PA Governor Pushing for $2,000 Stimulus Checks to Residents – In April, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a plan to send $2,000 checks to Pennsylvanians using money from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act – but the proposal hasn’t yet been realized, and the state’s acting secretary of human services is calling on legislators to pass the bill and make it happen.
In an April statement, Wolf said that his PA Opportunity Program would give checks to all Pennsylvania residents and taxpayers and that the money would help Americans cover bills as inflation continues to rise.
“Pennsylvanians should not have to choose between paying for utilities or groceries, child care or gas. We have the opportunity and the means to ensure they’re not struggling, to ensure their success,” the governor said in a press release.
“I’m asking the General Assembly to unite across aisles on this for the sake of every Pennsylvanian – for when they succeed, our commonwealth succeeds. Let’s get this money out of our coffers and into the pockets of Pennsylvanians.”
Under the scheme, only those earning less than $80,000 per year would receive the $2,000 checks. The program would also use the federal funds to help people pursue education and job training.
If the money isn’t used by the state of Pennsylvania, it will need to be returned to the federal government by the end of 2024.
Stimulus Checks – Will the Plan Go Ahead?
Acting Human Services Secretary Meg Snead urged state legislators on Thursday to pass the plan, stressing that the stimulus checks would be a huge help for residents struggling to cover the cost of fuel, food, and other consumer goods.
“The opportunity grants are an investment in caring for people, our foremost responsibility and duty as government,” Snead said.
The plan, however, is reportedly being held up by the Republican-led General Assembly. Wolf’s office claimed said Democratic leaders in both the state House and Senate have introduced legislation to realize the plan and continue to urge Republicans to work with them to pass the legislation.
In May, Governor Wolf took to social media to advertise his plan, asking residents to tell their legislators to “act now” on passing the bill.
“Pennsylvania has more than $2 billion in use-it-or-lose-it federal relief funds,” Wolf said.
“My plan: Put this money back into the pockets of Pennsylvanians.”
Republican opposition to the stimulus checks is likely to persist, however, with the Pennsylvania governor also using the bill to push for an increase in the minimum wage for the state from $12 per hour to $15 per hour by 2028.
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.