was long overdue, and as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the name change better reflects the department’s mission. Read more
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