First week of school and traffic updates

(Aug 30, 2019)

Improvements unveiled at South Elementary SchoolToday, I joined Perkiomen Valley School District officials and others for a ribbon cutting at South Elementary School. Fresh paint, new flooring, and new windows and doors will give the building a more modern look and contribute to the school’s overall safety and energy efficiency. This $6 million upgrade was approved by the school board in January. Read more

 

PennDOT Updates; 422 Inspection and Construction

(Aug 23, 2019)

The following updates were provided by PennDOT. I hope you find them helpful. U.S. 422, I-95 Restricted Next Week for Bridge Inspections in Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties Lane closures are scheduled next week on U.S. 422 in Montgomery County and Interstate 95 in Philadelphia for bridge inspections. The work schedule is: •Monday, August 26, from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, a right lane closure is scheduled on westbound U.S. 422 between the Trooper Road and Egypt Road interchanges in Upper Providence and Lower Providence townships, Montgomery County;•Tuesday, August 27, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, a left lane closure is scheduled on eastbound U.S. 422 between the Egypt Road and Trooper Road interchanges in Upper Providence and Lower Providence townships, Montgomery County;•Tuesday, August 27, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, a left lane closure is scheduled on northbound I-95 between the Interstate 76 and Broad Street interchanges in Philadelphia; and•Thursday, August 29, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, a right lane closure is scheduled on northbound I-95 between the I-76 and Broad Street interchanges in Philadelphia. Read more

 

Ciresi announces state and private funding for Pottstown H.S. auto program

(Aug 22, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 22 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced that the Pottstown School District will receive additional funding for its high school automotive department and program. A news conference will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29 at Pottstown Senior High School, 750 N. Washington St., Pottstown, 19464. The school Auto Shop is located on Adams Street across from the Pottstown YMCA. There will be students on hand to greet visitors and point them in the right direction. The Pottstown School District will celebrate and thank its sponsors for contributing to the much-needed automotive alignment equipment that was installed over the summer. This device will allow students to be trained and tested on a vital piece of automotive technology, while helping them prepare to enter the workforce market with employable skills. In addition to Ciresi, who recommended the Pottstown School District for career and technical education funding from the state, the event will feature: Joe Rusiewicz, executive director of the Foundation for Pottstown Education, who helped secure local and private donors. Mike Hewitt, auto tech teacher. Dave Livengood, Director of Career and Technical Education. Stephen Rodriguez, Superintendent of Pottstown School District. Questions can be directed to Ciresi’s district office at 484-200-8265. Media coverage is invited. ### Read more

 

Ciresi to join Humane Society and Finding Shelter Animal Rescue to host rally in King of Prussia Aug. 25

(Aug 21, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, today announced a rally in support of S.B. 44, to be known as Victoria’s Law , that will feature several state senators and representatives, as well as local shelter and rescue representatives. The rally will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25 at The Upper Merion Township Building Park, 175 W. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406. In addition to Ciresi, D-Montgomery, the list of participants includes: Sen. Tom Killion , R-Delaware, co-sponsor of S.B. 44. Sen. Andy Dinniman , D-Chester, co-sponsor of S.B. 44. Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks. Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery. Kristen Tullo , Humane Society of the United States, Pennsylvania state director. Grace Kelly Herbert , Finding Shelter Animal Rescue, president and co-founder. Many other humane legislators and shelter/rescue representatives. Several shelters and rescues will be in attendance with rescue puppies and puppy mill survivors. Supporters are encouraged to wear purple and bring their rescued furry friend. Victoria’s Law is a consumer protection bill that would drive the pet market towards more humane sources by prohibiting the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. The bill is named after Victoria, a German shepherd who bred over 150 puppies during her life in a puppy mill. Victoria passed down an incurable disease to her puppies and unknowing consumers who purchased her puppies were faced with high vet bills and Read more

 

422 Construction and PennDOT Repair and Resurfacing

(Aug 16, 2019)

Greetings, This week, I updated the community on transportation initiatives during the Aug. 15 Pottstown School Board meeting – specifically congestion along Route 422.Check out the short video here, courtesy of The Mercury. “We need something here for our residents…to begin to alleviate the problem. Some solution on this side of the county.” – Rep. Joe Ciresi In case you missed it, here is an editorial I wrote on transit alternatives. The following updates were provided by PennDOT. I hope you find them helpful. U.S. 422 East, Airport Road Lane Closures Next Week for Construction in Limerick and Lower Pottsgrove TownshipsLane closures are scheduled next week on eastbound U.S. 422 and Airport Road for bridge construction and pavement and joint repair under a project to rehabilitate and improve a five-mile section of U.S. 422 between the Royersford/Trappe and Sanatoga interchanges in Limerick and Lower Pottsgrove townships, Montgomery County, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today. Read more

 

Ciresi supports Gov. Wolf’s Charter School Reforms

(Aug 13, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 13 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, applauded the executive action Gov. Tom Wolf announced today to reform Pennsylvania’s charter school law, and echoed his call for comprehensive charter school reform legislation. “Charter school costs have been growing at an unsustainable rate at the expense of PA taxpayers, and it’s time we got better results,” Ciresi said. “The outdated charter school law written in 1997 doesn’t fit the new reality of cyber charter education, and too many charter schools statewide underperform without any accountability to their students and our taxpayers. “The additional oversight Governor Wolf announced today, including holding charter schools to the same transparency and ethical standards as school districts, limiting enrollment at under-performing charter schools, providing more oversight of for-profit charter operators, and preventing charter schools from overcharging taxpayers are all commonsense measures that will give us greater confidence that taxpayer funds are being spent responsibly. “I have been actively working towards charter school reform in the legislature, including pushing for cyber charter funding reform, returning local control over charter funding to school districts, and ensuring accountability over how taxpayer money – $9.7 million just from my district – is spent through elected school board oversight. I am pleased to see the governor Read more

 

Representative Ciresi, Senator Mensch, Pottstown NAACP, and Pottstown YMCA Invite Media/Public to Attend Event Recognizing James Frymoyer

(Aug 12, 2019)

HARRISBURG, Aug. 12 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, state Sen. Bob Mensch, R-Montgomery, the NAACP Pottstown Chapter, and the Pottstown YMCA are pleased to invite members of the media and public to attend a commemoration ceremony Thursday for Mr. James Frymoyer. The ceremony is being held in recognition of Frymoyer’s 40 years of community service. The event will take place at 1 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Pottstown YMCA, located at 724 N. Adams St., Pottstown. ### Read more

 

PennDOT Alerts and SEPTA Regional Rail

(Aug 09, 2019)

U.S. 422 East Lane Closures Next Week for Construction in Limerick and Lower Pottsgrove TownshipsLane closures are scheduled on eastbound U.S. 422 between Airport Road and Township Line Road for bridge construction under a project to rehabilitate pavement and repair seven structures along a five-mile section of U.S. 422 between the Royersford/Trappe and Sanatoga interchanges in Limerick and Lower Pottsgrove townships, Montgomery County, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today. Weather permitting, the work schedule on eastbound U.S. 422 is: •Tuesday, August 13, and Wednesday, August 14, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, the right lane and shoulder will close for bridge reconstruction; and•From 10:00 AM Friday, August 16, to 5:00 AM Monday, August 19, the left lane and shoulder will close for bridge reconstruction. In addition to the lane closures, on Monday, August 12, through Saturday, August 17, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 AM the following morning, traffic shifts will occur on the eastbound ramps between the Sanatoga and Limerick interchanges for concrete patching. Read more

 

PennDOT update for 422 and several highways

(Jul 26, 2019)

I received the following information from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. I hope you find it useful. As always, drivers are advised to allow extra time when traveling near the work area because slowdowns will occur. All scheduled activities are weather dependent. Read more

 

Ciresi announces bill to freeze property taxes for seniors

(Jul 25, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 25 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today announced the introduction of legislation he is co-sponsoring that would implement a freeze for school district property taxes owed by older Pennsylvanians. “For years, I have talked with senior citizens who are struggling to stay in their homes due to steadily rising property taxes,” Ciresi said. “As property taxes increase, seniors’ bills get harder and harder to pay, straining their limited finances. I am happy to work on helping our older population by working towards solutions that benefit our seniors and ensure that they are not taxed out of their homes.” House Bill 1675 would implement a freeze on property taxes owed by Pennsylvanians 65 or older if they also have qualified for a homestead property tax exemption at their current residence for at least five years. Ciresi said school districts would not have to struggle with a loss of funding, as the state would reimburse school districts from the Property Tax Relief Fund. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, across Pennsylvania, there are 409,000 seniors with annual incomes of less than $20,000 that could benefit from this legislation. For more information, call Ciresi’s office at 484-200-8265. ### Read more

 

Traffic Updates: U.S. 422 nighttime closures and more

(Jul 19, 2019)

I received the following information from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. I hope you find it useful. Read more

 

Substance abuse prevention mini-grants awarded

(Jul 18, 2019)

Congratulations to the recipients of mini-grants through the 2018-19 Montgomery County Drug and Alcohol Prevention Project! A total of $82,000 was awarded throughout Montgomery County through the project, which is a joint effort of the Montgomery County Office of Drug and Alcohol and Family Services of Montgomery County. These mini-grants are awarded to schools, nonprofits, police departments, and community groups to implement activities to increase awareness of and prevent youth substance abuse. Recipients in our area were: Pottstown School District: $5,000, Unfinished Athletics and Samana Holistic Yoga Activities, emphasizing making good choices for middle school students. Perkiomen Valley School District: $5,000, Support for Perkiomen Valley High School’s post-prom event. Greater Pottstown Tennis & Learning: $5,000, Serve and Connect tennis instruction for students in kindergarten through sixth grade; safe spaces for physical activity; improved relations with police; life skills evidence-based program. Tri-County YMCA: $4,998, Healthy Pathways Project training in yoga and mindfulness for teens and tweens; young athletes and advanced teacher concepts; mock teen bedroom event. Tri-County YMCA: $1,552, Representation at Covington Curriculum Conference and purchase of Voices curriculum for adolescent girls and young women. Click here for more information on this program. Read more

 

Miss my Telephone Town Hall? Click to listen to the discussion

(Jul 18, 2019)

Check out what your friends and neighbors had to say about the issues that matter Read more

 

Ciresi introduces bill to help heirs access unclaimed property

(Jul 17, 2019)

HARRISBURG, July 17 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi has introduced legislation that would make it easier for a deceased person’s relatives to claim the deceased's property the state is holding. The Pennsylvania treasury holds more than $3 billion in unclaimed property, such as uncashed checks, lost stocks or bonds, or closed bank accounts. But because of an inconsistency in law, some categories of relatives have a harder time legitimately claiming that property on behalf of their deceased relatives. “As constituents visit my office for help with unclaimed property searches, we’ve seen this problem arise, so we worked with the state Treasurer's Office to find a solution,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. Certain close relatives of a deceased person – surviving spouse, child, parent, sibling – can file for unclaimed property using a notarized sworn relationship affidavit, which saves them the effort and expense of having to open or re-open the deceased’s estate. But other relatives – grandchildren, nephews, nieces and others – are not included in that section of law and cannot claim by affidavit even if they are the closest surviving relative. “The dollar value of the unclaimed property might not make it worthwhile for a relative to open or re-open their relative’s estate. So that money will remain with the state treasury, unclaimed, and the problem will just get worse with time,” Ciresi said. Read more

 

Ciresi to host telephone town hall meeting July 17

(Jul 15, 2019)

ROYERSFORD, July 15 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi invites residents of the 146 th Legislative District to participate in a telephone town hall meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17. Residents of the district will receive a call to their home phones at 7 p.m. To “attend” the meeting, they will be asked to simply remain on the line. Anyone wishing to make sure they receive the phone call or to register a cell phone, can do so at this link , or call Ciresi’s office at 484-200-8265. “I look forward to discussing the important issues impacting our community, such as transportation and education,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “This meeting format makes it easy and convenient for residents to participate and share their thoughts with me without even leaving their homes.” People can listen in and ask questions or leave feedback when the meeting has ended. Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing townhall@pahouse.net . Anyone with questions should call Ciresi’s office at 484-200-8265. Read more

 

Ciresi tours arch system to highlight critical infrastructure needs

(Jul 10, 2019)

POTTSTOWN, July 10 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi joined Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Regional Director Pat Patterson and local and state officials today to tour Pottstown’s underground storm sewer arch system and discuss how Restore Pennsylvania would help address infrastructure needs in the state. “The maintenance and emergency repair needs of the Pottstown arch system present a problem far beyond the financial means of private homeowners or Pottstown Borough to deal with,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “The collapses that we’ve already seen demonstrate the urgent need for the state to take action to examine the state of the arch system, fix the portions that have collapsed, and perform maintenance to prevent more collapses in the future. Restore PA would provide critical funding to address this major problem and prevent a serious risk to property and safety.” Ciresi has co-sponsored legislation to enact Restore Pennsylvania, a plan to invest $4.5 billion over the next four years in significant infrastructure projects, funded by a severance tax. Ciresi previously joined Pottstown officials on a tour of the underground arch system in May. More information from the Department of Environmental Protection on today’s tour is available here . Read more

 

Ciresi announces education grant for Pottstown School District

(Jun 28, 2019)

HARRISBURG, June 28 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi announced today that Pottstown School District was awarded an environmental education grant. The $3,000 grant will be used to support the Pottstown Powered by Nature program, teaching fourth to sixth grade students scientific inquiry in environmental issues. “I’m delighted to see Pottstown School District receive this funding,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “We know that every dollar spent on our public school children pays dividends. In a world where our children will be dealing with the effects of climate change, funding specifically earmarked for environmental education is doubly impactful.” Administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Environmental Education Grant Program awards funding to organizations to implement educational projects that focus on priority topics of climate change, water, or environmental justice. Projects range from creative, hands-on lessons for students, teacher training programs, and outdoor learning resources to conservation education for adults. More information on the grants is available from DEP . Read more

 

Ciresi: Why I voted no on 2019-20 budget bill

(Jun 25, 2019)

Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a 2019-20 budget bill before the June 30 deadline, which should help us avoid the distress and service interruptions that hampered previous negotiations. And while the budget delivers some important victories that I fought for, it doesn’t go nearly far enough to solve the big problems we have with property taxes, education funding and infrastructure. I voted “no” on my first budget, and here’s why: My constituents sent me to Harrisburg to fight for property tax reform and fair funding for education. This $34 billion budget missed a golden opportunity to do the right thing and seriously address these problems. Even with the increase in basic and special education funding that the budget provides, schools in the 146 th District will remain underfunded by about $15 million – with the difference burdening our seniors, families, and homeowners through higher property taxes. And there are other missed opportunities to do what’s right for Pennsylvanians. The budget includes no increase to the minimum wage, which hasn’t changed in 10 years. It eliminates the General Assistance program, which provides emergency assistance to vulnerable residents. It puts our clean air and water at risk by diverting funds meant for environmental protection. It fails to act on charter school reform or school construction reimbursement, further burdening our property taxpayers. And, it fails to Read more

 

Ciresi announces state grants in Montgomery County

(Jun 13, 2019)

ROYERSFORD, June 13 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi today announced that multiple agencies in Montgomery County were awarded state grants through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. “These grants are going to programs that provide valuable services in our community – supporting children and crime victims, domestic violence prevention and support, and more,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery. “I’ve spoken directly with some of these agencies to learn more about their work and how we can connect residents to the resources they need. I appreciate their service to our communities, and I’m glad to see the state support their work with funding.” The following agencies were awarded 2019-20 Victims of Crime Act funding: Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County - $89,324 Laurel House - $366,226 Mothers Against Drunk Driving – PA State Office - $225,592 Victim Services Center of Montgomery County - $696,725 Women’s Center of Montgomery County – $366,228 The following received State Violence and Delinquency Prevention Programs funding: Family Service of Montgomery County - $150,000 for Montgomery County CTC Positive Parenting Initiative The following received Children’s Advocacy Center Advisory Committee Endowment Act – Programs Assisting Victims funding: Child Advocacy Center of Montgomery County - $100,000 More information about the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime Read more

 

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