Fourth stimulus check: which states are making cash payments?
A few states including Texas and California have decided to send residents a stimulus check, as chances of a fourth federal payment dwindle even further.
The number of jobs added to the US economy in August and September fell far from expectations, worrying some that the economic recovery could be slowing down.
Additionally, in early September, federal pandemic-related unemployment programs ended, leaving millions without an income, just as the Supreme Court struck down the White House’s eviction moratorium.
With a fourth federal stimulus check out of sight, some states have taken it upon themselves to send a direct payment to their residents. However, unlike the federal payments, many states have opted to send the checks to particular groups, in some cases limiting the number of recipients by income or profession.
After a historic budget surplus, the California legislature decided to send a $600 payment to all those in the state making less than $75,000 a year. This is the second round of Golden State stimulus checks that will be sent this year. In February, the governor signed a law that allowed for the sending of $600 checks to low-income individuals and non-citizens who were unable to receive federal stimulus checks.
Families with children are eligible for larger checks valued at $1,100. So far, three rounds of payments have been made, with the checks reaching more than four million residents.
In August, New Mexico’s state government announced that low-income residents, who were unable to receive federal stimulus checks, would be eligible for a $750 direct payment. When making the announcement, the Human Services Department said that the payments would go out to 4,000 residents and cost around $5 million.
Various states have opted to send stimulus checkers to teachers and first responders who have worked under additional stress during the pandemic.
In June, the Tennesse state government passed a bill that allocated funding to send teachers a $1,000 hazard pay bonus. This bonus came at the expense of a two percent raise included in previous education spending bills. The bill was signed on 30 June, and educators are expected to receive their checks before 1 January 2022.
A bill passed by the Florida legislature earlier this year will allocate more than $400 million to send “thank-you” bonuses to teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other first responders. Most recipients are expected to receive a $1000 check.
For teachers specifically, the checks are being sent to 3,600 public school principals and nearly 180,000 full-time classroom teachers. The law passed, but it leaves out critical school personal such as counselors and other support staff.
Other thank you bonuses
Not many other states have allocated funding for checks f this kind for all teachers, but some districts have opted to use the funding for this type of payment.
In Texas, the Denton Irving district approved a measure that will send a $500 retention bonus, while in Irving, a $2,000 payment will be distributed to staff returning to the classroom this year.
Earlier this year, Michigan distributed a $500 hazard pay bonus to teachers in the state. The MI Classroom Heroes Grants also sent $250 to school staff and, in total, cost the state around $73 million.