The American Rescue Plan gave state and local governments an influx of cash, and there's a lot of people with opinions on how to spend it.

"I came here today to demand what the community deserves, what our economy needs, and to avoid a historic missed opportunity," said Lehigh County Controller and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mark Pinsley.

Pinsley is calling on the county to reconsider its plan for the nearly $72 million in COVID funds, arguing the current plan is funding too many capital investments - like the expansion of Cedarbrook - that don't immediately benefit people and businesses hurt by the pandemic.

His plan would invest more in things like mental health and create a countywide health bureau, while also offering a universal basic income to entrepreneurs.

"Front-loading capital expenditures sounds sensible but it ignores that these are multi-generational investments designed to be paid for by many people," Pinsley said.

County Executive Phil Armstrong doesn't like the alternative.

"If we could do a bond, you're talking about interest payments and money that's going to come later. Where if we have the money, and we can use it for this, let's save the taxpayers money," Armstrong said.

All nine commissioners - Democrats and Republicans - approved the plan.

State officials are also under fire - from groups like SEIU - for putting around $7 billion aside in the rainy day fund for future budgets. They do have four years to spend the money.

State Senator Pat Browne, chair of appropriations, argues it's necessary, referencing previous challenges after the 2008 recession, "...with revenue not recovering for five years and deficits recurring for nearly a decade."

"I do not believe we should be saving any of it," Pinsley said.

"If we ask 300,000 people how to spend this money, we'd get 300,000 different suggestions," Armstrong said.

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