Round-up: Gov. Wolf Announces $1.7 Billion Pandemic Recovery Plan
February 03, 2022
Governor Tom Wolf announced yesterday a $1.7 billion plan – funded by the American Rescue Plan Act – to support Pennsylvania’s families, workers, small businesses, healthcare system, and economy recover fully from the COVID-19 pandemic. He proposed the plan, supported by Senate and House Democratic leaders, because the Republican solution is to do nothing to support Pennsylvanians with the billions in federal aid.
Gov. Wolf’s $1.7 billion action plan includes a diverse variety of programs that aim to promote immediate and future success.
The plan includes:
- The PA Opportunity Fund, $500 million, to support workers and families with the continually increasing cost of living;
- Small Business Support, $225 million, to offer grants to small businesses economically impacted by the pandemic;
- Property Relief for Low Income Renters & Homeowners, $204 million, for a one-time bonus rebate to double existing rebates;
- Support for the Healthcare System, $325 million, to support recruitment and retention, behavioral health, and student loan forgiveness; and
- Investments in Conservation, Recreation & Preservation, $450 million, to revitalize communities and address the growing threat of climate change.
Coverage highlights below:
Calling on the Republican-controlled General Assembly to spend federal COVID-19 relief funds, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled a $1.7 billion spending blueprint to help Pennsylvania businesses, workers, and families.
The proposal, which has support from legislative Democrats, comes less than a week ahead of Wolf’s expected 2022-23 budget address. The plan would use American Rescue Plan money allocated to Pennsylvania last year to help with pandemic recovery, business and worker support, and climate action.
“Our commonwealth is sitting on more money and millions of dollars more, additional federal aid, that could actually help Pennsylvanians thrive. That money is sitting around right now — about $2.2 billion of it — not helping anyone,” Wolf told reporters during a Wednesday press conference. “And at a time when the people of this commonwealth are still hurting from the pandemic, I think that’s wrong.”
A key piece of the proposal from Wolf, a Democrat, is a $500 million “PA opportunity program.” It would let workers, individuals and families with household incomes up to $80,000 apply for direct payments of up to $2,000 per household.
Governor Tom Wolf unveiled a $1.7 billion plan that he said will secure a brighter future for Pennsylvania for years to come. The governor said it will help the state fully recover from the pandemic.
“The point is that we need to do something to address the needs of Pennsylvanians right now,” said Governor Tom Wolf.
City & State PA | Wolf, Democrats unveil plan to utilize ARP funds for further recovery
With more than $2 billion in American Rescue Plan Act dollars still available in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf and Democratic legislators came together Wednesday to lay out their plan to utilize $1.7 billion for more pandemic recovery efforts.
Wolf and state lawmakers called on the Republican-controlled General Assembly to take action and leverage the federal funds for immediate relief. Democratic leaders have made several requests to their Republican counterparts to dip into the state’s savings after much of the federal pandemic funding was stashed away in last year’s budget negotiations.
Gov. Wolf, alongside his cabinet members and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, said it’s time for the Republican-majority General Assembly to use remaining funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
“The ARPA dollars are waiting to be spent and they were designed to be spent like this. I’m fed up with hearing that we need to save them for a ‘rainy day,’” said Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa. “Visit any hospital, talk to a small business owner, hear from a working mother who can’t find child care and now can’t work. They’ll all tell you that it’s raining now. It’s time to spend the money we have.”
Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday announced a sweeping $1.7 billion plan to provide relief to families and small business owners, boost the struggling health care system and expand funding for land conservation and recreation.
The federal funding, from the American Rescue Plan Act, is aimed at helping Pennsylvania recover from the pandemic while investing in future progress and it’s time to take action to help the state’s residents thrive, Wolf said.