President-Elect Biden may unveil an even larger stimulus package than the one signed by Trump in late December when he takes office in 7 days. But he isn’t the only one. State governors are working to develop their own stimulus plans, including California governor Gavin Newsom, who has proposed $600 “Golden State Stimulus Checks” in his $227 billion 2021-2022 budget. Here’s what to know about California’s plan.
When Will the Budget Be Enacted?
The California budget process takes months, so people won’t see the stimulus checks for quite a while. Now that it’s been written up by the governor, the budget needs to be approved by California’s legislature. It will be revised and updated as needed in May, and signed, passed and enacted in summer 2021, when the new fiscal year begins.
Will Everyone in California Get the Stimulus Checks?
Not every California resident will receive the $600 checks on top of their federal stimulus disbursement. Newsom’s stimulus plan differs a bit from the federal one because it is targeted to low-income Californians. If the budget is enacted as it is currently written, the stimulus will go to people who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is a tax break for low- to moderate-income workers and families. The cutoffs vary by your filing status and whether you have dependents, but you can check if you qualify with the IRS eligibility calculator here.
Although not everyone will qualify for the stimulus checks, millions of California residents will—likely about 1 in 7 Californians. Most Californians earning less than $30,000 will be able to receive the payment.
What Else Does the Budget Include?
Alongside the usual state funding and some new funding for wildfire resilience following the state’s historic wildfire year, Newsom’s budget includes many other assistance programs designed to help CA recover from the economic downturn in 2020. The funding includes:
$4.5 billion for job creation and recovery
$90 billion for school re-openings and educational resources
$575 million for more small business grants
$372 million for vaccine distribution, which can be accessed before the budget is finalized “as needed”.
As this story develops and California’s budget process continues, we will update this post. In the meantime, make sure you have downloaded our app so you can get push notifications on the latest stimulus news, including EIDL grants, PPP loans, stimulus checks and even vaccine distribution.