Pennsylvanians react to Gov. Wolf’s stimulus check proposal

PITTSBURGH — It’s a phrase we keep on hearing: Inflation is at an all-time high. So would another stimulus check help?

“I think we need to stop giving money away there’s so many people out there with no jobs with jobs out there I think we need to get back to everyone working,” said Cindy Ruhl, who lives in Shaler.

Senator Jay Costa’s response to this Shaler woman is that a new proposal by the governor doesn’t have anything to do with jobs, but rather helps by circulating new dollars into the community.

“If families experienced increased costs associated with childcare or after-school care. They had to do retraining because their position was lost, if they need rental or mortgage assistance, house repairs, transportation,” Costa said.

These are all examples of costs that could be reimbursed by the state. The governor is proposing using $500 million from the American Rescue Plan. It’s not a direct payment, but a reimbursement of up to $2,000 if your household income is less than $80,000.

“The program would be developed through the Department of Revenue, Department of Human Services and State Treasurer. They would have people then apply for the reimbursement from the Commonwealth,” Costa said.

The proposal isn’t just for individuals and families. Costa said $225 million would be given out as grants to smaller businesses that weren’t eligible for PPP loans and continue to struggle with higher costs too.

That’s something Ruhl said she can get behind.

“I think you need to get the little people back. I think the big corporations are pushing out the smaller people. I think we need to get those mom and pop shops back because everyone loves those,” Ruhl said.

Costa said if the state doesn’t use the $2.2 billion of American Rescue Plan money left by 2024, it has to be returned to the federal government.

He said the Senate and House plan to introduce bills to match the governor’s proposal.