Gov. Newsom Proclaims Checks and Grants for the Largest Economy in America
Millions of Californians have felt the impact on their wallets and the bottom line for their businesses. Governor Newsom believes that families need vital relief now, as the recession has been ravaging for over a year.
"People are hungry and hurting - Communities [we] have loved for decades are at risk of closing their doors. We are at a critical moment, and I'm proud we were able to come together to get Californians some needed relief," said Tempore Atkins, the Senate President.
State legislatures have agreed to more stimulus funds for California residents. This is in addition to the stimulus funds that President Biden will sign into action, hopefully sometime in the next several weeks.
On Tuesday, Governor Newsom signed into law a hefty $7.6 billion stimulus package that will invigorate personal income and small businesses. The package includes a one-time stimulus payment for low-income Californians for $600, which is so much like the previous stimulus payment agreed to by the national government.
Cultural institutions and non-profit organizations are included in the distributions. Business organizations will receive grants ranging in size from $5,000 to $25,000.
Lawmakers have set aside $2.3 billion for business grants from the stimulus funds. Small business owners who work in cosmetology, barbershop, and restaurants will have their license fees waived for two years.
Roughly 6 million residents of California will qualify for the stimulus checks. The state treasury will make total payments to California's families that make less than $30,000 per year, primarily through the California Earned Income Tax Credit. This will benefit moderate to low-income people. So far, $2.3 billion in payments have been earmarked for the stimulus checks.
People with insufficient employment income, who are the beneficiary of CalWorks, will also receive payments. Furthermore, beneficiaries include the elderly, the disabled, individuals on SSI and SSDI, and immigrants who receive benefits from the cash assistance program.
- CalWorks Recipients: 405,000 in payments
- SSI: 1.2 million in payments
- Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants: 15,000 in payments
Immigrants who have 'ITINs' Individual Tax Identification Numbers will be eligible to receive grants up to $1,200 if their family income does not exceed $75,000.
That leaves about $470 million in stimulus payments that will go out to 565,000 immigrants. According to the Los Angeles Times, some of those individuals may have expired visas or are merely undocumented.
Other sectors of the economy will not be left out of the funds' distribution. Millions of assistance will go to local area food banks, community colleges and universities, early head start programs, agricultural programs, and childcare services. Subsidized childcare services will get an additional $525 per child in care. California has 400,000 children enrolled in subsided childcare programs.
For some, State aid is not enough, especially for undocumented immigrants. Senator Maria Elena Durazo, the state legislature Democrat, said the government checks do not make the cut for the immigrants who have suffered the pandemic's realities. They have faced financial turmoil because they have not had access to aid and jobs that were available to the general population.
Durazo believes, "It is a great step forward - for low-wage workers. They have been disproportionately impacted by unemployment. I think there is room to include more who are still not covered either by our state or federal programs."
On the other hand, the benefits will not help the undocumented who do not have ITIN numbers. Sasha Feldstein, the manager for the California Immigrant Policy Center, told state lawmakers that relief payments do not extend to the undocumented. As a result, California is creating a state of inequality among its residents at the congressional hearing.
According to the Franchise Tax Board, for individuals who file their state tax returns, they will receive their payments 45 to 60 days after they receive their state tax refund checks.
Struggling businesses will have $25.6 billion in license fees waived, diaper banks will get $5 million, and food banks will have an additional $30 million to feed hungry residents.
California businesses can write-off up to $150,000 in federal aid for tax breaks. Presently, 775,000 businesses have filed for paycheck protection loans.