Ciresi: Budget invests in local schools and moving PA forward

(Jul 07, 2022)

HARRISBURG, July 7 – Having voted in favor of a state budget bill this evening, state Rep. Joe Ciresi said that it earned his vote because of new robust investments in education, mental health care and property tax relief. Pennsylvania’s 2022-23 budget as proposed in S.B. 1100 also sets out to reduce the Corporate Net Income Tax rate and funds area schools at record levels, helping address systematic underfunding, supporting expanded programming, and allowing for property tax relief. Ciresi, D-Montgomery, said, “Pennsylvania took a big step forward today with major investments in our communities that we can be proud of. This product of bipartisan negotiations delivers help for our underfunded schools, relief for our property taxpayers, and investments in boosting our economy and creating high-quality jobs for years, paying dividends for many years to come.” Locally, the budget increases funding for Montgomery County school districts, including $7.5 million in increased funding for school districts in the 146th Legislative District: Pottstown School District: $3,899,078 . Spring-Ford Area School District: $1,843,226 . Pottsgrove School District: $848,859 . Perkiomen Valley School District: $902,489 . “By expanding ‘Level Up’ funding and adding on substantial funding Read more

 

Ciresi introduces legislation to expand Property Tax and Rent Rebate program

(Jun 30, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – To address the impact of rising inflation and high property taxes, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today introduced legislation (H.B. 2721) that would significantly expand the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, which provides relief to certain financially vulnerable Pennsylvanians, including seniors. “Pennsylvania residents are struggling to afford basic necessities, including housing, due to rising inflation,” Ciresi said. “While inflation has risen, the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program’s stagnant income limits have prevented increasing numbers of individuals from accessing this critical lifeline. My legislation will update income requirements and other provisions of the PTRR so more individuals in need can receive assistance and property tax relief from this vital program.” The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows or widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 and older. The current income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. Ciresi’s legislation would expand PTRR by: Increasing income limits for homeowners and renters to $50,000 and $25,000, respectively, recognizing the impact inflation has had since the last increase in 2008. Permanently reinstating a Read more

 

Ciresi: Provide financial relief to Pennsylvanians by freezing the state gas tax

(Jun 29, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 29 – To provide immediate relief to Pennsylvania’s motor vehicle drivers from high gas prices, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, believes that legislation to support a freeze on the gas tax for the rest of the year should be included in the 2022-23 state budget given the current budgetary surplus. “Inflationary gas prices are hitting Pennsylvanians hard, with many people struggling to pay for the gas needed so they can go about their lives, like commuting to work, picking their kids up from school, and going grocery shopping,” Ciresi said. “I am advocating that the two bills I am co-sponsoring that would support a freeze on the gas tax should be included in this year’s state budget to provide immediate financial relief to Pennsylvanians. With our significant budget surplus this year, we have a unique opportunity to use it to make sure there’s no negative impact on transportation funding.” House Bill 2453 , the Gas Tax Holiday bill, would provide a six-month pause on the state gas tax. House Bill 2506 would suspend the state’s gasoline and diesel tax until the end of 2022. Both bills are before the House Transportation Committee. “It’s time to take action on behalf of working Pennsylvanians and move these crucial bills out of the Transportation Committee and into the state budget,” Ciresi said. “This budget surplus is precisely meant to be used to lessen the Read more

 

Ciresi and James introduce legislation to modernize dance teacher certification in Pennsylvania

(Jun 15, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 15 – State Reps. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, and R. Lee James, R-Venango, today announced the introduction of their legislation to create a direct path for dance teacher certification, H.B. 2678. Under current regulations, Pennsylvania dance teachers cannot be directly certified in dance and, instead, are certified in communications or physical or vocational education. According to the legislators, the current certification process has had a negative impact on dance teacher preparedness, continuing education and Pennsylvania school districts’ dance programs. “We introduced this legislation to modernize dance teacher certification in Pennsylvania by enabling dance instructors to be certified in their discipline and ensure our dance teacher certification standards align with national standards,” Ciresi said. “We owe it to our dance teachers, students and school district dance programs to have the PA Department of Education establish a direct path for new dance teacher certification, requiring discipline-specific education in dance for new dance teachers, just as we do for instructors in music, visual art, math and science.” Critics have faulted both the fact that dance teachers’ certification does not have any dance-specific content and that the current different paths to dance teacher certification create undue confusion, promote work-arounds, and make it unreasonably difficult for dance educators to pursue Read more

 

Montgomery County organizations awarded $494K in state grants

(Jun 08, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Reps. Joe Ciresi, Liz Hanbidge and Joe Webster, all D-Montgomery, today announced that three local children and youth welfare organizations would be receiving $494,102 in state grants to support substance use treatment services and education programs and child abuse victims’ programs in Montgomery County from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The state representatives all expressed how meaningful these funds would be in improving lives in vulnerable or critical situations in the county. “There are many people who are struggling here in Montgomery County -- who desperately need assistance -- and thanks to this funding to these amazing organizations, will get the help they deserve,” Ciresi said. “No one is more vulnerable than a child, and so I am very glad that the Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County has received $199,836 to expand its trauma therapy services and implement a new telehealth trauma therapy program to support underserved victims of child abuse in Montgomery County.” “Addressing the root cause of substance abuse and trauma through comprehensive, evidence-based therapy results in more lives being restored and more success stories being written,” Hanbidge said. “These grant dollars will be earmarked toward ensuring those who need assistance are able to get the high-quality, timely help they Read more

 

Ciresi outlines plan to relieve school cost pressures, lower property taxes

(Jun 07, 2022)

ROYERSFORD, June 7 – A long-time advocate for a strong public school system, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, joined other legislators, school superintendents and board members, and education advocates on Monday to advocate for charter school and school funding reform to stem property tax increases in Pennsylvania. Ciresi is proposing relieving cost pressures on public schools and lowering property taxes through changes in how school funding is distributed, reforming the charter school law, and making a significant one-time investment toward school pension liabilities. Ciresi has introduced legislation to give public schools the support they need and provide meaningful property tax relief: H.B. 1595 would fully implement the fair funding formulas for basic and special education, better aligning funding to current needs. H.B. 272 would enact comprehensive charter school reform , saving $199 million by setting a data-based statewide cyber charter tuition rate and $174 million by funding special education in charter schools through the tiered, need-based formula used for public schools. According to Ciresi, if these two bills were enacted and the savings directed toward lowering property taxes, taxes would be reduced by $272 per household for the Perkiomen Valley School District, $279 for the Spring-Ford Area School District, $183 for the Pottsgrove School District, and $6,993 for the Pottstown School District. According to the school Read more

 

Ciresi to hold free Senior Fair June 16 at Pottsgrove Middle School

(Jun 03, 2022)

ROYERSFORD, June 3 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced that his office will hold a free Senior Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 16 at Pottsgrove Middle School, 1351 N. Hanover St., Pottstown. “I wanted to bring together in one place state and community resources that our seniors would find helpful -- everything from health, wellness and medical services to information about local entertainment,” Ciresi said. “I’m proud to partner with the Tri-County Active Adult Center to provide our seniors with the information and the tools they need to live even fuller lives.” The free senior fair, co-hosted with the Tri-County Active Adult Center, will feature more than 50 vendors to provide information on local senior programs, SEPTA Senior Fare Cards, senior volunteer opportunities, home health care options, Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program information, estate planning, and veterans programs. Questions about the Senior Fair should be directed to Ciresi’s office at 484-200-8265 . Read more

 

Ciresi presents citations to Pennsylvania’s longest married couple

(May 27, 2022)

POTTSTOWN, May 27 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today presented Martha and Chester Pish citations from U.S. Rep. Madeline Dean and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey in recognition of their 80th wedding anniversary. “This week, I rose on the floor of the House to recognize the love of local couple Chester and Martha Pish,” Ciresi said. “Chester and Martha are a staple of the Pottstown community and have been married for over 80 years, making them the longest-married couple in Pennsylvania. Their joy in each other, in their family and in their life here in Pottstown is an example to us all of lives well lived.” The Pishes were married on May 23, 1942, at St. Philomena’s Roman Catholic Church in East Lansdowne, PA. They were married shortly after Mr. Pish was deployed in the Navy during World War II. Together they have three children — Albert Frank, Christina Elizabeth and Anita Alyce -- and have seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, with two more on the way. Mr. and Mrs. Pish were active in their community, attending Saint Aloysius Church and running the parish’s BINGO game for 23 years. While Mrs. Pish volunteered at the local hospital and YMCA, Mr. Pish held several positions with the IMC organization. Mr. Pish still enjoys gardening and Mrs. Pish continues to cook and bake. Ciresi had previously presented the Pishes a citation in recognition of their 77th wedding anniversary. A parade in their honor that was to Read more

 

Senior Fair

(May 25, 2022)

Senior Fair Join us as we celebrate seniors with this free senior fair, co-hosted with the Tri-County Active Adult Center! More than 50 vendors will be present to provide information on health, wellness, medical services, and local entertainment. Stop by and stay informed of the latest programs and resources! This free event includes: Senior Programs from around the Tri County Area SEPTA Senior Fare Cards Senior Volunteer Opportunities Home Health Care Options Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Information Estate Planning And much more! Pottsgrove Middle School 1351 North Hanover Street, Pottstown, PA 19464 Thursday, June 16 10am – 2pm Please call (484) 200-8265 with any questions. Read more

 

Ciresi secures $150K grant to repair pedestrian bridge in Pottstown’s Memorial Park

(May 10, 2022)

HARRISBURG, May 10 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, secured a grant award of $150,000 to assist Pottstown in repairing a pedestrian bridge at Memorial Park in the borough from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “Full use of Pottstown’s Memorial Park has been unfortunately hindered since the 2019 destruction of its pedestrian bridge due to major flooding,” Ciresi said. “Thanks to this $150,000 grant and support from DCNR, the pedestrian bridge will be restored, the two halves of Memorial Park divided by the Manatawny Creek will be reunited, and Pottstown residents and visitors will once again be able to enjoy all that the park has to offer.” The 78-acre Memorial Park serves as the borough’s core park and most visited recreation facility that includes several baseball fields, BMX bicycle racing and skateboarding areas, a dog park, picnic areas, and trails. “I am grateful to DCNR for this grant award as Pottstown will be able to additionally stabilize 200 feet of stream bank, implement a riparian forest buffer, improve ADA access and make other critical improvements to ensure the environmental and structural safety of the bridge without placing an undue fiscal burden on the municipal Park & Recreation Department’s budget,” Ciresi said. DCNR provides grants to myriad projects across the commonwealth annually, including a $70 million investment during Read more

 

Hearing explores what happens without PA School Audit Bureau

(May 04, 2022)

HARRISBURG, May 4 – During a hearing today, lawmakers explored the impact of the auditor general’s closing of its School Audit Bureau, which laid off employees, and unilaterally decided school compliance audits would no longer happen in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Ciresi applauds three county unanimous votes for the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority

(Apr 27, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 27 – A longtime advocate for transportation improvements in southeastern Pennsylvania, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, is applauding recent unanimous votes by the boards of commissioners in Chester, Berks and Montgomery counties to form the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority, which is an important next step in restoring passenger train service between Philadelphia and Reading, including Pottstown. The Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority will be the regional coordinating body between Berks, Chester, and Montgomery counties for the restoration of train service through the execution of contracts, selection of a service operator, and seeking and obtaining state and federal funding. “Bringing the train back to Pottstown has long been a top priority of mine because it would help unlock far-reaching economic and social benefits for our region,” Ciresi said. “With the approval of this rail authority, we get closer to this goal, which will benefit our region economically and socially. Restoring the ‘Reading Railroad’ of Monopoly fame would increase economic development, support downtown revitalization efforts, relieve traffic congestion, provide access to a range of cultural/educational/dining venues throughout the region, create job opportunities, boost property values, provide new transportation options, and attract young professionals and families to relocate in our communities.” According to a Read more

 

Ciresi announces $500,000 grant for stormwater arch repair in Pottstown

(Apr 22, 2022)

“Aging and collapsing stormwater arches in Pottstown are a top priority of mine and key to Pottstown's continued economic revitalization," Ciresi said. "I am glad to see this state funding awarded, and I will continue to fight for investment in this pressing and vitally important infrastructure need." Read more

 

Ciresi introduces ‘Click to Cancel’ legislation for recurring subscriptions

(Apr 13, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 13 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, this week introduced legislation (H.B. 2511-- Click to Cancel) that would increase consumer protections by requiring service providers to provide notification before each automatic renewal of a service, to be transparent about renewal terms, and to allow consumers to cancel subscription services exclusively online if they initially subscribed over the internet. “I’ve introduced legislation, ‘Click to Cancel,’ that would amend the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act to make consumers aware of their active subscriptions and their renewal terms and empower them to easily cancel their subscriptions,” Ciresi said. “I firmly believe that subscriptions should be transparent and easy to understand, and that consumers should be able to cancel them as easily as they can begin a subscription. “The situation too many consumers face today is that their online contracts often automatically renew without them being notified or even aware. Making matters worse is that some subscription services require consumers to jump through hoops just to cancel their subscription, such as by forcing them to call or speak to an online representative before they can end the service. “When it is passed, consumers in Pennsylvania will be better protected from companies’ subscription practices that have burdened them with fees for subscriptions they no longer want or Read more

 

Ciresi announces $130K grant for Ridge Pike sewer extension in Limerick

(Apr 06, 2022)

HARRISBURG, April 6 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced that he secured a $130,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for sewer extension design and permitting in Limerick Township. “After a lot of hard work, I’m very happy that state funding has been awarded to extend public sewer access to the western portion of Ridge Pike in Limerick Township,” Ciresi said. “Following communication with Aqua PA, which owns the sewer system, to find out what they needed from the state to make the extension happen, I worked with DCED to secure the grant money required to finally, after decades, make real progress on extending public sewer access to this area. This grant is an excellent example of local service providers and state government coming together to achieve a solution that will benefit the whole community for years to come.” “Assisting the needs of our constituents is a continued high-priority objective of the board and with this grant from DCED, the township will be able to support Limerick property owners along Ridge Pike who are dealing with the burdens of failing on-lot septic systems,” said Limerick Board of Supervisors Chairman Kenneth W. Sperring Jr. “We thank Representative Ciresi for his support of this important project. These grant funds will not only provide for the engineering design of sanitary sewer Read more

 

Ciresi offers condolences on the passing of Trappe Fire Chief & PSP Trooper Branden Sisca

(Mar 21, 2022)

“Fire Chief Sisca died as he lived — in service to others. Fire Chief Sisca’s death is an awful reminder to us how our law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to protect ours. My prayers are with the Sisca family during this terrible time.” Read more

 

Ciresi introduces legislation on clear signage for land development projects

(Mar 08, 2022)

HARRISBURG, March 8 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, introduced legislation to create signage requirements for subdivision and land development. The legislation would amend the Municipalities Planning Code to ensure that posted signs meet minimum size standards, are conspicuously posted, and include required information on the development and construction schedule. This signage would be required for land undergoing subdivision and land development. “Currently, property developers can provide ‘notice’ with nothing more than an 8½-inch by 11-inch sheet of paper, which is often easy to miss for anyone passing by and leaving many residents unaware of development happening near them,” Ciresi said. “My bill would guarantee more transparency with specific requirements for posted signage on property under development, giving residents a better understanding of what is happening in their community.” The legislation has been introduced as H.B. 2375 and referred to the House Local Government Committee. Read more

 

Advocates urge lawmakers to get proactive about making Pennsylvania schools safer

(Feb 16, 2022)

On the week of the fourth anniversary of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, parents of students lost during that tragedy joined lawmakers for a joint hearing with the PA House and Senate Democratic Policy Committees to explore how to prevent similar tragedies from happening in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Ciresi announces nearly $190K in fire and EMS company grants

(Feb 10, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 10 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi announced today that the fire and emergency medical services companies in the 146 th District have been awarded $189,975 through the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program. “Our fire and EMS companies daily put their lives on the line to save ours, especially during the pandemic,” Ciresi said. “As our fire and EMS services have suffered doubly from the impact of both the pandemic and weakened financial circumstances, they will be bolstered by the injection of these necessary funds so they can continue providing essential and often lifesaving services to our communities.” The fire and EMS companies in the 146 th District that have been awarded grants in the following amounts are: Empire Hook & Ladder Co. 1 – $15,000 Friendship HLH&A Inc. – $8,325 Goodwill Steam Fire Engine Co. No. 1 – $23,325 Limerick Fire Department – $30,000 North End Fire Co. No. 1 of Pottstown – $15,000 Perkiomen Township Fire Co. 1 – $15,000 Philadelphia Steam Fire Engine Co. 1 – $15,000 Ringing Hill Fire Co. – $15,000 Royersford Fire Department – $15,000 Sanatoga Fire Co. – $15,000 Trappe Fire Co. No. 1 – $23,325 “Fire companies Read more

 

Ciresi and Shusterman introduce legislation to exempt at-home Covid tests from sales tax

(Feb 09, 2022)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Reps. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, and Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, have introduced H.B. 2327, which would exempt at-home COVID-19 tests from the state sales tax. “As the pandemic rages on, we need all the tools in our arsenal to fight the virus,” Ciresi said. “By exempting at-home COVID-19 tests from the sales tax, we can help our residents and improve access to convenient diagnostic testing by removing this financial barrier. These tests are vital to public health and should not be taxed when Pennsylvanians are fulfilling their duty to their neighbors by testing themselves for the virus.” “Accessing at-home COVID-19 tests allows people to quickly get results so they do not put others at risk,” Shusterman said. “These important medical devices should be exempt from sales tax because they serve the greater good of the community.” Read more

 

Ciresi: Budget invests in local schools and moving PA forward
Jul 07, 2022

Ciresi introduces legislation to expand Property Tax and Rent Rebate program
Jun 30, 2022

Ciresi: Provide financial relief to Pennsylvanians by freezing the state gas tax
Jun 29, 2022

Ciresi and James introduce legislation to modernize dance teacher certification in Pennsylvania
Jun 15, 2022

Montgomery County organizations awarded $494K in state grants
Jun 08, 2022

Ciresi outlines plan to relieve school cost pressures, lower property taxes
Jun 07, 2022

Ciresi to hold free Senior Fair June 16 at Pottsgrove Middle School
Jun 03, 2022

Ciresi presents citations to Pennsylvania’s longest married couple
May 27, 2022

Senior Fair
May 25, 2022

Ciresi secures $150K grant to repair pedestrian bridge in Pottstown’s Memorial Park
May 10, 2022

Hearing explores what happens without PA School Audit Bureau
May 04, 2022

Ciresi applauds three county unanimous votes for the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority
Apr 27, 2022

Ciresi announces $500,000 grant for stormwater arch repair in Pottstown
Apr 22, 2022

Ciresi introduces ‘Click to Cancel’ legislation for recurring subscriptions
Apr 13, 2022

Ciresi announces $130K grant for Ridge Pike sewer extension in Limerick
Apr 06, 2022

Ciresi offers condolences on the passing of Trappe Fire Chief & PSP Trooper Branden Sisca
Mar 21, 2022

Ciresi introduces legislation on clear signage for land development projects
Mar 08, 2022

Advocates urge lawmakers to get proactive about making Pennsylvania schools safer
Feb 16, 2022

Ciresi announces nearly $190K in fire and EMS company grants
Feb 10, 2022

Ciresi and Shusterman introduce legislation to exempt at-home Covid tests from sales tax
Feb 09, 2022