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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

Krueger announces $25,000 grant for Thunderbird Lodge

(Jun 30, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. Leanne Krueger, D-Delaware, announced the Rose Valley Centennial Foundation was awarded a $25,000 Keystone Historic Preservation Grant to make needed improvements at the historic Thunderbird Lodge. The grant, funded through the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, will help the Rose Valley Centennial Foundation identify solutions to the long-term needs of the lodge including increased exhibition space, an ADA-compliant bathroom, mechanical systems, fire suppression, artifact storage and parking. “Delaware County is fortunate to have the Thunderbird Lodge right in our backyard,” said Krueger. “I am pleased we were able to secure this funding to support the Rose Valley Centennial Foundation and their effort to preserve the unique building and share Rose Valley’s history with our entire community.” Thunderbird Lodge is among the 10 most important early 20 th century houses in America. It has been the home of the Rose Valley Museum since 2017. Keystone Historic Preservation Grants provide funding to support projects that identify, preserve, promote and protect historic and archaeological resources in Pennsylvania for both the benefit of the public and the revitalization of communities. Funding also helps facilitate municipal planning initiatives that focus on historic resources or may be used to meet 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

Malagari announces $100,000 in funding for Indian Creek Foundation

(Jun 22, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 22 – State Rep. Steve Malagari announced today that $100,000 is being awarded to Indian Creek Foundation to support neighbors with special needs who live in Montgomery and Bucks counties. “The availability of quality affordable housing is something that helps families and the economy grow and should be within reach for everyone in every community across the commonwealth,” said Malagari, D-Montgomery. “These dollars will help hundreds of our neighbors who deal with extraordinary circumstances remain independent and homeowners.” Indian Creek Foundation operates 23 residential care homes that serve the daily needs of more than 100 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Many of these individuals also have mobility issues due to aging or physical conditions which severely limit their ability to move freely about their homes for routine activities. This public project will renovate and repair six houses to maintain appropriate living conditions for those with disabilities who desire to maintain their residence. The funding comes from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund, or PHARE, which was established to provide for the delivery of state and federal funds, as well as funds from other sources, to help create, rehabilitate and support affordable housing for all throughout Pennsylvania. More information about the PHARE program can be found on Read more

Delco House, Senate Delegation Introduce New Bills to Reform Abusive For-Profit Hospital Deals

(Jun 16, 2022)

Crozer’s financial collapse could have been avoided had there been state protections against irresponsible debt recapitalizations and other financial actions taken by the system’s owners. 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

Sturla helps secure nearly $2 million for affordable housing in Lancaster

(Jun 09, 2022)

LANACASTER, June 9 – State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, thanks the Board of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for today approving $1,936,000 from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund for affordable housing initiatives in Lancaster. “As Democratic Chair of the House Urban Affairs Committee, I have been very active this session in working on legislative solutions, including establishing the PHARE fund, to increase affordable housing throughout Pennsylvania,” Sturla said. “I was happy to offer my support for our local PHARE applicants and I congratulate them on their funding.” The local PHARE recipients are: YWCA Lancaster was awarded $250,000 to add 16 newly constructed residential units and renovate their exiting 38 residential units at their downtown facility. SACA Development Corporation was awarded $350,000 to complete the Conestoga North Phase II Project, which will construct nine single family homes for first time homebuyers whose income is below 80% of median. Building and Supporting Entrepreneurship of Southeast Lancaster was awarded $200,000 for its Home Ownership Made Equal (H.O.M.E.) Phase II Program that assists minority families of low to moderate income with owning their first home. The Housing Authority of the City of Lancaster was awarded $336,000 to renovate Read more

Bradford announces $367,796 to help keep Montco grade schoolers safe

(Jun 09, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 9 – State Rep. Matt Bradford announced today that Mission Kids, located in Ea st Norriton Township, is receiving $367,796 to support their work with children and young adults. The state grant, which was funded through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, will focus on critical violence prevention. “This specialized work performed by Mission Kids is incredibly valuable to our community. We are so fortunate to have them in our region,” Bradford said. The PCCD, in collaboration with the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State University, announced the Endowment Act funding to support a new pilot prevention research program. Over the last four years, PCCD and CMSN implemented a three-pronged pilot prevention program that served more than 16,000 second graders and 14,000 parents. Due to the success of that project, and the need to implement a more universal parent education component, PCCD and CMSN will implement a two-year pilot that will include two programs to be implemented within different segments of the community. Read more

Hill-Evans announces $612K in grants awarded to York County organizations

(Jun 09, 2022)

YORK, June 9 – State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, announced that two York County organizations have been awarded $612,297 for child abuse services, education for second graders about appropriate relationships, and substance abuse and education programs by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. “Our service organizations really help hold our community together, providing critical education and services to at-risk or abused populations, increasing community safety and providing support for those in treatment programs,” Hill-Evans said. “I am a huge admirer of the York County Children’s Advocacy Center for their clinical care for sexually abused children and educational programs to teach our second graders about appropriate relationships and am very pleased to see their efforts will be supported and expanded by these grants. “This grant money supports people’s engagement with substance abuse treatment programs.” The York County Children's Advocacy Center has received three grants . The center will use its $99,996 grant to continue to fund the position of Intake Coordinator. Thanks to the Intake Coordinator, the CAC has been able to rapidly intake a diverse and growing number of referrals of child victims and their caregivers. As CAC receives approximately 5 to 10 referrals a day, the Intake Coordinator has significantly enhanced the agency’s Read more

Galloway, Warren announce $404,613 in grants for keeping Bucks County safe

(Jun 08, 2022)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – Pennsbury School District is receiving $150,000 to provide tiered mental health and behavioral support to its students, staff and families, and Bucks County NOVA will receive $254,613 to teach second graders about appropriate relationships, state Reps. John Galloway and Perry Warren announced today. The state grants, which were announced by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, will improve mental health outcomes for children and adults affected by violence in Bucks County, the lawmakers said. “We all know that the pandemic took a toll on our students as the enforced isolation impacted many kids’ mental health negatively, with an increase in depression and other mental health issues reported,” Galloway said. “Thanks to this state grant funding, the Pennsbury School District will be able to advance their mental health services and outreach for students, helping them to develop resiliency and recover from the impact of COVID.” “Congratulations to the recipients for their hard-earned awards,” Warren said. “This specialized work performed through NOVA and at Pennsbury School District reflects on the dedication that our community has for its children – and adults – affected by violence and crime. This is certainly funding that you wish you didn’t have to create, but it is the most critical work that it supports.” The PCCD, in Read more