The PA Opportunity Program was first proposed by Wolf in February. It would send direct payments of $2,000 to around 250,000 households.
State lawmakers are attempting to breathe new life into Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to put money directly into the pockets of Pennsylvania families.
Rep. David Delloso (D-Delaware) and Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia) circulated co-sponsorship memos in the House and Senate this week signaling their intent to introduce legislation to fund the PA Opportunity Program. The program would provide direct payments of up to $2,000 to households with an income of $80,000 or less in an effort to help families deal with the lingering economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding for the program would come out of the state budget’s general fund.
As part of his state budget proposal in February, Wolf included a plan to issue checks of up to $2,000 to qualifying households to help families pay for expenses like child care, transportation, utilities, and broadband. He proposed using some of the $2 billion in federal pandemic relief funds to finance the plan, which is expected to help at least 250,000 households across the commonwealth.
Republican lawmakers, who make up the majority of the state Senate and House, did not initially respond favorably to Wolf’s proposal and eventually passed the budget without including it.
“People need help now, and we can afford to help them,” Wolf said in a statement. “Let’s put this cash back in the pockets of Pennsylvanians, to help cover the higher costs of gas, groceries, and everything else.”