HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf urges the state’s General Assembly to enact legislation for the $500 million PA Opportunity Program, which would provide $2,000 cheques to Pennsylvanians and is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.
“Pennsylvanians should not choose between utilities, food, child care, and gas.” In a news release, Wolf added, “We have the potential and the tools to ensure they don’t struggle, to secure their success.” “I’m urging the General Assembly to come together across party lines on this for the good of all Pennsylvanians – because when they succeed, our state succeeds.” “Let’s get this money out of our coffers and into Pennsylvanians’ pockets.”
Despite Wolf’s $1.7 billion proposals, his office claims that Pennsylvania is sitting on more than $2 billion in federal ARPA funds that are still uncommitted and without a plan.
The funds must be returned to the federal government by December 31, 2024.
Last week, Democratic leaders in the Senate and House agreed to introduce bills to support Wolf’s PA Opportunity Program, according to Wolf’s office.
The program uses $500 million in ARPA funds to make direct payments of up to $2,000 to Pennsylvania families earning less than $80,000 per year.
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The initiative seeks to assist families that are still recovering financially from the COVID-19 epidemic and assist them in covering pandemic-related expenses and managing the current, ever-increasing cost of living.