Harrisburg, PA – Earlier this year, Pennsylvania was allocated $7 billion in funds from the American Rescue Plan. Although the state budget has been passed, Democrats and Republicans are still at odds with how that money is being used.
The federal government intended these funds to be spent on small businesses and individuals who needed help recovering from the pandemic. But under the state’s 2021-22 budget, 4 billion of those dollars will go to balancing this year’s budget and more than $2 billion was set aside for future spending. The final budget also moved $2 billion of the state’s 3 billion revenue surplus into the Rainy Day Fund.
State Rep. Frank Ryan (R-Lebanon) discusses how billions of federal dollars affects the state budget, both in the current year, and for years to come.
Senate Democrats say the American Rescue Plan was designed to help people get back on their feet, not just balance spreadsheets.
Listen to audio from the following Democratic Senators talking about their disappointment in how the American Rescue Plan funding to PA is being spent: Senator Anthony Hardy Williams of Philadelphia; Senator Vincent Hughes of Philadelphia; Senator Nikil Saval of Philadelphia. (Audio is in one mp3, with speakers in that order.)
Some Democratic senators and other supporters held a rally in Philadelphia, saying when the General Assembly returns to session in September they will push to spend the remaining funds directly on the programs and initiatives that will help Pennsylvanians recover from the personal, public health, and economic devastation of the pandemic.