CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

$1,100 Golden State stimulus in California eligibility: who qualifies for it?

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a new round of stimulus payments for Californians of up to $1,100 made possible by record state budget surplus.

$1,100 Golden State stimulus in California eligibility: who qualifies for it?
JUSTIN SULLIVAN AFP

California’s Franchise Tax Board is in the process of sending out up to $1,200 payments to eligible residents with 2.5 million delivered so far. Now Governor Gavin Newsom wants to send more checks, this time reaching around two thirds of the population as part of his proposed $100 billion California Comeback Plan.

His plan, which will still need to be approved by the Democratic-controlled state Legislature, aims to triple the Golden State Stimulus “to get money in the hands of more middle-class Californians.” In a press release the plan is touted as “the biggest economic recovery package in California’s history” and the biggest state tax rebate in American history. Furthermore, the California Comeback Plan will make “investments to address the state’s most persistent challenges.”

Who is eligible for the $1,000 stimulus checks?

The proposal sets aside close to $12 billion for a second round of direct cash payments of $600 for adults who didn’t receive a payment in the first round. The payments would go to middle-class taxpayers who earn up to $75,000 a year, the previous round only those making less than $30,000 qualified. Qualifying households with at least one dependent would receive an additional $500, bringing the total possible tax rebate to $1,100.

As with the first round of Golden State Stimulus checks, undocumented families would also be eligible to receive the extra $500 according to the California Comeback Plan.

What else is in the California Comeback Plan?

In addition to the direct payments to California taxpayers, Governor Newsom’s plan “seizes this once-in-a-lifetime moment to address long-standing challenges.” The Governor’s comprehensive recovery plan will tackle five of California’s most persistent challenges. Newsom has laid out some initial features of the plan and over the course of the week will highlight other major investments and key initiatives. “California’s recovery is well underway, but we can’t be satisfied with simply going back to the way things were,” the statement reads.

The California Comeback Plan includes $5.2 billion for low-income renters to cover their back-rent and their rent for several months into the future, "the largest renter assistance package in the country." Included would be more money than ever for tenant legal services. The plan would also include $2 billion to help Californians pay their overdue water and utility bills.

How is California paying for the plan?

The money for the new round of tax rebates and other provisions will come from a massive budget surplus which is thanks to the taxes paid by rich Californians who generally did well during the pandemic. The state had been predicting a budget shortfall of more than $50 billion, but the state found itself over $75 billion in the black.

Newsom is expected to present his proposal to the state legislature on Friday. State lawmakers will then begin negotiations on the newly revised state budget with deadline of 15 June to pass it.