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
Calling it a critical project to expand connectivity within the community and provide safe, ADA-compliant walking and biking trails in Upper Merion Township, state Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced a $1.25 million grant that he had strongly supported and advocated for.
The grant was approved today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority from the Multimodal Transportation Fund and will go towards the first two segments of the Crow Creek Trail project. Read more
KING OF PRUSSIA, Oct. 14 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced today that the Upper Merion Community Center Project has received a $1 million state grant.
Briggs said the funding will allow for renovations of the existing 64,000-square-foot-building, which formerly housed a Gold’s Gym, to continue its transformation into an active community center.
"This center will be a vibrant space that will meet the recreation and cultural needs of Upper Merion residents," Briggs said. "The community center will also serve the growing senior population in the area as the new home of the Upper Merion Senior Services Center."
The grant, which was awarded through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, will also allow for roadway and pedestrian renovations that will link the community center with the local elementary schools, middle schools and township parks.
The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a statewide economic development program that provides grants to local communities for the construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects.
In June, State Rep. Tim Briggs (D., Montgomery) introduced legislation directing the state Department of Education to study the relationship between teen sleep and school start times.
A year ago, New Jersey lawmakers passed a similar bill, and Gov. Christie signed it, ordering state education officials to determine the feasibility of later starts for secondary students. Public hearings were held last spring. Read more
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A state lawmaker says Pennsylvania’s high school students might do better if they didn’t have to wake up so early.
Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery) introduced legislation that would study the effects of a later start time to the school day.
His proposal, House Bill 2105, would direct the state Education Department to study the benefits and any negative impacts of a later start time. He says his bill wouldn’t implement the change, just study it. Read more
KING OF PRUSSIA, Sept. 8 – As the new school year gets under way, state Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, is urging his colleagues in the General Assembly to seriously consider his legislation that would study the effects of a later start time to the school day for high school students in Pennsylvania.
"Teens don’t get as much sleep as they should. While this is nothing new, and in fact science suggests their changing bodies are at least partly responsible, we should be doing everything in our power to allow them to get the 8½ - 9½ hours of sleep they need to be properly rested," Briggs said.
KING OF PRUSSIA, July 15 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, said today that he voted to complete the 2016-17 state budget with revenue to fund important investments made in education and programs to combat the state’s opioid abuse crisis because the plan would help put Pennsylvania on the right path moving forward.
The House and Senate voted to send Gov. Tom Wolf a conference committee report that raises the revenue necessary to pay for the approximate $31.6 billion spending plan passed on June 30. Lawmakers also passed a fiscal code and school code bill, pieces necessary to finalize the 2016-17 budget process.
"This budget is far from perfect, but it does make critical investments in education and human services that will put our state on the right path moving forward," Briggs said. "This was another difficult year financially for the state and, with it being an example of divided government where we have a Democratic governor and large Republican majorities controlling the House and Senate, to see a budget get completed without a protracted impasse like last year is encouraging."
The spending plan passed on June 30 included an extra $200 million for basic education, $30 million more for pre-K and Head Start and a $20 million increase for special education. It also included a 2.5 percent increase in higher education spending.
"The increase in education funding is a great win for our students and will go a long way in restoring the devastating cuts made by the Read more
Pa. state Rep. Tim Briggs joined fellow legislators and PennFuture, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Sierra Club to call on the General Assembly to stop the slew of environmentally dangerous legislation we’ve seen come before both the House and Senate recently. We must forge a sensible path forward that protects our environment for future generations and ensures Pennsylvania moves toward clean, renewable energy. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 7 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, today applauded the passage of a bill that would modernize and expand retail sales of wine and liquor in Pennsylvania and take other steps to increase consumer convenience.
The legislation would allow wine to be sold in more places, including grocery stores that already sell beer; it would give more flexibility to the Liquor Control Board to set prices and store hours across the state in ways that are better for consumers; and it would permit direct shipment of wine by licensed producers to consumers at their homes.
"Consumers throughout Pennsylvania expect modern conveniences from retailers including our state stores," Briggs said. "This legislation will give the LCB flexibility in terms of pricing and store hours to provide that convenience consumers are looking for while preserving nearly 5,000 family-sustaining jobs."
Briggs said the legislation is expected to generate up to $150 million a year in new revenue for the commonwealth while protecting the overwhelming number of well-paying jobs in the community.
"While this bill is far from perfect, I think it is a strong step in the right direction," Briggs said. "Consumer convenience is a good thing but only if we can continue to ensure responsible oversight of alcohol sales. I believe this bill does just that and I look forward to continue working with my colleagues on this issue."
House Bill 1690 must be signed by the governor before becoming law.
A Montgomery County lawmaker hopes to authorize a study that would examine the effects of a later start time for high schools in Pennsylvania.
The Office of State Representative Tim Briggs announced on Tuesday that the bill would be introduced shortly.
The study would examine whether a later start time would allow teenagers to get the required sleep to function better in the classroom.
"My legislation would study the issue of delaying the start time of the school day for high schools in Pennsylvania, not because it is what teenagers want but because it is most likely what is good for them," Briggs said. "Emerging science has proven what many of us have known for years, teenagers need more sleep than they are getting. The consequences of failing to do so are serious, so this idea is worthy of consideration and study." Read more
KING OF PRUSSIA, May 24 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced today that he intends to introduce legislation shortly that would direct the Pennsylvania Department of Education to conduct a study on the effects of implementing a later start time for secondary schools in the state.
Briggs legislation would require the Department of Education to consider the recent recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics as it studies the issues, benefits and options related to instituting a later start time to the school day for high schools throughout the state.
"My legislation would study the issue of delaying the start time of the school day for high schools in Pennsylvania, not because it is what teenagers want but because it is most likely what is good for them," Briggs said. "Emerging science has proven what many of us have known for years, teenagers need more sleep than they are getting. The consequences of failing to do so are serious, so this idea is worthy of consideration and study."
According to the AAP, adolescents who do not get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from physical and mental health problems, are at an increased risk of being involved in an automobile accident, and are more likely to decline in academic performance.
Briggs said he was grateful to a concerned group of parents of Lower Merion School District students, who have been encouraging the Lower Merion Board of School Directors to consider moving high school start times to Read more
KING OF PRUSSIA, May 17 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, today said that Lower Merion Township will receive more than $500,000 in state transportation funding to install and upgrade traffic signals.
“The Green Light-Go program is a terrific partnership between the state and municipalities,” Briggs said. "It was made possible by the Act 89 transportation plan, and these funds will go a long way toward improving traffic flow as well as public safety.”
Enacted in 2013, Act 89 created a comprehensive transportation funding plan to invest billions of dollars into improving the state’s transportation network. Briggs was a vocal supporter of the plan.
Lower Merion Township will receive $503,947 to install three adaptive traffic signals at the intersections of Lancaster Avenue and Old Wynnewood Road, Penn Road and Wynnewood Road, and Wynnewood Road and Williams Road. Funds will also be used to upgrade existing loop detectors with video detection systems at 45 intersections throughout the township.
“These three intersections are some of the busiest areas of the township, and my office is continuously working with the township on how to ensure safety of both drivers and pedestrians,” Briggs said. “I’m glad that the state was able to step in and help alleviate some of the costs for these important projects.”
The program requires matching funds from municipalities.
Briggs also said that this year’s application period is now closed but should reopen later this year and be Read more
Pa. state Rep. Tim Briggs thanks his House colleagues for voting in favor of H.R. 889, a resolution designating May 14, 2016, as Apraxia Awareness Day in Pennsylvania.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a neurological disorder where children have problems making speech sounds because the brain has difficulty planning the motor and muscle movements needed for speech. Read more
KING OF PRUSSIA, May 10 – In recognition of May as National Water Safety Month, State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, has introduced legislation that would strengthen regulations for public swimming pools and bathing places in Pennsylvania.
House Bill 2056 would require the Department of Health to update regulations periodically to be consistent with the Model Aquatic Health Code prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"I was shocked to learn that regulations affecting public pools in Pennsylvania haven’t been updated since the 1970s. It is hard to think of anything that hasn’t been updated in that long, let alone crucial public health standards," Briggs said. "Once enacted into law, my legislation will allow Pennsylvanians to once again enjoy a day at the pool without worry about what microbes or pollutants are lurking in the water."
The model code, which is updated about every two years, is intended to implement best practices and replace the patchwork of regulations that exists throughout the country. The code covers safety, preventive maintenance, health hazards and employee training for pools and public bathing places.
"Swimming pools may seem innocuous, but if they are improperly cared for they can be tainted with a variety of contaminants ranging from fecal matter to the bacteria that can lead to Legionnaires’ Disease," Briggs said. "The public has the right to expect safety and sanitary Read more
Forms for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for the 2015 tax year are available at my district office – and my staff is ready to help you file yours for free ! The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded and the maximum standard rebate is $650. Claimants must reapply for rebates every year because they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of deceased claimants who lived at least one day in 2015 and meet all other eligibility criteria. The oft-extended deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2015 is June 30, 2016, and the rebates normally are distributed by the Deparment of Revenue beginning July 1. So, the sooner you file, the sooner you will receive your money. Read more
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