Ciresi introduces legislation to establish a state disaster relief program
HARRISBURG, Dec. 7 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, introduced legislation to establish a State Emergency Supplemental Grant Program for disaster relief.
As representative of the 146th Legislative District, Ciresi has been particularly concerned how Hurricane Ida had devastated the commonwealth, causing over $100 million in public infrastructure damage and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses, leaving many Pennsylvanians struggling to pay for the damages.
Currently, Pennsylvania residents rely on the Federal Emergency Management Agency for financial assistance to help cover the cost of storm damage. Unfortunately, FEMA often can only cover a portion of the costs associated with damage deemed eligible for aid. In cases when only a state disaster declaration has been issued, Pennsylvania residents are not eligible for FEMA aid.
“With each passing year, we are seeing increasingly dangerous weather,” Ciresi said. “We need to put a safety net in place to protect and support Pennsylvanians when natural disaster strikes. That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to establish a State Emergency Supplemental Grant Program, which would provide individuals who have maximized their federal assistance grants from FEMA with supplemental grants from the state to cover recovery costs. In addition, when there is only a state disaster declaration, affected individuals and businesses would still be eligible for financial assistance to recover even when FEMA aid is not available.”
The State Emergency Supplemental Grant Program would be funded through a portion of the state’s liquor tax, which was enacted in 1936 and originally intended to help victims of the Johnstown flood. Ciresi said his program would ensure that all victims of disaster events in Pennsylvania have adequate financial assistance to help cover the cost of the damage sustained.
Questions about the legislation can be directed to Ciresi’s office at 484-200-8265.