Conklin receives ‘Champion for Children’ award

(May 23, 2017)

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


Conklin announces 'Green Light' grants for Centre County

(May 12, 2017)

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


Conklin votes to strengthen Pa.'s law to end animal cruelty

(Apr 27, 2017)

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


Conklin Honors Those Protecting Children From Abuse

(Apr 05, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin speaks at a Capitol news conference honoring volunteers and advocates who work to prevent child abuse. Read more


Conklin committee approves bill to protect at-risk children impacted by opioid epidemic

(Mar 22, 2017)

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


Conklin: PA Energy Sources Are Diverse

(Mar 08, 2017)

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


Conklin: Job Growth Ideas Can Work Locally

(Mar 07, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin attended the House Democratic Policy Committee hearing in Erie about jobs in the 21st Century. Conklin is encouraged by what is happening in Northwest Pennsylvania and is looking to use those ideas to bring more and better jobs to Central Pennsylvania. Read more


Conklin on budget proposal: invest in education

(Feb 07, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin released the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf's 2017-18 budget address: "I am pleased that Governor Wolf and I share the same focus on education. From making sure students get a healthy breakfast to start their day, to recognizing the need to keep our colleges and universities at the front of education, this is an ambitious plan to invest in education. We need to fund education in a comprehensive manor by investing at the pre-K level all the way through to job training and workforce development. "As a whole, this is a time to make smart decisions that put people first. Protecting gains that we have made is important, however, it is incumbent upon the General Assembly to make sure government is protecting people during these hard times. "The budget address is the beginning; it's the blueprint of the state's checkbook. The governor has laid his foundation and the focus will now shift to the House and Senate to lay the groundwork to strike the appropriate balance," said Conklin. Read more


Conklin re-appointed Democratic chairman of Children and Youth Committee

(Jan 09, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, has been re-appointed as Democratic chairman of the Children and Youth Committee for the 2017-2018 legislative session. This will be Conklin's second consecutive term to lead the committee's Democrats. He will work alongside the committee’s majority chairperson, Rep. Katharine Watson of Bucks County. "Pennsylvania children remain high on the list of our most vulnerable," Conklin said. "This position allows us to narrow the focus on doing everything we can in the best interest of our youngest citizens. "The work of this committee has been known to be very effective, deliberate and productive. I look forwarding to continuing that work." Conklin noted that during this session, the committee is expected to address the needs of children affected by the state's heroin and opioid epidemic. "Not addressing this issue would be turning our backs and covering our ears," Conklin said. "We lose too many young people every day through drug overdoses. We lose too many parents everyday through drug overdoses that leave small children behind. It's a trickle-down effect and it's not stopping until we address it." Conklin was first elected to the House in 2006 and currently is serving his sixth term. Read more


Conklin sworn in for sixth term

(Jan 04, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 4 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, yesterday took the oath of office to begin his sixth term representing the 77 th Legislative District. "It is a great honor to continue serving the Centre Region in the General Assembly," Conklin said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and am energized to advance sensible policies that benefit all Pennsylvanians.” The swearing-in ceremony in the House chamber marked the beginning of the 201st Legislative Session. The state constitution mandates that the legislature convene at noon on the first Tuesday of January each year. "My priorities for this two-year term begin with keeping our unemployment rate low, increasing public education funding and keeping school property taxes as low as possible,” Conklin said. “There is much challenging work to be done.” The 77th Legislative District includes Philipsburg and State College boroughs, 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 . Read more


Conklin lauds $4 million in local grants

(Jul 01, 2016)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, said more than $4 million was approved today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority for school renovation and streetlight upgrade projects in the portion of Centre County that he represents. Read more


Conklin: On-Time Budget Helps Schools

(Jun 30, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin says the House passed an on-time state budget with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote that delivers an extra $250 million in funding for schools and gets vital funding to social service agencies without broad-based tax increases. Read more


Conklin Advocates for Firearms Safety

(May 10, 2016)

Pa state Rep. Scott Conklin heard expert testimony about House Bill 1010 in front of the House Democratic Policy Committee today. Conklin wanted to hear more about background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals or those with mental illness. Read more


Conklin: Medical Marijuana soon to be law

(Apr 13, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin says today’s historic House vote brings Pennsylvania into line with 23 other states that already treat Medical Marijuana as medicine, and sets up standards for how the medicine will be distributed in the state. Read more


Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms available at my office

(Feb 15, 2016)

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 prescription programs benefit seniors

(Feb 10, 2016)

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


CHIP offers kids protection and parents peace of mind

(Jan 29, 2016)

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


Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

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


PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

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


Conklin introduces bills to close 'Delaware Loophole,' end retailers' vendor discount

(Dec 09, 2015)

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