Cash Welfare Program Ends, Court Rejects Injunction Request

Aug 2, 2019

A state program that provided $205 a month in cash payments to poor or disabled Pennsylvanians has ended.

The program known as general assistance ceased Thursday under a month-old law, while state Commonwealth Court rejected an injunction request that would have kept it operating during a legal challenge.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf opposed the program's elimination, and says his administration is trying to get the roughly 11,000 recipients help from other social services.

Determined to end the program, Republicans who control the Legislature packaged its elimination into legislation reauthorizing state subsidies for Philadelphia hospitals.

Wolf says he had no choice but to sign it.

A lawsuit by Community Legal Services of Philadelphia and Disability Rights Pennsylvania says lawmakers violated constitutional guidelines on legislative procedure when passing the bill eliminating general assistance.