Stroudsburg, Monroe County (WBRE/WYOU) — Governor Tom Wolf visited the Poconos to discuss his plans to financially support families battling COVID and inflation.
Governor Wolf called on the PA general assembly to pass legislation that would put $2,000 in the pockets of the people of Pennsylvania.
“Right now, Pennsylvanians are hurting. I mean we just went through a two-year pandemic, but now we’re coming out of it and we’re in the middle of inflation, prices are going up,” Wolfe said.
Governor Tom Wolf visited the Pocono Family YMCA in Stroudsburg on Friday and called on the PA general assembly to pass legislation for a $500 million PA Opportunity program funded by the American Rescue Planning Act.
It will send two-thousand-dollar checks to Pennsylvania families earning $80,000 or less.
“Basically, $2,000 is what you want because right now you need the money, not the Commonwealth,” Governor Wolf explained.
The governor explained that the Commonwealth sits on over $2 billion in the federal ARP Act that remains unplanned and uncommitted.
If the money is not used by December of 2024, it will be sent back to the federal government.
Governor Wolf described the plans as a “short-term” solution. He believes his pressure to raise the state’s minimum wage of seven dollars and twenty-five cents is the right way to provide long-term benefits.
“We want to put $2,000 in the pockets of the people of Pennsylvania right now, yes, unlike the minimum wage, it’s a one-time face, but it’s two thousand dollars right now when Pennsylvania needs it,” Wolf said.
State Representative Maureen Madden joined the governor at that event, saying they were going to act quickly because it’s budget time and there are billions of dollars to negotiate.
“I don’t see through the spirit of cooperation with the governor’s office and our leadership in the Democratic Party, we can’t access the aisle and really provide our allies on the other side of the aisle, how is this money for the Pennsylvanians? Putting in a pocket would really help in a meaningful way,” Madden explained.
We asked the governor if he has spoken with other governors about passing similar legislation, who says he believes only Pennsylvania is pushing for it.