KING OF PRUSSIA, May 18 – State Rep. Tim Briggs today announced the approval of a $50,000 Keystone Communities grant to continue improving building façades in the Ardmore Business District. The project will help complete at least 10 façades. “Congratulations to Ardmore Initiative for this deserving grant award,” said Briggs, D-Montgomery. “Small-business development is a team effort, beginning with the entrepreneurs who pour their lives’ work into their trades, but also for the benefit of the community at large. “Small businesses comprise a huge economic driver not just for our region, but across the state. Ardmore’s accomplishments reflect highly on our community.” Administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Keystone Communities program is designed to encourage the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors in the community, supporting local initiatives that grow and stabilize neighborhoods and communities; ensure social and economic diversity; and enhance the overall quality of life for residents. Read more
HARRISBURG, May 11 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, today announced that Upper Merion Township has been awarded a $107,968 state grant to replace traffic signals at 24 intersections with LED lighting. The grant is from the Green Light-Go Program, which provides state funds to operate and maintain traffic signals along critical and designated corridors on state and local highways. "This funding is a big help to the municipality because the program only requires a 20 percent match this year, compared to previous years in which Upper Merion would have had to put up half of the money for the project," Briggs said. "I voted last year to improve the Green Light-Go Program, and our area is benefitting from that." Upper Merion Township replaced traffic signals with LED versions at 24 intersections along Dekalb Pike, Gulph Road, Henderson Road, Valley Forge Road and Swedesford road corridors. "Converting traffic signals to LED is a win-win for communities. Not only are they more energy efficient, they are much longer lasting, lasting 50 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs. So, they save the municipality money with reduced electricity and maintenance costs, and their increased reliability helps increase traffic safety." As a member of the House Transportation Committee, Briggs also supported Act 89 of 2013, which created the Green Light-Go Program. In all, 94 municipalities received $33 million to support the costs of Read more
HARRISBURG, April 25 – Members of the House PA SAFE Caucus today expressed opposition to firearm pre-emption legislation that would make it easier for gun groups such as the NRA to sue Pennsylvania municipalities at taxpayers’ expense. House Bill 671 would permit individuals to sue municipalities they feel have “adversely affected” their firearm rights. The bill would put municipalities on the hook for legal expenses if the individual is successful, but would not require those taking legal action to cover expenses if the municipality prevails. The bill would also extend to outside organizations those individuals are members of, meaning organizations like the NRA could file suits. “This legislation would dangerously inflate Pennsylvania’s firearm pre-emption laws, giving extraordinary power to groups that could file frivolous lawsuits for their own gain. And our taxpayers would be the ones stuck with the bill, no matter the outcome,” said state Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery , who co-chairs the PA SAFE Caucus. “We shouldn’t open our municipalities up to this kind of threat, nor should we take control from municipalities to provide for the safety of their residents.” Members of the SAFE Caucus said there are better ways for the legislature to be looking at the issue of firearms. “Instead of going out of our way to make it easier for the gun lobbyists to sue local municipalities that seek to Read more
When Donald Trump ran for president he promised to “drain the swamp” and change the way things are done in Washington. He claimed that the government is “rigged.” And I agree, Washington is rigged, rigged by the corporate interests and wealthy few, and we need to make government work again for working families and the middle class. President Trump was right that we need to change the way things are done in government. Instead of secrecy and backroom deals, our elected officials should be open and transparent. But on Tax Day, when millions of Pennsylvanians are dutifully filing their income tax returns, we’re reminded that Donald Trump is the first presidential candidate in 40 years to refuse to publicly disclose his. And despite repeated promises to do so once in office, President Trump still will not grant the public access to his full tax returns. So I have joined other legislators across the country in proposing legislation that would require all presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to appear on the ballot. My legislation, House Bill 222, would require U.S. presidential candidates to make their five most recent available years of Federal income tax returns public to be eligible to appear on the primary ballot in Pennsylvania. Additionally, candidates would be required to provide written consent for the Secretary of the Commonwealth to publicly disclose their returns in order to be listed on the Read more
A tax amnesty period for Pennsylvanians will run from April 21, 2017 through June 19, 2017. During this limited 60-day period, the state Department of Revenue will waive all penalties and half of the interest on eligible tax delinquencies for anyone who participates in the 2017 Tax Amnesty Program. For more information, please click here . Read more
HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced today a proposal to protect Pennsylvanian’s online privacy by restoring part of the privacy protections recently stripped by congress and President Donald Trump. Briggs’ legislation is part of a package of commonsense privacy and consumer protection bills designed by House Democrats to mirror the recently repealed Federal Communications Commission internet privacy protection rules. “Republicans in Washington recently voted to sell your private information to the highest bidder and it’s up to Pennsylvania to restore those protections,” Briggs said. “My proposal, and others proposed by my colleagues, would prevent big companies from exploiting your personal information and online activity for private profit while requiring them to notify you should a breach occur.” Briggs’ proposal would require internet service providers and telecommunications companies to notify their customers when a data breach of customer personal data occurs and to establish, implement and maintain safeguards reasonably designed to ensure the security of personal data of its customers. “Online users have a right to know when their sensitive information has been compromised. This bill helps to fix Washington’s failure to protect consumers by holding service providers accountable for securing sensitive data and requiring them to notify you in a timely manner if Read more
Applicants now have until July 1st each year to apply for the LAI to attend Valley Forge Military College in the fall. There is no difference in process or award amounts between 1st-round nominees and 2nd-round nominees. What is the PA Legislative Appointment Initiative? The Pennsylvania Legislative Appointment Initiative (LAI) currently allows each of Pennsylvania’s 203 Representatives, and 50 Senators, to appoint a student from their district as the Commonwealth Scholar for guaranteed admission and a guaranteed partial scholarship to Valley Forge Military College — The Military College of Pennsylvania. A student awarded the Legislative Appointment Initiative Scholarship may receive the award for up to two years. Am I eligible to apply? The Legislative Scholarship is only available to Pennsylvania residents only at Valley Forge Military College, The Military College of Pennsylvania. The minimum academic requirements are a cumulative high school GPA of 2.50 (on a 4.0 scale) and a combined verbal and math SAT score of 1000 (or an ACT score of 17). You can apply directly through your local state representative’s or senator’s office or you can apply for the program by applying first to Valley Forge. You must be a Pennsylvania resident. You also must be a legal resident of the district from where you apply. When can I apply? You can apply at any time during your senior year up until July 1st of the year you wish to attend. Read more
"Jennifer Aniston did WHAT to her hair?" screams the headline.
Below the headline is a photo of the actress with a military buzz cut, along with a quote about how she'd shorn her iconic blonde locks for a role.
The online article, printed on handouts that Alexis Gerard has distributed to her class at Clemente Middle School in Germantown, Maryland, is startling. It's irresistible.
It's fake. Read more
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Pennsylvanians struggling to pay home heating bills will now have until April 7 to apply for financial help through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The federally funded program was slated to end March 31, 2017, but the Wolf Administration decided that given the unpredictable weather this winter, Pennsylvania would extend the program, giving people extra time to apply for funding. “Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable were able to heat their homes this winter because of LIHEAP,” said Governor Wolf. “By keeping the program open longer, we hope to provide additional assistance to those who are struggling to keep their family warm.” LIHEAP offers assistance in the form of a cash grant sent directly to the utility company or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat. Some households are eligible for both types of assistance. Cash grants are based on household income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. In addition to proof of income and household size, applicants must provide a recent bill or a statement from their fuel dealer verifying their customer status and the type of fuel used. “Everyone deserves a safe, warm home. I encourage Pennsylvanians to apply today to ensure they have the necessary resources to stay warm as the climate continues to be unpredictable,” said Department of Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 27 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, introduced H.B. 661 today, which would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to establish a media literacy curriculum for Pennsylvania’s students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12, in an effort to combat the rise of fake news on social media during the 2016 General Election. “This legislation would prepare Pennsylvania’s students with the critical thinking skills and knowledge to evaluate the accuracy of news stories on social media and other sources for themselves,” Briggs said. “During this past election cycle, it’s undeniable that we saw a rise in fake news on social media that put misinformation out into the public sphere for the purpose of misleading voters.” If passed, H.B. 661 would require the Department of Education, in consultation with the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, to develop a media literacy curriculum within 6 months of the bill’s effective date. According to the bill, the curriculum may include, but is not limited to: developing critical thinking skills; understanding how media messages shape culture and society; identifying targeted marketing strategies; naming techniques of persuasion; recognizing bias and misinformation; discovering parts of a story that are not being told; evaluating media messages based on personal experiences and skills. “It is imperative the next generation of Read more
Citing the rise of fake news on social media during the 2016 General Election, state Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, is working to craft legislation that would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to draft a media literacy curriculum for Pennsylvanian students. Read more
A Pennsylvania lawmaker is seeking co-sponsors for legislation that would provide media literacy for students throughout grade and high school in an effort to fight the effects of fake news.
State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, introduced a memo Monday about the potential legislation. The bill would require a media literacy course to be added to social sciences curriculums for grades 1 through 12. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 26 – State Rep. Tim Briggs on Wednesday introduced legislation that would require U.S. presidential candidates to make their tax returns public in order to be eligible to appear on the Pennsylvania ballot. House Bill 222 seeks to make transparent a presidential candidate’s financial interests before being elected to the highest office in the nation. “The need for this tradition is clear,” Briggs said. “Many Americans, not to mention the national security community, want to know whether presidential candidates have personal or business interests that could undermine their commitment to act in the best interests of the United States should they become president. “More importantly, all Americans, whether they supported the president's election or not, must know whether there are any financial interests that may affect his or her decision making while serving.” Briggs’ introduction of the bill follows President Donald Trump’s recent reversal on his pledge to release his tax returns following what he described while campaigning as a routine audit. “President Trump’s refusal to release a most basic, yet vital, piece of information could be categorized as a text-book bait and switch,” Briggs said. “One or more states’ refusal to place a candidate on the ballot, on the other hand, could easily prevent something like this from ever happening again. All public Read more
Pennsylvania received a limited extension through June 6 to update driver’s licenses to meet requirements under the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, but the General Assembly must still act quickly to comply. Without action, Pennsylvanians could be denied access to federal facilities and eventually even airline travel. Specifically, Pennsylvanians will need federally approved ID for air travel beginning Jan. 22, 2018, and with the limited extension we will need a federally approved ID to access federal buildings, nuclear power plants and military bases beginning June 7, 2017. Rest assured, I am following this issue very closely and am doing everything possible to ensure that we pass comprehensive changes to comply with the federal government. Please visit https://www.dhs.gov/real-id/pennsylvania for the most up to date information on the requirements and remember that my office can help you obtain a birth certificate or driver’s license. Read more
Americans for the Arts and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) today presented the Public Leadership in the Arts Award for State Arts Leadership to the four founding chairs of the Pennsylvania Legislative Arts & Culture Caucus—Sen. Patrick Browne (R-16, representing part of Lehigh County), Sen. Jay Costa (D-43 representing part of Allegheny County), Rep. Tim Briggs (D-149, representing part of Montgomery County), and Rep. Stan Saylor (R-94, representing part of York County). Read more
State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, took the oath of office today to continue to represent residents of the 149th Legislative District in Montgomery County for his fifth term. Read more
All dogs three months or older must be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year. Violators can be cited with a maximum fine of $300 per violation plus court costs. An annual license is $8.50 and a lifetime license is $51.50. If the animal is spayed or neutered, the annual fee is $6.50 and lifetime is $31.50. Discounts are available to older adults and people with disabilities. The small license fee helps the millions of dogs in the state by funding the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. Dog licenses are available from your local county treasurer and other licensing agents. Reasons for dog licensing: It’s the law. All dogs three months or older must have a current license. If your dog gets lost, a license is the best way to get him back. A license helps animal control and shelters identify your dog and get him back home safely. The cost of a license is less than the penalty for being caught without one. Owners who fail to license their dogs could face a fine of up to $300 for each unlicensed dog. License fees support animal control. The annual fee you pay to license your dog helps keep shelters running and supports the work of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, which is responsible for ensuring the welfare of dogs, regulating dangerous dogs and overseeing annual licensing and rabies vaccinations. Read more
As family and friends decorate their homes and gather to celebrate the holidays, Pennsylvania Fire Commissioner Tim Solobay and Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller offer some tips to ensure everyone stays safe this holiday season. Read more
The myCOMPASS PA online app is now available for download on the Apple and Google Play app stores for use on iPhones and Android smartphones. Among other features, myCOMPASS PA will allow individuals to take photos of necessary documents and upload them directly to their case files through a secure, safe environment. Other key features include: Users will be able to view benefits details after logging in to their myCOMPASS account; Individuals can view their processing status of their applications; and Update case-related information such as address, phone number, email address, and voter registration. In the two weeks after it launched in the Apple store, 4,669 users downloaded the app with 13,680 clients viewing the status of their benefits, 1,568 documents were uploaded, and the app received a 5-star rating. myCOMPASS PA is estimated to save an average of $3.2 million per year by reducing mail processing time, manual information entry, call center calls, postage and printing. Read more
I wanted to let you know that Montgomery County is hosting a free, one-time electronic waste collection event for Montgomery County residents from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Montgomery County Community College Blue Bell Campus’ Central Lot, 340 DeKalb Pike. Please enter at 595 Cathcart Road. Additional information can be found at the county’s website here . In case of bad weather, call 610-278-3618 to find out if the event has been canceled. They will collect televisions, computers, printers, cables, servers, stereos, video games and systems, cell phones, microwaves and small refrigerators. They will not accept items containing Freon or liquid, full-size fridges, batteries, medical equipment, e-cigarettes, light bulbs or cassette tapes. Any data on a computer will be destroyed. I hope you find this information useful, and if you have any questions about state environmental or recycling issues, please contact my office. Read more
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