CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– A bill that would prevent individuals who have been convicted of domestic violence from holding any public office in PA is gaining traction.
Currently in Pennsylvania, people convicted of “embezzlement of public moneys, bribery, perjury or other infamous crime” are not allowed to take public office, but State Rep. Scott Conklin’s (D-Centre) proposed bill would add those also convicted of domestic violence to that list.
The bill is receiving backing by the PA Federation of Democratic Women, who voted to support the bill at their annual convention in Lewisburg that took place earlier in July. Conklin said that he was very grateful for their support.
“I introduced this bill because I believe in accountability, and because I believe that legislators and public leaders need to act with integrity and ethically when it comes to public policy,” Conklin said. “I am grateful for the support this legislation has received, both in the House of Representatives and from public organizations and individuals. By working together, we can get this done.”
Conklin also noted that for those who had their records expunged, had their convictions overturned, or received a pardon should not be excluded from holding public office.
Co-sponsors of the Conklin legislation include state Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta, Ryan Bizzarro, Frank Burns, Joseph Hohenstein, Stephen Kinsey, Bridget Kosierowski, Maureen Madden, Steven Malagari, Ben Sanchez, Peter Schweyer, Melissa Shusterman, Regina Young and Michael Sturla.
In Pennsylvania, it is estimated that one in four women and one in seven men experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner. It is recorded that at least 109 people die each year due to domestic violence.