UPDATE: Bipartisan Health Care Initiative Passes House

(Jun 12, 2019)

Over 400,000 Pennsylvanians receive affordable health insurance through the federal marketplace known as Healthcare.gov. I am proud to co-sponsor and support House Bill 3 , which would allow Pennsylvania to set up its own state health insurance exchange, as 12 other states have already done. Why? Our state is paying the federal government $88 million annually to run our insurance exchange for us. However, it could be run more efficiently “in-house” at a cost of $30-$35 million per year, keeping that money right here in Pennsylvania. The savings from this switch would then be redirected toward lowering premiums by 5 to 10 percent. This reduction in premiums is possible by establishing a reinsurance program to help pay for high-cost claims that drive up the overall price of insurance for everyone. Not only can we save Pennsylvanians money, but by running our exchange ourselves, we can make sure that its customer assistance and outreach is tailored to meet the needs of Pennsylvanians. Also, NO new taxes or money from the General Fund would be required. It’s a win for our residents’ health and our budget. The legislation, introduced jointly by the House Democratic and Republican leaders, has been approved unanimously by the House Insurance Committee, and I look forward to voting for it in the House chamber. Joe Ciresi Read more


Ciresi congratulates Pottstown Area School District on 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant

(Jun 07, 2019)

State Rep. Joe Ciresi congratulates the Pottstown Area School District on being awarded a 21 st Century Community Learning Center grant to help provide more opportunities for students. The grants, through the Pennsylvania Department of Education, may be used to establish and expand community learning centers, provide academic enrichment, youth development services and literacy programs. The federal funds are intended to provide students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools with additional services. Click here to read more from The Mercury about these grants. Read more


Ciresi introduces bill to allow school districts to choose whether to pay outside charter schools

(Jun 05, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 4 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi introduced legislation this week that would allow school districts to choose whether to pay charter schools that are outside their district boundaries and, therefore, outside of district oversight. Currently, school districts must pay for students from their district to attend a charter school, even if the charter school is located outside of the district’s boundaries and has not been authorized by the district. “This means that school districts are making state-mandated payments to charter schools without any ability to ensure those district students are receiving a quality education,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “It’s unfair to require districts to pay these schools when the districts have had no say in whether or not the particular charter school should be authorized in the first place.” House Bill 1571 would give the local school board of a sending school district the option of voting by June 30 of each year whether to make payments to a charter school outside the district’s boundaries and over which the district has no oversight. The bill was introduced with 18 bipartisan cosponsors. If the district chose not to pay and a student continued to attend the charter school outside the district boundaries, the student or his parents or guardians would be responsible for tuition. The student would also no longer be included in the local school district’s “average Read more


Ciresi announces school breakfast grants for Perkiomen Valley, Pottsgrove and Pottstown schools

(May 15, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 15 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi announced that schools in the Perkiomen Valley, Pottsgrove and Pottstown school districts will receive grants through Gov. Tom Wolf’s School Breakfast Initiative. Grants of up to $5,000 were awarded to 151 schools. The funds can be used to implement a school breakfast program using an “alternative serving method” like grab-and-go or breakfast in the classroom, or to expand an existing program. “We can’t expect children to learn if they’re hungry when they arrive at school. These grants make it easier for schools to get breakfast to all students, so they are ready to take on the day,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “I’m pleased to see our local school districts awarded these grants to help meet students’ needs.” The recipients are: Perkiomen Valley School District Schwenksville Elementary, $4,882 Pottsgrove School District West Pottsgrove Elementary School, $3,382 Pottsgrove Senior High School, $3,745 Ringing Rocks Elementary School, $3,402 Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School, $3,382 Pottstown School District Rupert Elementary School, $5,000 “Students are more focused and in a better position to learn when they start their days with a healthy, nutritious meal,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “However, we know that only about 52% of the students who receive a free or reduced lunch also receive Read more


Ciresi, Webster to host Spotted Lanternfly Prevention and Mitigation Forum

(May 08, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 8 – State Reps. Joe Ciresi and Joe Webster will hold a Spotted Lanternfly Prevention and Mitigation Forum from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at Perkiomen Valley High School, 509 Gravel Pike, Collegeville 19426. A panel of experts will discuss the spotted lanternfly, how to prevent it and how to get rid of it. Guests on the panel will include Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Richard Roush, dean of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. “We all need to be well informed in order to stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “I’m pleased to be able to help bring together expert panelists to help residents know what’s at stake.” Webster added: “We’ve seen the spotted lanternfly spreading throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. We wanted to host this forum to make it easy for community members to understand how they can help control this pest.” The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that can threaten Pennsylvania’s agricultural crops such as grapes, hops and hardwoods, and is affecting quality of life for residents in heavily infested areas, according to the Department of Agriculture. Montgomery County is part of a quarantine area designed to stop the movement of the spotted lanternfly to new areas and slow its spread within the quarantine. Anyone with questions can contact Ciresi’s office at 484-200-8265 Read more


Ciresi announces grants for Pottsgrove, Spring-Ford school districts, Pottstown Police

(May 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, May 1 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi announced state school safety grants were awarded to the Pottsgrove and Spring-Ford Area school districts, and a community violence prevention grant was awarded to the Pottstown Police Department. “It’s absolutely critical that we do everything we can to keep our kids safe. I’m pleased to see the school districts looking for ways to enhance safety, and I’m glad to see the state make these investments,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. The School Safety and Security Commission, part of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, awarded the grants Tuesday. The funds were included in the 2018-19 budget. The school districts were awarded School Safety and Security Grants. Pottsgrove School District was awarded $51,000. The district sought funds for work in the categories of safety and security assessments, security planning and technology, and student discipline management. Spring-Ford Area School District was awarded $386,192. The district sought funds in the categories of safety and security assessments; risk assessment, safety and violence prevention curriculum; student codes of conduct; violence prevention programs; districtwide safety, violence prevention, emergency preparedness and all hazards plans; and costs related to school resource officers or school police officers. The Pottstown Police Department also was awarded a $350,552 Community Violence Prevention/Reduction grant. Read more


Repairs coming for 422; Other traffic updates

(Apr 26, 2019)

Dear Neighbor, The Wolf Administration announced today that construction will begin next week on a project to rehabilitate pavement and repair seven structures along a five-mile section of Route 422 between the Royersford/Trappe and Sanatoga interchanges in Limerick and Lower Pottsgrove. Under this two-year improvement project, PennDOT’s contractor will mill, overlay and rehabilitate existing U.S. 422 pavement; perform bridge deck repairs, concrete and joint patching, sealing and drainage improvements; install new guide rail and rumble strips; and repair or replace damaged traffic signs along the corridor. Hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come. Earlier this month, I met with the governor to discuss transportation options for western Montgomery County, including the potential of trackless trams. The photo below shows Professor Peter Newman and Mark Cave – two experts in that field. I also wanted to share the following road work updates from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. PennDOT advises that you always allow extra time when driving through these areas, as slowdowns may occur. All of the work is weather-dependent. Pothole Repair Next Week Pothole repair will take place on the following roads in Montgomery County next week: U.S. 422 in Lower Providence, Upper Providence, Limerick, Lower Read more


Voter Registration Deadline is Monday, plus legislative updates

(Apr 22, 2019)

Monday, April 22, is the last day to register to vote before the May primary. Read more


Montgomery County road resurfacing to start this spring

(Apr 15, 2019)

I recently received notification from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation about work to repair and resurface 39 miles of state highway in Montgomery County, scheduled to start this spring. Read more


Ciresi tours Western Montgomery CTC to highlight STEM, job training

(Apr 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, April 12 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi toured Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center on Friday with Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak to highlight STEM and career and technical training. “I was thrilled to see the hands-on training students are getting in fields like robotics, automation, machining and more,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “It’s absolutely critical that we expose students to the careers and job opportunities that are in demand in Pennsylvania, and that we make job training available for adults as well. These are good-paying jobs that are necessary to keep our communities running, and I’ll continue to work on ways we can support these efforts.” Ciresi served on the board of directors of the Western Montgomery CTC during his years on the Spring-Ford Area School Board. Oleksiak highlighted Gov. Tom Wolf’s Statewide Workforce Education and Accountability proposal to provide an additional $10 million to expand access to education and training opportunities, apprenticeships and STEM careers. Read more here. Read more


Ciresi applauds state grants for local infrastructure projects

(Mar 26, 2019)

HARRISBURG, March 26 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi applauded the awarding of two state grants to local infrastructure projects through the Local Share Account. Royersford Borough was awarded $474,935 for safety and other improvements to its wastewater treatment system. Improvements include construction and replacement of a new catwalk and railings around sedimentation tanks, replacement of control panels at the Green Street pump station and more. The work will support existing operations and two new economic development projects. The Redevelopment Authority of Montgomery County was awarded $500,000 on behalf of The Lewis Group for infrastructure improvements on 20 acres in Royersford, for the Riverfront at Royersford, a proposed mixed-use development on a former industrial site. The funds will be used for erosion and sediment control, installation of electric and gas lines, and rehabilitation and relocation of water and sewer lines to the site. “These are necessary infrastructure improvements to help support economic development in our community, so I’m thrilled to see the state award this funding,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “I’m happy to support work that will help us create more good jobs and opportunity in our area.” The grants were approved Tuesday by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. Under Act 71, the Gaming Act, these Local Share Account grants in Montgomery County were available for the redevelopment, reuse or Read more


Spring 2019 Newsletter

(Mar 26, 2019)

Read updates from Harrisburg and around the 146th District! Read more


Ciresi to host REAL ID informational event

(Mar 21, 2019)

ROYERSFORD, March 21 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi will hold an informational event April 3 to help community members get the information they need on REAL ID. Ciresi has teamed up with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the event, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Limerick Township Building, 646 W. Ridge Pike, Limerick. REAL IDs are available for Pennsylvanians who want them. They are optional, but starting Oct. 1, 2020, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID. “REAL ID can be confusing, so I’m happy to bring resources to my district to help community members navigate the process,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. Anyone with questions should contact Ciresi’s district office at 484-200-8265. Read more


Ciresi invites residents to attend office grand opening

(Jan 30, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, is hosting a grand opening for his district office from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 12. The office is located at 301 N. Lewis Road in Royersford. “I encourage residents to come by and learn about the services that my office can help assist them,” Ciresi said. “My staff and I are here to help and I’m looking forward to hearing from residents about the issues that matter most to them.” Ciresi said that he and his staff will be available for questions and concerns, as well as for providing residents with information about state-related programs and services. “Our office, located in Park Towne Plaza next to the dollar store, can assist you with any questions or paperwork concerning Pennsylvania agencies. This includes birth and death certificates, unemployment compensation, food stamps, LIHEAP heating help, SEPTA senior ID cards, property tax rebates and much more,” he said. RSVPs are encouraged, but not required. Email mhays@pahouse.net or call 484-200-8265. Ciresi represents the 146 th Legislative District and is a first year legislator. He encourages residents to visit his website ( www.pahouse.com/Ciresi ) and to follow him on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/RepCiresi/ ) and Twitter @RepCiresi . Read more


Ciresi appointed to three House committees

(Jan 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced he was appointed to serve on three House committees: Commerce, Local Government and State Government. “I am eager to begin working on issues that affect my region and the entire commonwealth,” Ciresi said. “My appointment to these committees will allow me to fight for residents of Pennsylvania and the issues that matter to them, like boosting economic growth and development at the state and local levels and working toward a fair economy.” The Commerce Committee reviews legislation involving the banking and financial services industries. It has oversight of the Department of Banking, Department of Community and Economic Development, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Securities Commission and the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority. The Local Government Committee reviews bills that affect counties, cities, boroughs and townships. It has oversight of the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System. The State Government Committee reviews legislation on issues ranging from voting and elections to campaign finance reform. In addition, it oversees the departments of State and General Services, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, as well as the Governor’s Office, State Athletic Commission, among others. Ciresi represents the 146 th Legislative District and maintains a constituent services office at 301 N. Lewis Road in Royersford. He Read more


Ciresi: $70,000 in grants for local school districts

(Jan 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 17 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced two school districts in the 146 th Legislative District, Pottstown and Spring-Ford Area, each will receive a $35,000 education grant from the state. PAsmart targeted grants are awarded to local education agencies and their schools that have zero, or few, computer science offerings. The grants are designed to meet the growing needs of computer science programs in schools and prepare students with computer and technology skills that employers are seeking. “I’m proud that these two local school districts will be receiving grants to help implement computer science programs into their curriculum,” Ciresi said. “Computer science programs are becoming more and more critical to the success of our students when they enter the workforce.” According to Ciresi, the grants will fund teams of four or more educators who are interested in being trained on ways to implement computer science into their classrooms and curriculums. After the initial training, schools can request additional funding for equipment and products. A total of 221 school districts will be receiving grants across Pennsylvania. More information about the PAsmart grants can be found here . Ciresi encourages residents to contact him with any state-government related matter. He encourages residents to visit his website ( www.pahouse.com/Ciresi ) to learn more about services his office provides. His Read more


Pa. House Democrats clean up Valley Forge National Park amid federal government shutdown

(Jan 11, 2019)

KING OF PRUSSIA, Jan. 11 – Four freshman Democratic state representatives spent Thursday morning picking up trash at Valley Forge National Park, helping to keep the historic site beautiful during the ongoing federal government shutdown. State Reps. Joe Ciresi, Kristine Howard, Melissa Shusterman and Joe Webster were joined by the staffs of U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Chester/Berks, and state Sen. Katie Muth, D-Montgomery, at the National Memorial Arch. The newly sworn-in lawmakers said President Trump’s partial government shutdown means more than 800,000 hardworking Americans, including those who usually keep Valley Forge National Park looking spectacular, are furloughed and entering a financial bind. Friday, which was supposed to be a payday for federal employees, instead marks the record-tying 21 st day of the shutdown. For national parks, that means nobody on site to collect trash or service restrooms. So the four first-time Pa. representatives came together at Valley Forge to take a stand and lend some helping hands. “This is really about true public service and stepping up when there is a need in the community,” said Ciresi, who’s asked members of his staff to volunteer at least once a month with a service organization of their choice. “I didn’t run for office to sit at a desk in Harrisburg. Valley Forge is near all of our districts, so it’s up to us and all of you to help keep it beautiful.” Added Read more


Ciresi sworn in as state representative for first term

(Jan 01, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 1 – In the presence of his family in the Capitol today, state Rep. Joe Ciresi took the oath of office to begin his first term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where he will represent the 146 th Legislative District . Ciresi for the past 16 years has served as the director of sales and promotions for the Kimmel Center. Ciresi’s legislative priorities focus on fair funding for education and transportation, specifically the restoration of passenger train service between Pottstown and Philadelphia. “I want to thank the residents of Pennsylvania’s 146th district in Montgomery County for granting me the opportunity to serve them and advance our priorities,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “Over the last two months, I worked hard to learn as much as I could before taking my oath of office and I will learn even more as we get started this session. We hope to earn bipartisan support for bills to improve public education and transportation in the 146 th district.” His efforts will blend with the broader Plan for PA , which seeks to build a stronger economy for working families instead of serving special interests. Residents can visit his constituent service office at 301 N. Lewis Road, Park Towne Plaza in Royersford, Pa. 19468. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those interested also can visit his website, www.pahouse.com/Ciresi , which has links to state services and includes Read more


Veterans services

(Dec 01, 2018)

Below are a number of programs and services available to help veterans and their families. Please share this list with any veterans in your life. Veterans Temporary Assistance Temporary help is available for veterans and their beneficiaries who need aid for essentials such as shelter, fuel, clothing and food. If eligible, a veteran or their beneficiary can qualify for up to $1,600 in a 12-month period. The Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption Program Any honorably discharged veteran who is 100 percent disabled, a resident of Pennsylvania and has financial need can apply for this program, which provides real estate tax exemption on principal dwellings. Educational Gratuity Program Children of honorably discharged veterans with service-connected disabilities or children of veterans who died in service during a period of war or armed conflict qualify for up to $500 per semester/term to help defray educational costs. Military Family Relief Assistance Program Eligible Pennsylvania service members and their family members who have a direct and immediate financial need as a result of circumstances beyond their control can apply for up to $3,500 in grants. This program is available for active and past service members. Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Program Grants are available for veterans’ services organizations, non-profit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans, individual eligible counties and the State Read more


Heating aid via LIHEAP now open

(Dec 01, 2018)

The 2018-2019 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP – is accepting applications for heating assistance grants. Read more