On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom offered his answer to a question that has been percolating since reports started to show that the state’s pandemic-battered coffers weren’t so empty after all: How should California use its unexpected budget surplus?
“The largest year-over-year tax rebate of any state in American history,” the governor said, speaking in Oakland, flanked by local leaders and state lawmakers. “Direct stimulus checks going into people’s pockets.”
Those would be $600 checks to roughly two-thirds of California taxpayers, as Shawn Hubler, Conor Dougherty and I reported.
They’re one part of the governor’s plan for a budget windfall that was not only unanticipated, but also large. As in $75.7 billion.
also announced plans to pay 100 percent of the back rent owed by some low-income renters who have been affected by the pandemic, and to spend $2 billion to help residents pay overdue utility bills.
Over the course of the week, Newsom is set to unveil other big swings in his annual budget revision, including asking the Legislature to approve $12 billion in new spending on homelessness over two years — which would be by far the most ever committed to the problem — and billions on expanded child care subsidies and drought and wildfire mitigation.
We’ll explore those plans more in depth soon. But for now, here’s what to know about the proposals announced on Monday:
Who will be eligible for the additional Golden State Stimulus checks?
The rebate plan would send state stimulus checks of at least $600 to about 11 million middle-class taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of less than $75,000, with an extra $500 to those with dependent children; the income threshold and benefit would be halved for married couples filing their tax returns separately.
The proposal would cover eligible taxpayers, regardless of immigration status, who did not get a $600 state stimulus check under an earlier program that targeted more than four million low-income Californians.
If I’m eligible for a check, when will I get it?
The money would be a tax rebate, so just make sure you file your taxes.
from a soaring stock market and an I.P.O. boom. And they have mostly been able to work from home, while lower-income Californians have picked food, stocked grocery store shelves and delivered packages shipped by more Californians laboring in enormous warehouses.