Latest News

Conklin: More than $17 million awarded to strengthen Centre County broadband

(Apr 19, 2024)

STATE COLLEGE, April 19 – Faster, more reliable broadband is coming to underserved areas of Centre County thanks to new funding of nearly $17.6 million from the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced today. Conklin, who is majority chairman of the House Commerce Committee, said the funding – which includes $16.1 million to Verizon Pennsylvania LLC and $1.5 million to Windstream Pennsylvania LLC – will bring residents and small business owners in underserved areas the connections they need. “Internet provides essential connections to the world, but for too long, residents lacking speedy, reliable access have faced a disadvantage when it comes to key online resources for job opportunities, training and education, shopping, telemedicine and more,” Conklin said. “Small businesses in underserved areas also lose a major competitive edge. “We have worked hard to get the necessary broadband infrastructure in place, and with this new infusion of funding, we can finally make those critical high-speed connections a reality for the residents and businesses who need them.” Conklin said that matching funding will bring the total project to nearly $40 million. The funding – which is part of a statewide package awarded under the Broadband Infrastructure Program – will also benefit underserved communities in Blair, Read more

House passes Hill-Evans resolution to recognize the “Week of the Young Child”

(Apr 18, 2024)

“They may not be able to vote for us, but young children are a major component of any elected official’s constituency, and we must advocate for them as if our candidacy depends on them,” Hill-Evans said. Read more

State Reps. Smith-Wade-El, Kenyatta and Benham applaud two state boards’ opposition to conversion therapy

(Apr 17, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 17 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster; Malcom Kenyatta, D-Phila.; and Jessica Benham, D-Allegheny, today applauded the Pennsylvania boards of Psychology and Osteopathic Medicine for their recent adoption of new policies opposing the practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ+ minors. The representatives issued the following statement: “We applaud the state Boards of Psychology and Osteopathic Medicine’s adoption of a new Statement of Policies (SOP) that opposes the use of the discredited, pseudoscientific practice of conversion therapy on minors in Pennsylvania. Conversion therapy, also known as conversion abuse, is a dangerous practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression that has resulted in profound physical and psychological harm on patients, including depression, trauma, and suicide. “We hope that the state boards of Medicine, Nursing and Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors will vote in the coming weeks to adopt similar SOPs opposing the use of conversion therapy. “Although we are glad to see esteemed state medical boards gradually take steps to oppose the practice of conversion abuse, this is happening at too slow a rate. It is long past time that Pennsylvania joins the 20 other states outlawing the practice. Our bill, the Protection of Minors from Conversion Therapy Act, would prohibit a mental health Read more

House Commerce Committee advances Conklin’s legislation

(Apr 16, 2024)

“As chair of the House Commerce Committee, I believe we must fund minority businesses to ensure marginalized Pennsylvanians have the ability to start their business in our commonwealth,” Conklin said. “With more than 1.15% of businesses owned by minorities in 2020, we need to make the economy more equitable for Pennsylvania’s entrepreneurs by allowing minority businesses to prosper in our economy and remain competitive in our marketplace. By advancing this legislation to the House, we will invest in Pennsylvania’s businesses, ensuring that we keep Pennsylvania open for business.” Read more

Smith-Wade-El and Arkoosh visit Refresh Lancaster

(Apr 10, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 10 – Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Valerie Arkoosh joined state Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, for a tour of Refresh Lancaster’s mobile unit at Union Community Care last Friday. Refresh Lancaster is a collaboration between Lancaster Emergency Medical Services Association and Lancaster County Homelessness Coalition that offers free weekly showers, hygienic kits, medical care and referrals to social services in a mobile unit at several locations throughout the county. “In my experience working as an activist in Lancaster, I found that many of the people most in need of social services were nervous about approaching state organizations for help,” Smith-Wade-El said. “I wanted to share with Secretary Arkoosh how Refresh Lancaster is successfully reaching out and building trust with these vulnerable members of our community by serving as a low-barrier entryway to the commonwealth’s extensive network of social and health services.” Smith-Wade-El and Arkoosh also toured Union Community Care’s new dental unit where the staff stressed dental care as a critical part of health care. The tour highlighted how managed-care organizations use Medicaid waivers to serve residents in need. “People who are unhoused experience higher health care spending and poorer long-term outcomes, and approachable, empathetic supports and assistance can be a bridge to stability and a Read more