Pa. Democratic lawmakers want to revive cash assistance for state’s poorest residents

From: Harrisburg Patriot Newshand

The ink on the new law killing a temporary cash assistance program for thousands of poor and disabled Pennsylvanians is barely dry and already some Democratic lawmakers are trying to revive it under a new name.

Calling it an emergency relief fund, Senate and House Democratic lawmakers are circulating memos in their respective chambers seeking legislative support for a cash assistance program for needy residents similar to the one that Gov. Tom Wolf grudgingly signed a bill last week to eliminate.

Wolf told reporters he was sorry he had to do it but the bill that the General Assembly sent him contained language that provided “tens of millions of dollars for hospitals in areas that really need that money.” He added, “In a perfect world I would not have to make this Hobson’s choice.”

The bill that ended the cash assistance program provided roughly $200 a month to more than 11,095 people, as of May. It was the issue before the state Senate last week that led to the chaotic scene that garnered national attention and gave the usually civil upper chamber a black eye.

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