Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $ 7.6 billion stimulus package last week that will send $ 600 in payments to an estimated 5.7 million low-income Californians. The relief package was “desperately needed by millions upon millions of Californians,” Newsom said at a press conference last week. “Those who were left behind in the federal stimulus, California won’t leave you behind.”
The move came as Mr Newsom came under fire from critics who blame his mismanagement of pandemic restrictions for the plight of struggling businesses. The state’s small business owners are participating in the governor’s recall efforts. It remains to be seen how exactly the most recent relief package might help or hinder recall efforts – nearly all of the signatures needed to move the process forward have been collected, but have yet to be verified.
[Read more about how the recall works and what’s ahead.]
Last week, the state passed the grim milestone of 50,000 deaths – more than any other state, but far behind other states in per capita deaths. There have been an average of 5,761 cases per day over the past week, a decrease of 46% from the average two weeks earlier. And while the drop from all-time highs is a good sign, experts warn that recent case drops are not a reason to lift restrictions.
Nonetheless, several counties in California have resumed outdoor activities, including dining and contact sports, while schools in many areas remain closed. Last week, a report also highlighted the impact of the pandemic on California’s “creative economy,” showing that from February to December of last year, the state lost 175,000 jobs in industries such as as entertainment, media, architecture, fashion, etc.
The state’s relief program aims to help both small businesses and low-income residents affected by the pandemic.
“This plan represents a way to mitigate the human and economic blows of Covid. In addition, it lays the economic foundation for the recovery, ”said President of the State, Anthony Rendon. Here is what you can expect from the invoice.
Who will be eligible for payments?
People who claimed the California Earned Income Tax Credit – which applies to those earning less than $ 30,000 per year – on their 2020 tax return will be eligible.
Separately, taxpayers who use individual tax identification numbers and earn less than $ 75,000 after deductions will also be eligible for $ 600. (Those who use ID numbers are typically undocumented immigrants, who were not eligible for federal stimulus payments.) In total, households that use individual IDs and claim the state’s earned income credit will receive $ 1,200.
Other low-income Californians enrolled in the CalWORKS program are also eligible for a one-time grant of $ 600.
[Read more about the federal coronavirus aid bill, which passed the House over the weekend and is headed to the Senate.]
When will the money arrive?
Those who are eligible through the state’s EIC or as filers using individual tax identification numbers can expect to receive their payment approximately four to five weeks after filing their tax returns. (Those who were eligible for the credit but didn’t apply it to their taxes can change their returns.)
For those participating in the CalWORKS program, the state said grant payments are expected in mid-April.
What is included in the rescue package?
This relief program also provides funding of $ 2.1 billion for grants to small businesses. It includes fee waivers for bars, restaurants, hair salons and other hard-hit businesses.
In addition, other parts of the package include resources for essential child care and financial assistance for community college students. Federal funds will help provide stipends of $ 525 per child enrolled in all publicly funded child care and preschool services. For low-income community college students, the program includes emergency financial assistance of $ 100 million as well as an additional $ 20 million to support efforts to re-engage students who may have left colleges due to hardship. of the pandemic.
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Here’s what else you might have missed over the weekend
President Biden has vowed to create a more humane approach to immigration. But thousands of children who crossed the southwest border alone are confined in government shelters, rather than sent to their families. [The New York Times]
Tired of being locked inside during the pandemic, Vicha Ratanapakdee, a Thai immigrant who lived in San Francisco, was impatient for his regular morning walk. Then a brutal assault ended his life and sparked an uproar against anti-Asian racism. [The New York Times]
Learn about the complex and deeply moving outpouring of pain in response to attacks on Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities. [The New York Times]
See an illustration of how opening windows could help schools reopen. [The New York Times]
Nearly 1.2 million teachers and other essential workers will be eligible for vaccines in Los Angeles County starting today. [The Los Angeles Times]
High school students face a range of challenges, like isolation and pandemic exhaustion, and they are asking for university financial aid at lower rates. [LAist]
Supporters say counties like Kern lack of infrastructure to reach vulnerable agricultural workers for vaccination. [The Bakersfield Californian]
Californians speak more than 200 languagesSo it is difficult to spread good information that all residents of the state can understand. [The Sacramento Bee]
He is a 13-year-old recreational guerrilla who builds swings around Oakland – and he’s not afraid of breaking the rules. [Oaklandside]
“We knew that day was coming.” Fans bid farewell to beloved Ruby outpost, in Huntington Beach. [The Orange County Register]
A pair of skiers became the first to complete a daring hike in the Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. [The San Francisco Chronicle]