Pennsylvania Governor Calls for $2,000 Stimulus Checks for Residents – Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf called on state legislators this week to approve his plan to give federal COVID-19 relief money to residents of his state in the form of a stimulus check.
The governor hopes to use $500 million from his state’s $2.2 billion in unspent federal COVID-19 relief funds to help Pennsylvanians deal with the cost of living. Wolf’s proposed stimulus check would be a one-time payment worth up to $2,000 for some recipients.
More On Wolf’s Stimulus Check Plan
State Rep. Maureen Madden supported Wolf’s plan and said that it would be of valuable assistance to those facing “severe economic hardships.”
“Even as the economy recovers in record fashion and unemployment numbers continue to drop, we’re still facing worldwide inflation, and the higher cost of living is impeding the recovery of working-class families who are the lifeblood of our communities,” Rep. Madden said.
The plan also states that if the state government is unable to spend the full $2.2 billion in federal dollars by the end of 2024, the remaining funds will be sent back to the federal government.
Wolf’s plan also puts aside an additional $225 million to assist small businesses hurt by lockdowns, $325 million for the state healthcare system, and $204 million in property tax relief.
An additional $450 million has also been set aside for conservation and preservation efforts, as well as the “revitalization” of Pennsylvania communities. How the money intends to be spent, and whether it can be spent in full, is not yet clear.
Stimulus Checks Pitch: Doing the Rounds
Governor Wolf took his stimulus check plan to the road this week, speaking at a Salvation Army in Reading on Thursday and outlining his plan to put federal money in residents’ pockets.
“Gasoline prices are high, inflation’s up, food prices are up, rent…” he said. “It’s $2,000 and it’s up to you to spend it however you want.”
The plan has some bipartisan support, with Republicans expressing interest in helping residents with direct financial support.
Republican state Senator Dave Argall expressed his appreciation of the funds being made available.
“We believe it should be spent, we’re thankful to have it,” he said. “We want to spend it in such a way that it smart and doesn’t lead to a tax increase when the governor leaves.”
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.