Marc Stier, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, has released the following statement about the COVID-19 stimulus package recently passed by the U.S. House and Senate.
The new COVID-19 stimulus bill passed by the House and Senate is missing important elements that are critical to people of Pennsylvania. Those who are unemployed due to the pandemic will not receive enough support. Nor will Pennsylvania’s small businesses that need help, such as those in the hospitality industry. There is no funding at all for the state or for local governments that face revenue shortfalls that are likely to lead to deep budget cuts that hurt students and those who rely on the state for important services. Those cuts will delay an economic recovery.
Yet, even though it is insufficient in many ways, it will provide much needed help to individuals and businesses that are suffering now as well as to the state’s economy. It would be even better if not just the Democratic-controlled House but the Republican-controlled Senate were to respond positively to President Trump’s request to increase payment to individuals from $600 to $2,000.