Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf has asked the General Assembly to pass legislation that would send checks up to $2,000 directly to Pennsylvanians making less than $80,000 a year. The one-time payments will be funded by a $500 million PA Opportunity Program.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE | First introduced back in February, the proposal to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds through the PA Opportunity Program would grant Pennsylvania householders with an income of $80,000 or less direct payments of up to $2,000.
“This money will make a life-changing difference for families in communities across the commonwealth, providing a much-needed buffer against prices that are artificially and temporarily higher due to inflation. Let’s put this cash back in the pockets of Pennsylvanians to help cover the higher costs of gas, groceries, and everything else,” said Gov. Wolf. “Why on earth wouldn’t we act to do all of that when we have the funds necessary to make this investment in the people of Pennsylvania right now? I am once again calling on Republican leaders in the General Assembly to send a bill to my desk to help the people of Pennsylvania.”
The PA Opportunity Program now proposes using general funds and has the support of Democratic members who have submitted co-sponsorship memos in the House and Senate signaling their intent to reintroduce legislation to fund the Program. Governor Wolf spoke at Roots of Faith ministries in Sharpsburg, where Representative Sara Innamorato also joined him along with other local officials in rallying for this legislation. “Like the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, Pennsylvania’s recovery from the COVID-19 recession has been unbalanced, slower, and less complete for working families and low-income folks than for wealthier Pennsylvanians,” said Rep. Innamorato. “The PA Opportunity Program would help complete Pennsylvania’s recovery with a payment of up to $2,000 for working families across Pennsylvania who often cannot access many of our social safety net programs. Working people and families would greatly benefit from this much-needed support to cover the costs of childcare, groceries, back-to-school materials, and other basic household needs.”
Roots of Fait Director of Outreach Ministries, Kathleen Stanley, also spoke about making the PA Opportunity Program a reality. “For the past eight years, Roots of Faith has been dedicated to alleviating poverty in our community. We are truly a place of hope and help for those in need,” said Stanley. “In recent months, we have seen an increase in food insecurity, people struggling to pay utilities, and homelessness. People are making choices daily between paying their rent and buying food. This extra money will help lessen that burden for so many families.”