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Ciresi introduces legislation to prevent gift card scams

Ciresi calls out privatized rate hikes for wastewater in Limerick, Pa.

(Jun 07, 2024)

ROYERSFORD, June 7 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi today spoke against the negative impact of Aqua Pennsylvania’s recent proposed wastewater rate hike on Limerick Township ratepayers and advocated for legislation that would require public hearings and clearer language on rate increases in public notifications for the sake of transparency and fairness. “Aqua Pennsylvania is proposing a 19% rate increase in Limerick Township following the near doubling of rates in the township less than three years ago,” Ciresi said. “If the rate increase is approved by the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission, customers would see a significant bill increase at a time when they’re already struggling.” The most recent hike is proposed from $78 to $93 for 3,870 gallons per month. This comes less than three years after 5,000 households in Limerick Township saw a near 100% increase in wastewater rates. Ciresi’s remarks also highlighted the dangers of privatization, as Aqua Pennsylvania will be raising rates in one district to make capital improvements in another district. He drew parallels between the rate hikes and the satirical plot of the Tony winning Musical Urinetown, in which people are faced with wastewater rates that are so high, using the bathroom becomes a privilege. “The sobering truth is that without better safeguards in place, privatizing something as essential as water is sending us down a Read more

 

You're paying for it - you deserve to know where your money goes

(May 29, 2024)

Let’s get the dirty little secret out right now: Cyber Charter Schools – all Charter Schools, in fact – are paid for with your money. Those property tax bills you pay to your local school district? Parents who choose to send their kids to Cyber Charter Schools get that money for the tuition. All those fancy commercials you see? You’re paying for it. All those ads at sports stadiums you see? You’re paying for it. All those educational trips to theme parks and gift cards for parents you see? You’re paying for it. All those mascots and RVs and giveaways you see at public events? You’re paying for it. Just this week a “non-profit” cyber charter school invited lawmakers to join them for an end-of-the-year celebration at – yes – trampoline parks (about $30 per kid per day admission) all over the state and record videos for the schools. You’re paying for all of it. But there’s something you’re not seeing when it comes to where your money is going when it goes to Cyber Charter Schools. In the last few years, the four biggest Cyber Charter Schools have been padding their bank accounts from just over a half-million dollars to just under a half-*billion* dollars. What’s concerning is a lot of that increase is related to the cybers purchasing buildings and land -- which shouldn’t be a priority for Read more

 

Spring 2024 NL

(May 15, 2024)

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Spring 2024 Newsletter

(May 10, 2024)

Fall 2023 NL Read more

 

Ciresi congratulates area school districts for safety grants

(Apr 25, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 25 – State Rep. Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced that state grants have been awarded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to reduce gun and group violence in Montgomery County schools. “One of my top concerns as a legislator is that all our kids get a great education and that requires them feeling safe in school so they can focus on learning,” Ciresi said. “These grants, which were funded by our votes in Harrisburg, will give our schools the tools they need to increase school security, provide mental health resources for students, and reduce violence.” View a full list of awards, including dollar amount and school entities approved for funding, here: School Safety Awards . Nonpublic School Awards . Funds will advance the School Safety and Security Committee’s goal of ensuring that all Pennsylvania students can learn in safe, healthy school environments by helping school entities address basic safety needs and mental health services identified in the Committee’s recently adopted Revised Baseline Criteria Standards . Read more

 

Ciresi bill waiving vehicle registration fees for veterans in PA unanimously passes state House

(Apr 16, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 16 – In recognition of their valiant service to the nation, the PA House today unanimously passed a bill sponsored by state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, which would waive vehicle title and registration fees for veterans who were captured, injured or received the Congressional Medal of Honor while serving. “Following their service, veterans return home impacted by their experiences and face financial hurdles as they begin the transition to civilian life, including relocation, finding new homes, applying for jobs and registering their vehicles,” Ciresi said. “We owe it to these heroes to relieve some of the pressure by waiving vehicle registration fees. By permanently removing registration fees for veterans who were injured, captured, or received our highest military decoration, we would show our permanent appreciation for their sacrifices and service.” Currently, recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, seriously injured veterans, and former POWs pay a $10 vehicle registration processing fee. Under H.B. 105, this fee would be removed, and they would no longer be subject to titling fees. For recipients of the Purple Heart, who currently have to pay titling and registration fees in full, they would no longer be subject to paying either. The bill is now on its way to the state Senate for consideration. Read more

 

Ciresi bill encouraging historical renovation across PA passes state House

(Apr 15, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 15 – A bill by state Rep. Joe Ciresi to create a pilot program to help fund the renovation of historic buildings across Pennsylvania passed the House today. Under H.B. 1573 , a two-year program would be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development to help communities facing the challenges of updating and repurposing historic buildings, an expensive but worthwhile task in the commonwealth, said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “Pennsylvania is home to some of the country’s most historical and beautiful communities, but with them come the high costs of renovation of older buildings,” he said. “Many of these buildings lack accessibility and weren’t built to meet modern building codes. With this grant program we will support reinvestment in our downtowns, assist with community revitalization, preserve historic properties and neighborhood character, and create jobs.” Improvements would be evaluated based on their ability to facilitate income-generating use of the property, their contribution to economic and community revitalization, and historic preservation and commercial or recreational opportunities for the public. Specifically, the program would help bring mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire-protection systems up to code through the installation of modern equipment such as sprinklers, efficient HVAC systems, elevators and extra stairs. Additionally, grants could be Read more

 

Veterans Discount ID Card & FraudSleuth Sign-Up Event

(Apr 09, 2024)

Co-Hosted with Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds Jeanne Sorg Thursday, May 16 11am – 1pm Pottstown Regional Public Library 500 E High St, Pottstown For Veterans: Bring your DD-214 discharge paperwork to be recorded with the County and receive a Veterans Discount ID Card, accepted at over 500 county businesses. For Homeowners: Sign up for FraudSleuth, a free County-run property fraud protection service, which will alert you if someone attempts to record a document matching your property with Montgomery County. Read more

 

Grants, April 9

(Apr 09, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Agriculture: Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program Who May Apply: Agricultural producers or processors and nonprofits, for-profits, local government entities, and institutions such as schools, universities or hospitals that operate middle of the food chain activities or invest in equipment that will benefit middle of the supply chain activities. Use: Activities that expand capacity and infrastructure for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling or distribution of targeted local and regional agricultural products Funds: Grants will be awarded to the extent that funds are available. Grant requests shall be between $10,000 and $100,000. Application Deadline: May 15, 2024 More information: PDA Website Department of Health: WalkWorks Grant Program Who May Apply: Municipalities located in either a PA Department of Health State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) priority county or in communities with an overall percentile rating above 60 in the PA Department of Environmental Protection’s PennEnviroScreen Tool. The 10 current SPAN counties include Clearfield, Erie, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Northumberland, and Philadelphia. Use: Funds and structured pre-planning assistance will be available to a limited number of municipal and/or multi-municipal applicants to complete the Read more

 

Paper Shredding Event

(Apr 09, 2024)

Co-Hosted with West Pottsgrove Township Saturday, May 18 10am – 1pm (or until the truck is full) Off Upland Square Drive in Pottstown (Behind the Upland Square Shopping Center’s Target) Turning onto Upland Square Dr. from Sell Rd. is recommended for traffic purposes, with the event entrance on the right. Please keep to a limit of five boxes of paper per household. Read more

 

Legislators and Education Leaders Gather to Call for Cyber Charter Reform

(Apr 09, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 9 - On Monday, legislators and education leaders gathered in the Capitol’s Media Center to call for common sense cyber charter reform.?? In 2002, Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law, originally enacted in 1997, was amended to authorize the creation of cyber charter schools as an alternative to traditional public schools and brick-and-mortar charter schools. Since that time, no substantial updates have been made to address the significant issues that school districts and taxpayers face due to flaws in the law. Cyber charter schools are currently funded with the same formula used for brick-and-mortar charter schools, which creates inconsistencies and overpayments to cyber charter schools. This formula uses a school district’s expenses, not what the cyber charter school needs to provide its educational program, in determining what school districts will be required to pay for each one of its students who chooses to attend a cyber charter. The result is that each of the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania pay a different inflated tuition rate to cyber charter schools, despite cyber charters providing all of their students with the same education and not having the same level of expenditures as brick-and-mortar schools. At the press conference, Representative Joe Ciresi expressed why this reform is necessary, “The point of cyber charter reform is simple: making sure everyone plays by the same rules. Taxpayers expect and Read more

 

Ciresi introduces legislation to prevent gift card scams

(Apr 04, 2024)

HARRISBURG, April 4 – As an advocate for customer protections in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery), announced today he has introduced legislation (H.B. 2186) that would help people avoid falling victim to gift card scams. Read more

 

Ciresi announces $335K in state funding for Royersford trail

(Mar 26, 2024)

ROYERSFORD, March 26 – An effective advocate for economic development and outdoor recreation in Montgomery County, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced $335,000 in state funding has been awarded to Riverfront at Royersford LLC, to help construct a trail in Royersford Borough and Limerick Township. “The construction of a trail along the beautiful Schuylkill River will expand opportunities for outdoor recreation along our Schuylkill River waterfront,” Ciresi said. “The trail will be part of a proposed interconnected trail and sidewalk network connecting Limerick Township, the downtowns of Royersford and Spring City, and the Schuylkill River Trail, improving walkability and connectivity, and enhancing the quality of life in this area of Montgomery County. This state funding is a wise investment in Montgomery County’s future.” The money, from the Multimodal Transportation Fund approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, will be used to complete Phase II construction of an 8-foot-wide trail along the Schuylkill River in Royersford Borough and Limerick Township, accommodating both pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Riverfront at Royersford LLC previously received $330,000 to begin Phase 1 of the trail construction by the Commonwealth Financing Authority through the Multimodal Transportation Fund Program in 2021. Phase 1 of the trail planned for the construction of 1,740 linear feet ending just short of the Limerick Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District

(Mar 19, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs: Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Drop-In Centers Who May Apply: Existing organizations that have the capacity to provide or expand drop-in center services for individuals with SUD, including single county authorities, DDAP licensed treatment providers, organizations that offer clinical services and recipients of DDAP’s prior funding opportunities for Drop-In Centers. Use: To expand drop-in center services for individuals with SUD. Funds: Up to $6,575,000 is available. DDAP expects to award approximately eight grants totaling $750,000 each. Application Deadline: April 12, 2024 More information: DDAP Website PROGRAMS OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Department of Agriculture: Farm Vitality Planning Grant Who May Apply: Farmers, prospective farmers, and others may apply. Use: Strategic business planning to expand or diversify farms or support transition of ownership. Funds: $500,000 in funding is available. Grants shall not exceed $7,500. Application Deadline: Applications will be received until funds are exhausted. More information: Pennsylvania Bulletin Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Recruitment Incentives for Law Enforcement Who May Apply: Local law enforcement agencies, campus or university police, railroad or street railway police, airport authority police, and county park police. Use: Funding is explicitly to support Act 120 training and recruitment Read more

 

Ciresi: $1M in state grants awarded to Pottstown School District

(Mar 15, 2024)

HARRISBURG, March 15 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi today announced that the Pottstown School District had received $1,057,482 in grant funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to help create safe, healthy and supportive learning environments and to prevent and respond to acts of bullying, violence and hate in schools. “You can’t succeed in an environment where you don’t feel supported or safe,” Ciresi said. “This funding will help the Pottstown School District ensure that its schools are safe and welcoming so kids can focus their energies on the thing they are supposed to do in school -- learn.” Through the federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Stronger Connections Grant, high-need local education agencies can use funding to promote the social, emotional, physical and mental well-being of students and staff; address family and community engagement; and promote equitable and inclusive policies and practices. A high-need LEA is defined as a school district or charter school that received ESEA Title IV, Part A funding in fiscal year 2022 and meets one or more of the following "high-need" criteria: a high rate of poverty, a lack of mental health supports available to students, high rates of violence and/or traumatic incidents in the school or community, and high rates of school exclusion. “I am very happy that the Shapiro Read more

 

Ciresi exploring legislation to increase benefits for Pennsylvanians with disabilities

(Mar 14, 2024)

STOWE, March 14 – Equipped with voice-activated features, plenty of maneuverability for wheelchairs, and small robots that can feed people and offer remote monitoring, a “SMART home” in West Pottsgrove Township opened its doors to state Reps. Joe Ciresi and Joe Webster, both D-Montgomery, this week for a tour of its facility. Joined by staff members from PA Department of Human Services and service provider KenCrest, Ciresi and Webster met with advocates and services providers for the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities community to discuss how SMART homes can help more people with disabilities to live independently. “SMART homes help people with disabilities live independently during a time when there is a critical home care worker shortage,” Ciresi said. “Unfortunately, this technology can be cost-prohibitive. For example, a device that can assist with eating independently costs approximately $8,600, and under current Pennsylvania law, there is an individual lifetime cap of $10,000 for assistive technology purchases. That’s simply not enough money to help someone live independently. “We need to change the current law to make assistive living technology more affordable for Pennsylvanians with disabilities so they can live on their own during a time when there is a critical home care worker shortage,” he said. “Either through legislation or changes to administrative directives, we are looking to Read more

 

Ciresi presents $30K state grant to Pottstown’s North End Fire

(Mar 08, 2024)

ROYERSFORD, March 8 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, on Saturday presented to the North End Fire Company in Pottstown a ceremonial check for a $30,000 grant award from the Department of Community and Economic Development. “Our firefighters risk their lives every day to protect ours, and they need and deserve gear that will keep them safe while keeping us safe from deadly fires,” Ciresi said. “I’m glad that we were able to help with this important need, and I will continue to support our volunteer fire companies and first responders to make sure they have what they need to perform their vital service.” Funding from this state grant will be used by the North End Fire Company to purchase National Fire Protection Association-approved gear for structural firefighting. "On behalf of everyone at our organization and the communities we serve, thank you to State Representative Joe Ciresi and his hard-working team for making the purchase of 10 new sets of turnout gear to protect our firefighters,” said North End Fire Chief Andrew Pyles. “This turnout gear will ensure that we get to safely help our communities in their times of need and would not be possible without the help and support of government officials like Representative Ciresi and his team!” Read more

 

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities

(Mar 05, 2024)

NEWLY LISTED PROGRAMS Department of Agriculture: Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Who May Apply: State and local organizations, producer associations, academia, community-based organizations, and other eligible specialty crops stakeholders. Use: The purpose of the Program is to enhance, but not replace, the Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program by establishing a Commonwealth Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for specialty crops that are not currently eligible for grant payments under the Federal Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, or that are otherwise designated high-priority specialty crops by the Secretary. Funding for the Program will assist the growth, certification of seed and marketing of these eligible specialty crops. Funds: $460,000 in funding is available. Application Deadline: April 19, 2024 More information: Pennsylvania Bulletin PROGRAMS OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS: Department of Agriculture: Farm Vitality Planning Grant Who May Apply: Farmers, prospective farmers, and others may apply. Use: Strategic business planning to expand or diversify farms or support transition of ownership. Funds: $500,000 in funding is available. Grants shall not exceed $7,500. Application Deadline: Applications will be received until funds are exhausted. More information: Pennsylvania Bulletin Commission on Crime and Delinquency: Recruitment Incentives for Law Enforcement Who May Apply: Local law enforcement Read more

 

Ciresi calls out privatized rate hikes for wastewater in Limerick, Pa.
Jun 07, 2024

You're paying for it - you deserve to know where your money goes
May 29, 2024

Spring 2024 NL
May 15, 2024

Spring 2024 Newsletter
May 10, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Environmental, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
May 07, 2024

Agricultural, Educational, Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
May 01, 2024

Ciresi congratulates area school districts for safety grants
Apr 25, 2024

Ciresi bill waiving vehicle registration fees for veterans in PA unanimously passes state House
Apr 16, 2024

Ciresi bill encouraging historical renovation across PA passes state House
Apr 15, 2024

Veterans Discount ID Card & FraudSleuth Sign-Up Event
Apr 09, 2024

Grants, April 9
Apr 09, 2024

Paper Shredding Event
Apr 09, 2024

Legislators and Education Leaders Gather to Call for Cyber Charter Reform
Apr 09, 2024

Ciresi introduces legislation to prevent gift card scams
Apr 04, 2024

Ciresi announces $335K in state funding for Royersford trail
Mar 26, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities For Your District
Mar 19, 2024

Ciresi: $1M in state grants awarded to Pottstown School District
Mar 15, 2024

Ciresi exploring legislation to increase benefits for Pennsylvanians with disabilities
Mar 14, 2024

Ciresi presents $30K state grant to Pottstown’s North End Fire
Mar 08, 2024

Grant Memo: Agricultural, Educational, Public Safety, Redevelopment and Additional Grant Opportunities
Mar 05, 2024