- Stimulus checks would be sent to Pennsylvanians who make $80,000 or less per year
- The proposal would also provide relief to small businesses and homeowners.
- State Republicans are reluctant to pass the legislation.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has renewed a call for state lawmakers to pass legislation that would send $2,000 stimulus checks to residents.
Speaking at an event in Reading on Thursday, Wolf said he wants to use $500 million of the $2.2 billion in unspent federal COVID-19 relief funds to send most residents a one-time direct payment.
“This isn’t some grand theoretical thing. It’s something that says, could we take some of this money and actually give it to Pennsylvanians: $2,000?” Wolf said. “If you’re a household making $80,000 or less, you qualify for this. And what’s $2,000 for? Whatever you want.”
The renewed calls come after Gov. Wolf announced a $1.7 billion proposal in February that would use money from the state’s $2 billion in unspent federal COVID-19 relief funds to support families and workers, small companies and the community.
In the proposal, $500 million would be appropriated to provide $2,000 checks to households earning $80,000 or less a year; at least $225 million would provide grants to small businesses that have been affected by the pandemic; $204 million would provide direct property tax relief to low-income renters and homeowners; $325 million would be invested to support the state’s health care system and $450 million would be invested in community projects that address the threat of climate change.
However, Wolf’s stimulus check proposal received a cool reception from state Republicans. Sen. Devlin Robinson, R-Pennsylvania, said his colleagues would rather spend the $2.2 billion in unspent COVID-19 relief funds on other issues, such as bridge work on I-79.
“Well, you’re right that if we don’t use the money, we lose it. But there are better ways to spend the money. Here in Pittsburgh, we have bridges falling around the city. We have a lot of closures,” Robinson said, according to CBS News. .
“My feeling is that there are better ways to spend that money. If people are waiting for $2,000 to come into their bank account, they wouldn’t have a plan to spend that money yet.”
© Copyright IBTimes 2022. All rights reserved.