Helping Afghan refugees

(Aug 27, 2021)

We’ve seen the images of thousands who are desperately trying to flee violence in Afghanistan. It’s beyond heartbreaking. Thankfully, Governor Wolf has pledged his support to work with refugees who will be resettling in our state and is working closely with several federal, state and local agencies to help them. Read more

 

Conklin chosen to chair House State Government Committee

(Aug 10, 2021)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 10 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, has recently been appointed by House Democratic leadership to serve as the Democratic chair of the House State Government Committee. This committee primarily reviews legislation on issues ranging from voting and elections to campaign finance reform and oversees various state agencies, including the Pennsylvania Department of State, the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the Public Employees’ Retirement System, the State Employees’ Retirement System and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission. “I am hopeful that we can bring an honest conversation to the table when it comes to governing and specifically how this committee operates,” Conklin said. “My goal is that we leave partisanship at the door and lead a committee that works for all citizens of Pennsylvania in a dignified, honest and forthright manner.” More information on the House State Government Committee, including upcoming hearings, can be found at the following link: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/cteeInfo/index.cfm?Code=36&CteeBody=H . Read more

 

Now open for applications: Alternative fuels vehicle and infrastructure funding opportunities

(Jul 22, 2021)

STATE PROGRAMS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection : Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (Funding Source: General Fund) Who May Apply : School districts, municipal authorities, municipalities, nonprofits, private businesses. Use : Purchase or retrofit vehicles to operate on alternative fuels, purchase and install refueling equipment, and research or develop new technologies. Funds: Infrastructure and innovative technology project g rants up to $600,000. Vehicle grants up to $100,000 per vehicle, depending upon class of vehicle. Application Deadline : August 27; a second application round will close December 17 More Information : Click on https://www.dep.pa.gov/Citizens/GrantsLoansRebates/Alternative-Fuels-Incentive-Grant/Pages/default.aspx . UPCOMING APPLICATION DEADLINES: DEP Driving PA Forward Level 2 EV Charging Rebate Program: Until Funds Expended ( Funding Source: State Mitigation Trust - Volkswagen Emissions Settlement) Business, charitable organizations, incorporated nonprofits, local government entities, school districts, and other entities. - Rebates for Level 2 EV charging equipment for public use at government owned property, public use at non-government owned property, non-public use at work places, non-public use at multi-unit dwellings. DHS Children’s Read more

 

Conklin announces spotted lanternfly mitigation grant for Penn State

(Jul 01, 2021)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – Pennsylvania State University has been awarded $69,767 in state funds to mitigate the impacts of spotted lanternfly in the hardwood ornamentals industry, state Rep. Scott Conkin announced. Conkin, D-Centre, said the Pennsylvania Specialty Crop Block Grant program, part of the historic PA Farm Bill , supports projects to help grow and protect high-priority crops, including hardwoods. “Thirty-four counties in our state, including Centre, are battling this invasive pest,” Conklin said. “If it isn’t contained, the spotted lanternfly could potentially drain our state economy of at least $324 million each year, and it has quite the appetite for many of our economically vital plants, including maple, black walnut, birch, willow and other trees. This grant will be extremely helpful in supporting Penn State’s efforts to curb the insect’s spread.” The state Specialty Crop Block Grant program was created to enhance the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant program by establishing a state program for crops that are either not currently eligible for federal support, or that are designated as high-priority specialty crops. In addition to hardwoods, high priority crops include hemp, hops and honey; and barley, rye, and wheat for distilling, brewing and malting. Projects aim to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of specialty crops through research to Read more

 

Conklin: $55,000 in grants awarded to area volunteer fire, EMS companies

(Jun 30, 2021)

STATE COLLEGE, June 30 – A total of $55,040 in grants have been awarded to local fire and emergency medical services companies, state Rep. Scott Conklin announced today. Conkin, D-Centre, said the funding is from the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Service Grant Program, which is overseen by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. This annual program provides funding for volunteer and career fire companies, emergency medical services , and rescue squads. “Our fire and EMS companies have always been there to answer the call, and that includes during the pandemic, which certainly took a tough toll on the men and women who serve as our first line of defense,” Conklin said. “My hope is these funds will help these companies continue to help those in need and keep their doors open.” The grants were awarded to the following companies: Hope Fire Co. No. 2: $13,302. Moshannon Valley EMS : $8,993. Mountain Top Fire Co. (EMS): $8,993. Mountain Top Fire Co.: $12,054. Reliance Volunteer Fire Co. : $11,698. Eligible organizations can use the funds for facilities and equipment, debt reduction, training and education, recruitment and retention, and to supplement operational expenses incurred by lack of opportunity for fundraising and inability to create revenue due to compliance Read more

 

Conklin issues 2021-22 budget statement

(Jun 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 25 - State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, issued the following statement on the passage of the state’s 2021-22 fiscal year budget: “This budget will send much-needed education funding to our local schools, one of the key components of the Pennsylvania Rescue Plan that I have supported over the last few months. “We are investing $300 million in K-12 funding, with a third of that set aside for our most underfunded districts. This will help level the playing field and continue our work toward allowing every student – regardless of zip code, a chance to succeed. “The budget also provides an additional $350 million to help students rebound from the disruptions of the past year, due to the pandemic. "While this is good news for our schools, our children and our families, today's budget is, once again, a missed opportunity. This budget does not provide any asisstance to the local businesses impacted during the state COVID-19 shutdown, including restuarants, gyms, salons, and barber shops. It's baffling that, after more than a year of claiming to support small businesses during the pandemic, this budget contains nothing to help them on a path to recovery. We were sent billions of dollars to help our local businesses, and we should be using it, not letting it sit in savings. “And like last year, this year’s budget does not contain a minimum wage increase, Read more

 

Conklin announces hemp production grant for Penn State

(Jun 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Scott Conklin has announced a $126,730 grant to Pennsylvania State University to support its hemp production efforts. Conkin, D-Centre, said the Pennsylvania Special Crop Block Grant, part of the historic PA Farm Bill , would fund the university’s project, which is focused on optimizing genotype selection and hemp production management practices. “Thanks to the PA Farm Bill, this grant will be beneficial to support this high-priority specialty crop and further support our strong agriculture sector,” Conklin said. The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program assists with the growth, certification of seed and marketing of eligible crops, including hemp, hardwoods, honey and hops; and barley, rye and wheat for distilling, brewing and malting purposes only. More information on the grant program can be found at this link: https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Pages/Specialty-Crop-Block-Grant-Program.aspx . Read more

 

Conklin: House Bill 1300 is nothing but ‘smoke and mirrors’

(Jun 21, 2021)

STATE COLLEGE, June 21 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, issued the following statement on H.B. 1300 : “This bill is disguised as an effort to protect voter integrity and security but, in reality, it is designed to drive down voter turnout and make it harder and more complicated for Pennsylvanians to cast their vote. “Our past two elections in the commonwealth were fairly run, free and transparent. So, why are Republicans pushing for election audits for each county following an election? Why do they want each voter to have a special ID in order to cast their ballot, severely limit drop boxes and put an end to voting by mail? It’s because they want to silence your voice and your right to vote freely and fairly. That should make you very angry and, rest assured, I will fight this bill. “This is an attempted power grab, plain and simple, by the Republican party. This bill would also add unnecessary barriers to your right to vote, put more governmental bureaucracy upon counties and needlessly delay election results. “I’m truly disappointed that, once again, the leadership in the House is playing politics with a bill that will never be signed into law. We should be focused on how best to use the billions of surplus dollars to provide property tax relief and quality education for our residents. Instead, we are wasting valuable time posturing for corporate donors. It’s time to dispense with the rhetoric and focus on Read more

 

Conklin: Proposed PASSHE integration plan a bad deal for PA

(Jun 07, 2021)

STATE COLLEGE, June 7 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, has issued the following statement regarding the proposed integration plan for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s 14 universities: “The so-called plan that was presented to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors in late April is anything but a good one. This proposal is not financially sustainable and forces a hybrid model upon students, requiring them to take virtual college courses. Many students across our state have technology challenges, including reliable computer and internet access. This plan also lacks details on branch campus oversight, and it does not include any cost savings or tuition rate decreases. “PASSHE was first established in 1983 to provide students and families with an affordable, quality education, and it’s imperative we get back to that mission immediately. We need a plan that stimulates the universities and adequately funds them, not one that puts them on the back burner. We need PASSHE to continue to provide the training and education needed to help students prepare for the demands of our workforce. “I have recently sent a letter to the Board of Governors , urging them to vote “NO” on this consolidation plan. Our students and families deserve better, and I am also urging my colleagues in the House and Senate to join me in fighting for a plan that provides better funding that Read more

 

Conklin issues statement in support of Congresswoman Dean, We The People PA

(May 27, 2021)

STATE COLLEGE, May 27 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, issued the following statement on today’s We The People PA event with Pennsylvania Congresswoman Madeleine Dean at the Montgomery County Courthouse: “I fully support Congresswoman Dean and the We The People PA organization regarding the American Rescue Plan. This plan will benefit all Pennsylvanians as we continue to recover from the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus has worked together to create the Pennsylvania Rescue Plan . Using the $7.3 billion earmarked for Pennsylvania, our plan makes wise investments in public health infrastructure and preparedness, support for families, workforce development, investments in job creation, technology, and much more. Some of the highlights of the Pennsylvania Rescue plan include $500 million to create jobs and spur economic growth across the state, $250 million to promote affordable housing, $10 million in funds for those whose unemployment checks were delayed, and $75 million to invest in healthcare research and education. “Our job as legislators is to help Pennsylvanians come out of this pandemic stronger, and it’s vital we support these investments as they meet the needs of all residents – families, workers, small businesses and farmers.” Read more

 

Conklin: $170,891 coming to fight blight in Philipsburg, Rush Township

(May 25, 2021)

HARRISBURG, May 25 – Eight abandoned, dangerous properties in Rush Township will be demolished and two properties in Philipsburg’s Historic Downtown will be rehabilitated though a combined $170,891 in state funding, state Rep. Scott Conklin announced today. Conklin, D-Centre, said the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved a $90,000 grant to Rush Township, providing 90% of the cost of its eight-property demolition project. It will include any required lead and asbestos abatement, backfilling and grading of sites, and seeding and mulching for stabilization. Conklin said the CFA’s separate award of $80,891 represents the entire cost of the Philipsburg project, in which the Philipsburg Revitalization Corp. is rehabilitating sites at 110-104 N. Front St. to be marketed as an incubator to artists and entrepreneurs. This reclaiming of unsafe structures includes HVAC installation, updated flooring, and electrical, façade and roof work. “It’s critically important that we remove blighted and unsafe structures from the landscape when they are beyond saving,” Conklin said. “But, it’s equally important to save buildings that are in good enough shape to be repurposed, especially when they are located in an area of historic significance. “I’m pleased to see that with this round of CFA funding, our area will be able to accomplish goals that – while different Read more

 

Conklin announces $46K in Ag and Youth Grants

(May 13, 2021)

STATE COLLEGE, May 13 – State Rep. Scott Conklin has announced approximately $46,601 in grants to Pennsylvania State University and to three school districts in Centre County in support of their ag education and workforce development projects. Conklin, D-Centre, said the following grants were awarded: A total of $24,401 to Penn State to fund hydroponics education and production and for 4-H robotics precision equipment. $7,500 to the Bald Eagle Area Middle/High School for hydroponics and vertical garden education. $7,500 to the Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District for agriculture education. $7,500 to the State College Area School District for a student greenhouse. “Our state has a long and successful agriculture industry, and these grants will ensure its strong and vibrant future, providing the vital support, encouragement and education to its future leaders,” said Conklin. This grant program, part of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, funds projects for ag education and workforce development, equipment purchases and capital projects to promote development in agriculture. More information can be found at the following link: https://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Pages/Ag-and-Youth-Grant-Program.aspx . Read more

 

Conklin supports measure to reform redistricting processes in Pa.

(Apr 28, 2021)

STATE COLLEGE, April 28 – State Rep. Scott Conklin is supporting a bill designed to reform the redistricting efforts in both state legislative and congressional districts. Conklin, D-Centre, said H.B. 22 would provide enhanced transparency, allow more input from Pennsylvanians, and create a user-friendly website with data, proposed maps, public comments and related information. “Our residents are beyond tired of partisan politics, especially in the redistricting process, and I am happy to join Fair District PA’s efforts to move this legislation forward,” said Conklin. “The redistricting process should be fair and open, with more participation and accountability.” The legislation would also ban gerrymandering, place limits on splitting counties beyond what’s required by population, end the division of voting precincts, and ensure protection of racial and language minorities against discrimination in the mapping process. House Bill 22 is under consideration in the House State Government Committee. Read more

 

Conklin: Nearly $1.75 million in community investments

(Apr 21, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 21 – State Rep. Scott Conklin has announced nearly $1.75 million in state funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority to provide traffic and pedestrian safety in Patton Township and construct a skate park in State College Borough. Conkin, D-Centre, said $1.5 million in CFA funds will be used to expand an intersection along North Atherton and Woodycrest Street in Patton Township and add a new site access road opposite Woodycrest Street. The project will also include replacing traffic signals, adding sidewalks, and creating and lengthening turning lanes. The remaining $250,000 in funds will be used toward the construction of Action Sports Park in State College Borough. This park would be a publicly accessed concrete skate park for bikes, scooters and skateboarders and will also include a rain garden. “These worthwhile investments will ensure better traffic flow and pedestrian safety in an already-busy area of the district, and also provide an enjoyable recreational opportunity for residents and visitors,” Conklin said. “I look forward to seeing both of these projects moving forward very soon.” The Commonwealth Financing Authority provides funding for a multitude of projects that help businesses succeed, including those focused on development, water quality, energy infrastructure and more. To learn more, residents may visit the following link : Read more

 

Conklin: $2.4 million grant to construct Patton Township project

(Apr 16, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 16 – A $2.4 million state grant will provide the necessary funds to construct the Masters Boulevard/Waddle Road Extension project in Patton Township, Centre County, state Rep. Scott Conklin announced today. Conklin, D-Centre, said the project, which will be constructed by Toftrees Development LLC, will include the installation of sidewalks, traffic signals, stormwater management and paving. “Improving our infrastructure is a priority for all residents to ensure their overall quality of life, and this project will provide necessary safety improvements and proper management of water runoff, due to rain or melting snow,” said Conklin. In granting these and other applications for funding, PennDOT considered a variety of criteria, including safety benefits, regional economic conditions, and operational sustainability. More information about the grant is available at this link . Read more

 

Conklin: We must protect our natural gas wells to keep our communities safe

(Apr 13, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – While Pennsylvania has been seen as profitable by natural gas companies, state Rep. Scott Conklin said it’s time those same companies do their part to ensure the safety of workers at gas well sites and residents in the communities in which these operations reside. Conklin, D-Centre, said while the Marcellus Shale formation has brought well drilling operations and employment opportunities to many parts of the state, it’s also led to an increased risk of drilling-related accidents that can affect the health, safety, and property of residents. “That’s why I am reintroducing legislation that would empower the state Department of Labor and Industry to establish regulations to require the creation of certified and trained response teams to be on site during exploration drilling and any time prior to gas well completion,” said Conklin. “These teams would be experienced and have up-to-date training to ensure they can respond immediately in the event of an accident or emergency and notify local first responders and state officials in a timely manner. My bill, if signed into law, would provide much-needed peace of mind to residents who live near a site where natural gas drilling operations are present.” More information on his pending legislation can be found at this link: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=34955 Read more

 

Conklin applauds passage of bill to assist volunteer community organizations impacted by pandemic

(Apr 07, 2021)

HARRISBURG, April 7 – A measure to make changes to state law to allow small games of chance licensees, including veterans’ organizations, fire departments, and other nonprofit groups, to conduct online games and online transactions passed in the House today, state Rep. Scott Conklin announced. Conklin, D-Centre, said H.B.290 will be a true lifeline to these organizations across Pennsylvania. “Many of our volunteer organizations in Centre County and across our state, who give so much of their time and support to our communities, have been gravely impacted during this ongoing pandemic,” said Conklin. “They rely on raffles and small games of chance to keep their doors open, and this bipartisan bill will allow them to stay in operation.” The bill now heads to the Senate for further action. Read more

 

Conklin: It’s time to let independent voters participate in primary elections

(Mar 30, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 30 – In an effort to be more inclusive and ensure the constitutional rights of all Pennsylvanians, state Rep. Scott Conklin announced he will soon introduce legislation that would allow voters who are not registered to take part in primary elections. Conklin, D-Centre, said while there have been several proposals over the years to allow these voters to participate in primary elections, most have only raised legal questions and haven’t led to any substantive changes. “Voting is a constitutional right, one that should not be tainted by larger interests that seek to shut out voters who are not registered as a Democrat or Republican,” said Conklin. “We know that during municipal elections, candidates often run on both tickets during the primary because of smaller numbers of voters they need to contact for support. What ends up occurring is that members of both parties are often voting for the same candidate during a primary as they would during the general election. That means independent voters are only given one choice in the general election unless there is a write-in candidate. We must give the same freedom of choice to independent voters that both Republican and Democratic voters already enjoy during municipal elections.” Conklin said his pending legislation is part of the House Democrats’ “Defending Democracy” platform , which is focused on streamlining voting processes, maintaining voting Read more

 

PA House Democrats Launch Effort to Defend Democracy

(Mar 29, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 29 – Responding to the Capitol insurrection in January and the signing of new restrictions on voting rights last week in Georgia, House Democrats are taking action to protect American democracy. Today, a website was launched that summarizes policy proposals to defend democracy as well as links to more information and the ability for people to quickly email their elected officials, noting their support of the bills. The House Democratic Caucus has been working on these proposals since a House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing in January, when members were briefed by legal scholars, hate crimes experts and members of Congress on the language of false conspiracy and election fraud being used to undermine democracy. That same language has shifted from encouraging outright attack to what many perceive as insidiously undermining basic voting rights. “We cannot allow the outrage and disgust of the American people watching an armed invasion of our government to be subverted by a slick rebranding into attacks on our right to fair and free elections” Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro said. Members of the House Democratic Caucus have introduced dozens of measures to expand voting rights, preserve election security, protect access to mail-in ballots and polling places, and to clarify and consolidate the often-outdated Election Code. Bizzarro said the site – www.pahouse.com/policy/defendingdemocracy -- will serve as a great Read more

 

Conklin to introduce bill to better protect animals

(Mar 22, 2021)

HARRISBURG, March 22 – In an effort to ensure the safety and welfare of dogs and other animals, counties would be allowed to hire individuals as county humane officers under forthcoming legislation from state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre. Conklin said his measure would provide trained individuals with the authority to assess animal cruelty issues and empowered to enforce animal control provisions. These humane officers would be required to meet state requirements contained in the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statues as related to the state’s Dog Law. “Not too long ago, we had an incident in my district where a house fire occurred and required the rescue of several dogs left without shelter, and when residents tried to contact local and state officials to help these dogs, they repeatedly reported difficulty in reaching someone who had the authority to intervene in such an emergency situation,” Conklin said. “My bill would ensure the safety and well-being of these animals regardless of the situation, whether it’s a dog with limited or no shelter left outside in harsh weather, or an animal in need of immediate emergency help.” Conklin introduced a similar bill during the 2019-20 legislative session. Read more

 

Helping Afghan refugees
Aug 27, 2021

Conklin chosen to chair House State Government Committee
Aug 10, 2021

Now open for applications: Alternative fuels vehicle and infrastructure funding opportunities
Jul 22, 2021

Conklin announces spotted lanternfly mitigation grant for Penn State
Jul 01, 2021

Conklin: $55,000 in grants awarded to area volunteer fire, EMS companies
Jun 30, 2021

Conklin issues 2021-22 budget statement
Jun 25, 2021

Conklin announces hemp production grant for Penn State
Jun 25, 2021

Conklin: House Bill 1300 is nothing but ‘smoke and mirrors’
Jun 21, 2021

Conklin: Proposed PASSHE integration plan a bad deal for PA
Jun 07, 2021

Conklin issues statement in support of Congresswoman Dean, We The People PA
May 27, 2021

Conklin: $170,891 coming to fight blight in Philipsburg, Rush Township
May 25, 2021

Conklin announces $46K in Ag and Youth Grants
May 13, 2021

Conklin supports measure to reform redistricting processes in Pa.
Apr 28, 2021

Conklin: Nearly $1.75 million in community investments
Apr 21, 2021

Conklin: $2.4 million grant to construct Patton Township project
Apr 16, 2021

Conklin: We must protect our natural gas wells to keep our communities safe
Apr 13, 2021

Conklin applauds passage of bill to assist volunteer community organizations impacted by pandemic
Apr 07, 2021

Conklin: It’s time to let independent voters participate in primary elections
Mar 30, 2021

PA House Democrats Launch Effort to Defend Democracy
Mar 29, 2021

Conklin to introduce bill to better protect animals
Mar 22, 2021