Today, Governor Tom Wolf was joined by state Representative David Delloso and stakeholders and community members to discuss the reintroduction of the PA Opportunity Program, which would send $2,000 checks directly to Pennsylvanians.
“I first proposed the PA Opportunity Program back in February, but Republican leaders in the General Assembly just wouldn’t get on board with funding it in this year’s budget,” said Gov. Wolf. “However, as I’ve traveled the commonwealth, I’ve heard directly from so many people about how much this program would mean to them and their families. I’m not going to stop fighting until the people of Pennsylvania get the help they need and deserve.”
In February, Gov. Wolf unveiled a $1.7 billion proposal for Pennsylvania’s $2 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars. While Democratic leaders in the Senate and House have introduced legislation, the Republican-led General Assembly did not appropriate the funding for the program during budget negotiations.
“This year’s budget made major investments in working families across the commonwealth, putting Pennsylvania on a pack to a brighter future, but we still have the funds to make this investment in the people of Pennsylvania right now,” said Gov Wolf. “People need help now, and we can afford to help them. Let’s put this cash back in the pockets of Pennsylvanians, to help cover the higher costs of gas, groceries, and everything else.”
Rep. Delloso (D-Delaware) and state Senator Tina Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) have submitted co-sponsorship memos in the House and Senate signaling their intent to reintroduce legislation to fund the PA Opportunity Program using the commonwealth’s general funds. In the newly proposed PA Opportunity Program, Pennsylvania householders with an income of $80,000 or less would receive direct payments of up to $2,000. The program aims to help families still recovering economically from the COVID-19 pandemic and managing the current, every day increasing cost of living.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a major toll on Pennsylvanians. It is time we step up to help Pennsylvanians now,” said Rep. Delloso. “That is why I am introducing updated legislation to create the PA Opportunity Program, which would make direct payments of up to $2,000 to Pennsylvania households. This program, which is expected to help at least 250,000 households across Pennsylvania, is needed now more than ever to help workers and families recover economically from the pandemic and assist them in affording childcare, education and training, and basic household expenses.”
“In April, Governor Wolf and I announced a plan to put up to $2,000 back into the pockets of Pennsylvanians struggling with the burden of the record inflation America is currently experiencing,” said Senator Tartaglione. “The PA Opportunity Program along with hundreds of other pieces of democrat sponsored legislation like minimum wage reform would have an immediate and lasting impact on Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens. To ensure a truly equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure we are lifting from the bottom, not raising up the top. The majority party in the legislature has shown they are willing to pass pro-business legislation like lowering the Corporate Net Income Tax, now with just 10 scheduled session days remaining this year for the PA Senate, we still have the opportunity to pass meaningful legislation that will dramatically help our constituents like raising the minimum wage and passing the PA Opportunity Program.”
In addition to Rep. Delloso, Gov. Wolf was joined by state Senators Tim Kearney and Anthony Williams, Folcroft Council President Joe Papaleo, and stakeholders in the Folcroft community.
“The PA Opportunity Program will make our economic recovery from the pandemic more equitable, ensuring we don’t leave Pennsylvanians behind,” said Senator Kearney. “The slow growth from the Great Recession taught us we can’t have top-down approaches – we need a bottom-up recovery that gives everyone a piece of the pie.”
“This is money that can have a real impact on families,” said Senator Williams. “We know prices are high across the board. Gas, food, and utilities all cost more, and those who are struggling most are working families who are just trying to meet the everyday needs of their children and households. The PA Opportunity Program will put money directly into the pockets of people who have been hit hardest by the economic effects of COVID-19 and inflation, giving them some reprieve and support.”