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Conklin to introduce bill to hold constitutional convention

HARRISBURG, Jan. 24 – Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin announced today at a Capitol news conference that he will introduce a bill calling for a constitutional convention to be held in Pennsylvania.

Under Conklin’s bill, a referendum would be presented to voters on Nov. 8, 2011.

“A constitutional convention is the most important reform this Commonwealth could undertake at this time,” Conklin said. “It would fulfill the self-governance prophecy upon which this country was built, ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people.'”

The most recent Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention was held Dec. 1, 1967 through Feb. 28, 1968.  

“The latest convention that was held was limited in scope,” Conklin said. “The last time the Commonwealth took a comprehensive look at its constitution, Ulysses Grant was in the White House, Queen Victoria reigned in Britain, and the Wright Brothers’ first flight was still three decades in the future.

“To say we are overdue is an understatement.”

According to Conklin’s proposal, the convention would open on April 2, 2012 to elect officers and form committees. Elected delegates would be prohibited from serving in public office for two years after their term of service expired. They would receive a salary equal to legislative base pay and reimbursement for mileage and lodging. Lobbying of individual delegates by registered lobbyists would not be permitted and proposed constitutional changes would be presented to voters during the Nov. 6, 2012 general election.

“Fundamental changes to our government as a business should be reflected in revisions to our entire constitution,” Conklin said.

Attention News Editors: a print-quality photograph to accompany this news release can be downloaded at www.pahouse.com/mediacenter. If you experience technical difficulties, please call 717-787-7895.

Attention Radio News Directors: an actuality from Rep. Conklin is available by downloading the sound in .mp3 format by visiting www.pahouse.com/mediacenter.

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