Ciresi Proposes Creating State Emergency Grants

HARRISBURG PA – Creation of a state emergency supplemental grant program, intended to provide Pennsylvanians with disaster relief that would be paid for by taxes on alcoholic beverages, has been offered as proposed legislation by 146th House District Rep. Joe Ciresi, his office announced Tuesday (Dec. 7, 2021).

Pennsylvanians currently rely on the Federal Emergency Management Agency for financial assistance to help cover the cost of storms’ damages. FEMA often can cover only a portion of the costs associated with damage, Ciresi noted. Moreover, in cases when only a state disaster declaration has been issued, Pennsylvania residents are not eligible for FEMA assistance.

Ciresi declared the state needed to “put a safety net in place to protect and support Pennsylvanians when natural disaster strikes.”

His proposal, he added, provides “individuals who have maximized their federal assistance grants from FEMA with supplemental state grants to afford recovery costs. Additionally, In addition, those affected would remain eligible when only a state disaster is declared and FEMA help is unavailable. The grants would be funded by a portion of the state liquor tax, originally enacted in 1936 to help Johnstown flood victims.

Ciresi said his inspiration for the program was drawn from his concern for district victims of Tropical Storm Ida, which caused more than $100 million in public infrastructure damage and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses.

Photo provided by the Collegeville Economic Development Corporation