Featured News

Ciresi introduces legislation to prevent gift card scams

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 introduces legislation to reform educational tax credit programs

(Feb 23, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 23 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today introduced House Bill 2063 which would reform the commonwealth’s educational tax credit programs, the Educational Improvement Tax Credit and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit, to ensure they are better serving those who need them. According to Ciresi, although funding for Pennsylvania’s educational tax credit programs has increased significantly over the past few decades, there has been little oversight to determine their effectiveness or how the money is spent, which has resulted in those in need not getting necessary assistance. “The state has awarded billions of dollars in state tax credits for private and religious school vouchers, but because of how the programs have been set up, it’s been difficult to determine their success and whether the money has been spent properly,” Ciresi said. “My legislation would reform our educational tax credit programs and ensure this money is serving its intended purpose by refocusing the programs on those truly in need of assistance, freeing up more money for scholarships, closing loopholes that have diverted money from students, and expanding data collection.” Ciresi’s legislation would seek to implement multiple recommendations that the Independent Fiscal Office made in 2022 after reviewing the programs’ operations. First, the IFO found that statutory limits on the programs’ data available Read more

 

Ciresi applauds the nearly $155K in state support for district fire and EMS companies

(Feb 15, 2024)

ROYERSFORD, Feb. 15 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced today that fire departments and nonprofit EMS agencies in the 146 th district received $154,849 in state grants from the Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program. “This state support for our fire departments and EMS agencies is a necessary investment in our residents’ safety and well-being,” Ciresi said. “As the attractiveness of our communities and the quality of life of our residents depends on their having a strong safety infrastructure, I will be fighting to ensure this important grant program is renewed this year and will support the governor’s budget plan to double the program’s size.” Grants awarded in Ciresi’s district include: Friendship HLH&A Inc. in Royersford - $15,000. Goodwill Steam Fire Engine Co No 1 in Pottstown - $31,951.99. Limerick Fire Department in Limerick - $29,951.99. North End Fire Company Num 1 of Pottstown - $15,000. Philadelphia Steam Fire Engine Co 1 in Pottstown - $16,173.90. Ringing Hill Fire Company in Lower Pottsgrove - $15,979.38. Royersford Fire Department in Royersford - $15,590.33. Sanatoga Fire Co in Lower Pottsgrove - $15,201.29. The grant money can be applied to a combination of up to two projects in the following categories: Construction and/or renovation of the fire Read more

 

Ciresi applauds the nearly $147,000 state investment in the area’s career and technical schools

(Feb 09, 2024)

ROYERSFORD, Feb. 8 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced today that the Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center has been awarded a grant of $85,000 and the Pottstown School District a grant of $61,949 by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the purchase of new equipment to help train students in skills required for high-demand occupations. “I believe it is critical that all students develop the critical skills they will need to thrive in the highly competitive 21 st century economy, and no students are more in need of best-in-class opportunities than our career and technical students,” Ciresi said. “These grants will help provide these students with the skills and hands-on experience with first-class equipment they will need to build careers in high-demand, high-paying fields. By providing a world-class education to Pennsylvania’s career and technical students, Pennsylvania is ensuring its own economic growth for years to come. I applaud the state’s investment in Montgomery County’s workforce.” “We want to thank the governor, PDE, and all of our legislators for supplying this grant funding in the state budget,” said Dave Livengood, administrative director for WMCTC. “Career and Technical Education is critical to making Pennsylvania a place where businesses want to relocate because we can provide a highly trained workforce to meet their company Read more

 

Ciresi highlights record education funding, call for charter reform in Shapiro’s budget proposal

(Feb 06, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, released the following statement regarding Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed 2024-25 budget proposal, unveiled today before the General Assembly: “Today’s budget address included a strong plan for public education that will help our students, taxpayers, and communities,” Ciresi said. “In addition to proposing a historic investment in education, I was glad to hear the governor’s support for cyber charter reform that would align payments to the actual cost of cyber education. These changes level the playing field for all schools and students, invest in public education, and give a much-needed break to our property taxpayers.” Ciresi said the proposed budget includes an additional $1.1 billion for basic and special education statewide, delivering an increase of almost $9 million to school districts in the 146th Legislative District, including: Pottsgrove School District: $2.9 million. Pottstown School District: $4.8 million. Spring-Ford Area School District: $1.3 million. This includes savings from setting a standardized statewide cyber charter tuition rate, which would return $262 million to public school districts and taxpayers. The reform was part of Ciresi’s legislation (H.B. 1422) that passed in the House with bipartisan support last year. “These investments in education are a first step on a path to making sure every school has the resources Read more

 

Ciresi says it’s time for an early spring for taxpayers and students

(Feb 02, 2024)

ROYERSFORD, Feb. 2 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi recognized Groundhog Day not by talking about Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early spring, but instead by calling to break the endless cycle of throwing money at cyber charter schools that keep failing students, taxpayers, and communities. “Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day spent almost 34 years replaying the same day , learning from his mistakes until he finally broke the cycle,” Ciresi said. “We’ve spent too many years in Pennsylvania advocating for change while we all keep overpaying for a broken cyber charter school system, letting for-profit companies take their cut of tax dollars before our kids get their share. It’s time to break the cycle by passing comprehensive reform.” Ciresi’s solution, the Cyber Charter Reform Act (H.B. 1422), would end $455 million in annual overpayments to cyber charter schools, returning that money to taxpayers and traditional public schools by aligning special education funding to student needs and setting a standardized statewide tuition rate. The legislation would also require cyber charters to adhere to the same standards as other public schools, including transparency in spending, ethics and conflicts of interest requirements, and safeguards to ensure proper use of public funds. The cyber charter reform bill passed in the House last year with bipartisan support but has not yet been considered by Read more

 

Ciresi announces $167,000 in state grants for Pottstown and Royersford parks

(Jan 16, 2024)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 16 – A long-time proponent of parks and outdoor recreation, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced today that he secured $167,000 in state funding for park projects in Pottstown and Royersford: $75,000 – Pottstown Pollock Park Remediation Project. $92,000 – Royersford Victory Park Redevelopment Project. “Our parks provide important green public spaces in our communities,” Ciresi said. “With this state support, we will continue the great progress we’ve seen in Royersford’s Victory Park and drive a new vision for an improved Pollock Park in Pottstown when it reopens. These state grants are important investments in spaces that bring our neighborhoods together and create opportunities for healthy outdoor recreation.” According to Ciresi, the $75,000 in grant funds will help execute Phase 1 of Pollock Park’s remediation project. While closed since 2017 due to the discovery of contaminants from its former industrial use, the site is being cleaned up and will be turned into a neighborhood pocket park. Phase 1 improvements that will be supported with this grant include a new playground, a dog park, and parking and access improvements – expanding the utility and value of the park to the local community when it’s once again made available for public use. Ciresi added that the goal for Royersford’s Victory Park redevelopment is to make it ADA-accessible and inclusive to Read more

 

Ciresi announces $1.3M in state grants for Pottstown-area sewer infrastructure

(Dec 19, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Dec. 19 – A believer that a strong infrastructure is the key to building strong communities, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, helped secure $1,338,380 in state funding for infrastructure projects in Pottstown and Lower Pottsgrove. “These important investments to the sewer infrastructure in the Pottstown area will upgrade and modernize essential services, improving reliability while keeping our environment clean,” Ciresi said. “I’m also proud to support our continued progress in making comprehensive repairs to Pottstown’s stormwater arches, ensuring a solid foundation for the town’s ongoing revitalization.” Funds distributed through the H20 PA Program provide for single-year or multi-year grants to municipalities or municipal authorities to assist with the construction of drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm water projects. Act 54 of 2022 appropriated $205.4 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to the H2O PA – Water Supply, Sanitary Sewer and Storm Water Projects Program. They include: $744,073 for the Borough of Pottstown for a stormwater arch rehabilitation project. $212,472 for the Pottstown Borough Authority to purchase and install a diesel generator at the Lower Pump House Pump Station. Funding for stormwater arch system repairs would help the Borough of Pottstown in rebuilding collapsed arches and performing high priority repairs, as well as doing high priority preventive Read more

 

Ciresi announces $147,500 in state tax credits for Pottstown revitalization

(Nov 22, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 22 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced today that the state had approved $147,500 in Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits to assist Genesis Housing Corp. in its investment in revitalizing blighted properties in Pottstown. “These state tax credits will help continue the important work of Genesis Housing Corp. in fighting blight and maintaining affordable housing in Pottstown,” Ciresi said. “This work will keep at-risk homeowners in safe and decent housing while revitalizing the communities around them. At a time when affordable housing is increasingly hard to find, this investment is important and will make meaningful impacts in people’s lives. I thank DCED, Genesis Housing Corp., and their business partners for making this investment in Pottstown.” The investment will assist Genesis Housing Corporation’s rehabilitation projects in Pottstown: $80,000 will be used to address neighborhood revitalization through mostly smaller scale improvement projects, housing rehab and facade grants. This money will support exterior renovations, housing counseling services, improved community access to gardens, and support for community improvement programs. $67,500 will be used to continue the Pottstown Homeowner Property Rehab Program to provide rehab grants for at-risk populations. This program will provide eligible low-income homeowners with grants and technical assistance for critical home repairs, Read more

 

House passes Ciresi bill to expand EV charging infrastructure

(Oct 30, 2023)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 30 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi’s, D-Montgomery, legislation that would help create more EV charging stations throughout Pennsylvania at no cost to the Pennsylvania taxpayer passed the House today. House Bill 1474 would add electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects as an eligible project type under Pennsylvania’s Property-Assessed Clean Energy program (C-PACE). C-PACE, which was created by Act 30 of 2018 , has facilitated over $250 million in investments in energy efficiency, clean energy, conservation, and other projects by connecting property owners with long-term financing. The investments are funded entirely through private capital, so it would not impose any financial burden on the commonwealth or local governments, according to Ciresi. “My House Bill 1474 would help develop Pennsylvania’s EV charging infrastructure at no cost to the taxpayer at a time when electric vehicles are becoming more prevalent on our roads and highways,” Ciresi said. “This legislation would unlock financing to install charging stations throughout the commonwealth—from places of employment, restaurants, apartments, hotels, shopping centers to tourist attractions. More charging stations makes it easier for everyone to operate these energy-efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles in Pennsylvania, whether you’re a resident running errands or business traveler or tourist visiting our state.” The bill has Read more

 

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

Ciresi introduces legislation to reform educational tax credit programs
Feb 23, 2024

Ciresi applauds the nearly $155K in state support for district fire and EMS companies
Feb 15, 2024

Ciresi applauds the nearly $147,000 state investment in the area’s career and technical schools
Feb 09, 2024

Ciresi highlights record education funding, call for charter reform in Shapiro’s budget proposal
Feb 06, 2024

Ciresi says it’s time for an early spring for taxpayers and students
Feb 02, 2024

Ciresi announces $167,000 in state grants for Pottstown and Royersford parks
Jan 16, 2024

Ciresi announces $1.3M in state grants for Pottstown-area sewer infrastructure
Dec 19, 2023

Ciresi announces $147,500 in state tax credits for Pottstown revitalization
Nov 22, 2023

House passes Ciresi bill to expand EV charging infrastructure
Oct 30, 2023