CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced he will introduce legislation that would bar certain individuals from holding public office.

The bill, if passed, would bar anyone convicted of domestic violence from the state’s legislature.

This proposed legislation would also deny anyone previously convicted from holding any public office of trust or profit in state government.

Conklin mentioned the bill would enact a zero-tolerance policy for anyone convicted, and said this bill would ensure that victims and their families are put first.

“What type of individual would hurt somebody that’s lesser than they are. Or to do harm on someone that they say they love,” Conklin said. “I don’t believe that type of individual should be serving as a legislator to make laws.”

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In the last year, 109 Pennsylvanians died as a direct result of domestic violence. Conklin says if this legislation passes, it would help reduce that by ensuring lawmakers with integrity to act in the public good are in office.

“The impact is staggering. It’s a staggering plague on our community,” said Anne Ard, Executive Director at Centre Safe.

Ard said the best way to support victims of abuse is to start by listening to victims close to you. You can find more information on resources at Centre Safe’s website.

Conklin plans to propose this legislation soon.