By Ian Firstenberg
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) Gov. Gavin Newsom revealed a massive relief package last Friday aimed at helping the millions of Californians who are struggling to recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 related health restrictions.
According to a press release from his office, the stimulus proposed by the governor on May 10, $100 billion in total with roughly $12 billion in stimulus checks, would be the largest state tax rebate in American history.
An eye-catching portion of this proposed stimulus are the direct payments for families making up to $75,000 (as opposed to the previous state stimulus, which capped the checks at around $30,000) and the back rent help from the state.
While the proposal didn't specify how much money would specifically be dedicated to helping Californians with rent, it did note that "billions of dollars" would be used "to help low-income Californians pay back 100 percent of their back-rent, their rent for the months to come and overdue water and utility bills."
Newsom will highlight the specifics on the California Comeback Plan during press conferences this upcoming week, however, this proposed stimulus comes as a number of states across the country begin to reopen or lift mask mandates.
California is among the last state's in the nation to move into reopening, with a number of East Coast states pushing forward in early May.
The Golden State has kept mask mandates in place through June 15, according to reports from The East Bay Times. That's the same day as the proposed full reopening that Newsom laid in a previous plan for the state.
In late February of this year, Newsom signed a COVID-19 relief package into law designed to build on the budget proposal his office put forward in January of this year to "provide cash relief to lower-income Californians, increase aid to small businesses and provide license renewal fee waivers to businesses impacted by the pandemic."
February's legislative package is also designed to provide more childcare support and provide financial aid for community college students.
According to the January budget proposal, a $227.2 billion package, designed to ease the economic stress of COVID-19. The budget proposed $372 million for increased vaccine distribution, $14 billion for economic relief including small businesses, those facing eviction and $600 stimulus checks.
Additionally, the January proposal put forward the largest school funding, roughly $90 billion, in state history, with $2 billion allotted to "accelerate safe returns to in-person instruction," $4.6 billion to "help students bounce back from the impacts of the pandemic" and $400 million for school-based mental health services.