Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday rolled out the first part of an enormous economic recovery package, hoping to help Californians bounce back as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to wane.

One element of his $100 billion economic stimulus plan: a proposal to hand out a total of $8 billion in new $600 stimulus payments to millions of Californians.

If approved by the state Legislature within the next month, the payments would mark the second round of state stimulus checks offered to Californians in 2021. In February, Newsom signed a law to provide 5.7 million low-income Californians with $2.3 billion in state stimulus checks.

“Direct stimulus checks going into people’s pockets and direct relief — that’s meaningful,” Newsom said Monday while visiting the Unity Council, a nonprofit social equity organization in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood.

Details about the other components of the governor’s $100-billion “California Comeback Plan” will be released bit by bit over the next few days, leading up to the deadline of his revised state budget submission on Friday.

Here are some more specifics of the governor’s Monday announcement:

Who will get a stimulus check?

Newsom’s proposal includes $600 for eligible Californians and an additional $500 for families with children. Californians who have already received a $600 stimulus check from the state earlier this year will not receive a second.

Individual taxpayers who make up to $75,000 in gross annual adjusted income are eligible for the one-time $600 payment. An additional $500 in direct payments will be given to families with dependents, including undocumented families.

How will the rental assistance work?

Newsom wants to spend $5.2 billion on rental assistance, with the goal of covering 100% of back rent owed by Californians directly affected by COVID-19, and to give a total of $2 billion directly to help Californians pay off overdue water, gas and electricity bills. At least $1 billion of the funding would be dedicated to helping residents pay off water bills, he said.

Under California’s current COVID-19 rent relief program, landlords can apply — or renters can apply for their landlords — to get reimbursed for 80% of each eligible renter’s unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, if they agree to waive the remaining 20% of unpaid rent for that specific time period.

The governor’s new plan would allow landlords to get fully reimbursed; those who previously only received 80% of the payments from the state would get an additional 20%.

“Rent relief at the 100% — not 80% — is our proposal and we would allow for that 100% to be retroactive, to cover those who have already received the 80%,” Newsom said  Monday.

Tenants who qualify for the state’s rental assistance must prove they experienced financial hardship because of COVID-19. Applicants are not required to show proof of citizenship.

For more information about the state’s current rent relief program, click here.

When will this funding be available?


Source link