HARRISBURG, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Wednesday in Pittsburgh, Governor Tom Wolf called on the General Assembly to pass legislation that would provide up to $2,000 in direct stimulus payments for households with an income of $80,000 or less.
“This plan is good for families, it’s good for children. It’s also good for workers and businesses, for our economy,” said Gov. Wolf.
Wolf has been advocating for the $500 million stimulus plan that would use remaining federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. This morning he continued his efforts to convince the Republican-majority General Assembly to get the job done.
“Now is the time to act, and the bill has already been introduced in the General Assembly,” said Wolf. “To the Republican leaders in the General Assembly, I say let’s pass this bill now,” he added.
Wolf says Pennsylvanians are struggling and need the COVID recovery stimulus. He says inflation and other costs are only making it harder, especially for those living paycheck-to-paycheck.
“Inflation is making everything that was expensive before even more expensive right now, just creating a real inconvenience for everybody,” said Gov. Wolf. “But if you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, that’s more than just an inconvenience. That could be dire.”
Wolf reminded those at today’s event that the state is experiencing a revenue surplus and has a healthy rainy-day fund. He said the commonwealth is on track to see a $5 billion total surplus for the current fiscal year. That’s in addition to the over $2 billion remaining from the ARPA, which have to be used by the end of 2024. If the state does not use it, the money has to be returned to Washington.
“I’m talking about $2 billion that’s sitting in a checking account out in Harrisburg, that if we don’t use it by the end of 2024, we have to send it back to Washington. You want to do that? I don’t,” said Gov. Wolf.
Wolf mentioned the direct payments could vary depending on household income and that specifics and logistics still have to be figured out.