PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania will receive more than $7 billion in state relief funds thanks to the American Rescue plan that congressional Democrats passed in March, but Harrisburg Republicans refuse to make a plan to spend it. The Erie Times-News report highlights that although Democrats in the legislature have crafted a Pennsylvania Rescue Plan to distribute the $7 billion to “schools, workers, businesses, families, renters, landlords and more,” Harrisburg Republicans have spent their time trying to restrict women’s health care, ban trans women from playing sports, and cast doubt on the 2020 elections rather than work on a plan to make sure that Pennsylvania families and small businesses feel the full impact of the American Rescue Plan.

“Harrisburg Republicans’ refusal to join onto Democrats’ Pennsylvania Rescue Plan serves as another reminder there is only one party fighting for the working families of Pennsylvania,” said Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokeswoman Rosie Lapowsky. “But while Democrats are focused on bringing relief to working families, local schools and small businesses, Republicans would rather play politics and sit on their hands. This obstruction by the GOP only serves to hurt the very people they were elected to serve.” 

From the Erie Times-News: Pa. COVID relief: The money is coming, but where is the state’s plan to spend it? 

Pennsylvania will receive more than $7 billion in COVID relief next week, but there’s no plan yet on how to spend the money from the American Rescue Plan. 

Many state residents have already received their $1,400 stimulus checks, but there’s more money on the way in the form of state aid that the Legislature will decide how to spend.

Because the General Assembly has not passed a plan to distribute the funds, residents in need are waiting for rent relief and money that could help save small businesses, some lawmakers said.

Democratic legislators have introduced their own Pennsylvania Rescue Plan, which would distribute the $7.3 billion of federal help to schools, workers, businesses, families, renters, landlords and more.

Republican lawmakers, who hold the majority in the state Legislature, have not released a plan to distribute the funds.

The Democrats’ plan to spend new federal relief money includes

  • $500 million for job creation 
  • $250 million to expand property tax and rent relief
  • $250 million to promote affordable housing and local economies
  • $250 million in hazard pay for front line essential workers
  • $250 million to create a Paid Sick and Family Leave program
  • $200 million for high-speed internet

Bradford said Democrats agree with Wolf that schools need money to address the learning loss that has affected virtual learners during the pandemic. 

“Students were disproportionately impacted,” he said. “Every student needs to be brought back to grade level so they can prosper and succeed.” 

Read the piece: here