HARRISBURG, Pa (WTAJ) – Governor Tom Wolf continues to push for direct payments as prices continue to soar in Pennsylvania.

On June 16, Wolf’s cabinet member Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Meg Snead was joined by Representative Dan Williams at Coatesville City Hall to call on Pennsylvania’s Republican-led General Assembly. They hope to push for immediate actions for Pennsylvanians by passing legislation for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)-funded $500 million PA Opportunity Program, which would send $2,000 checks to Pennsylvanians.

In Wolf’s proposed PA Opportunity Program, $500 million in ARPA dollars would provide direct payments of up to $2,000 for Pennsylvania households with an income of $80,000 or less. The program aims to help families still recovering economically from the COVID-19 pandemic or support them with covering pandemic-related costs and managing the current price increases. 

“The cost of everything from gas to groceries is a little higher right now than it was just a few weeks ago and for Pennsylvanians living paycheck to paycheck, even a small increase in expenses can mean painful decisions like paying for food or rent,” Snead said. “In the Department of Human Services, I see the disadvantages in communities across Pennsylvania and these $2,000 checks would make a great impact as prices around us soar.”

In February, Wolf unveiled a $1.7 billion proposal for Pennsylvania’s $2 billion in federal ARPA dollars. While Democratic leaders in the Senate and House have introduced legislation, Senate Bill 1204 and House Bill 2531, to support Wolf’s PA Opportunity Program, Pennsylvania’s Republican-led General Assembly have been slow to act on committing the federal funding or introduce a plan for the dollars.

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With continued inaction by the legislature, the money will be sent back to the federal government by December 31, 2024.