SACRAMENTO, Calif.; – California lawmakers on Monday cleared the way for 5.7 million people to receive at least $ 600 in one-time payments, part of a state-size coronavirus relief package aimed at people with incomes help lower the final legs of the pandemic.
The state legislature passed the bill by a broad margin Monday, moving faster than its peers in Congress who are also considering another round of stimulus investigations for the country.
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Gov. Gavin Newsom said he will sign the law Tuesday. People who are eligible for the money should receive it between 45 and 60 days after receiving their state tax refunds, according to the Franchise Tax Board.
One of those people is Judy Jackson, a 75-year-old veteran and cancer survivor who earns about $ 1,000 a month from other government programs. Jackson said she would use part of the money to pay for a freezer she bought so she could have food delivered to her home and not go out to look for food during the pandemic. .
“Most months at the end of the month I worry about whether the money is going to run out before the month does,” said Jackson, who said she is at higher risk for COVID-19 due to its age and several subterranean health conditions. “This will make it possible to have a little more and maybe buy ice cream from time to time.”
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The incentive payments are part of a broader aid package approved by the state Legislature on Monday worth $ 7.6 billion. It includes more than $ 2 billion in grants for small businesses, leaving about $ 25.6 million worth of business taxes for struggling restaurants and hair shops and donating $ 30 million for food banks and another $ 5 million for diaper banks.
The incentive studies target fewer people than last year’s federal incentive payments. Approximately $ 2.3 billion will go to those who claim and receive California-earned income tax credits. Generally, these are people earning $ 30,000 a year or less.
Another $ 470 million will go to people earning a maximum of $ 75,000 per year after discounts and using a taxpayer identification number to enter their income taxes. Most of these are people who do not have social security numbers, including immigrants.
Some people fit both of those categories. In these cases, they will receive $ 1,200, not $ 600. This was done by the Democratic-controlled state legislature because most of the people who file their taxes in this way are ineligible immigrants. on federal incentive studies agreed by Congress last year.
Approximately $ 993 million will go to people who receive assistance from state programs aimed at low-income families, the elderly, the blind and the disabled.
California has the money to do this in part because the state – the country ‘s largest population with nearly 40 million residents – has many wealthy people who have not been affected by the pandemic. is still paying taxes.
California lost 1.5 million jobs last year, mostly earning lower wages in the hospitality and restaurant industry. At the same time, employment among people earning $ 60,000 a year or more rose last year when people moved to work from home.
The result is that California has an estimated $ 15 billion of one-time surplus to spend this year, a number that could grow even higher later this year once more people filing their taxes.
“We must admit that this pandemic has not struck us all equally,” said State Senate Joaquin Arambula, a Democrat from Fresno.
California has some of the strictest coronavirus industry regulations in the country, banning indoor dinner in much of the state and ordering vendors to limit the number of people allowed inside their stores.
Last year, Newsom used its emergency authority to set aside $ 500 million for grants of up to $ 25,000 for small businesses affected by the pandemic. But in the first round of funding, the state received more than 334,000 applications worth more than $ 4.4 billion in grants.
On Monday, the Legislature added a further $ 2 billion to that program. Businesses with between $ 1,000 and $ 2.5 million in revenue are eligible, and must be open or at least have a plan to reopen when they are allowed.
Convener Mike Gipson, a Democrat from Carson, said small business owners in his area have been “praying for a response.”
“This is the answer to their prayers,” he said.
However, some Republicans, while voting for the bill, criticized Newsom for the “hurt and hurt” it caused businesses by ordering state-wide closures at the height of the crisis. pandemic.
“This bill did not need to be as big as it is today,” said General James Gallagher, a Republican from Yuba City. “This regulator has illegally and unilaterally decided to close most small businesses in this state. As a result, many businesses have already gone out of business and that should be a problem for all of us. “