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Gov. Newsom proposes 'California Comeback Plan' tax rebate as virus relief

The expanded Golden State Stimulus will provide an additional $11.9 billion in direct cash payments to Californians.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled parts of his $100 billion 'California Comeback Plan' on Monday morning, which included a proposal for more Golden State Stimulus checks. 

The expanded Golden State Stimulus would provide an additional $11.9 billion in direct cash payments to Californians.

"Two out of every three Californians will benefit from a stimulus check of at least $600, and families with kids will now benefit from an additional $500," according to a press release from the Governor's office.  

The governor said that the state of California has a $75.7 billion surplus, some of which will be allocated to the next wave of $600 payments. This time in 2020, the state projected a surplus of roughly $54.3 billion. 

"It's a remarkable turn around," Newsom said. 

However, the announcement of more state stimulus checks arrives even as $1 billion of Golden State Stimulus money for the first round of payments is left unclaimed, with some people perhaps unaware that they are eligible for the $600 direct cash payments

The governor said the second round of payments, which will be put forth as a tax rebate, would go to families that make up to $75,000, encompassing a group of Californians that Newsom identifies as 'middle class.'

"That tax rebate will impact just shy of 80% of all tax filers, will get a direct stimulus check, will get a direct relief payment because of this announcement," Gov. Newsom said. 

Other proposed parts of the California Comeback Plan include rent and utility relief. Gov. Newsom announced during the press conference that this renters assistance package, the largest of any state in America, would pay 100% of back-owed rent and months of overdue water and utility bills. This would affect tenants who have struggled to afford rent and other household bills, while also bringing relief to landlords amid a still ongoing pandemic. 

"California's economic success, California's economic recovery, is predicated on ending this pandemic, and we need to be mindful that this disease...didn't take Mother's Day off, and it's not taking the summer off," Newsom said during the announcement. 

The California Comeback Plan is a part of Newsom's proposed 2021-22 budget, which set aside billions of dollars specifically for economic recovery due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Within the next week, leading up to the final May revision of Newsom's proposed budget, the governor will unveil further parts of his plan. 

Some proposals from January that Newsom may outline as part of his budget include:

  • $1.5 billion for constructing electric charging and hydrogen fueling stations, and subsidizing purchases of zero-emissions cars
  • $777.5 million for job creation and retention
  • $575 million in small-business grants (on top of $500 million allocated last year)
  • $500 million to build more than 7,500 permanently affordable homes
  • $353 million for workforce development
  • $300 million for deferred maintenance of state properties
  • $70.6 million for fee waivers for businesses and individuals impacted by the pandemic

However, as Gov. Newsom approaches the deadline for the state budget's May revision, there may be some changes made to what was originally proposed back in January. The governor's office said Newsom will give more details on major investments and key initiatives throughout the next week. 

"Governor Newsom believes California can’t go back to normal, because normal was never good enough," a spokesperson for the governor's office said in a press release. "The California Comeback Plan has one goal: hit fast forward on our state’s recovery by directly confronting five of California’s most stubborn challenges."

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