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California Legislature working on $100 billion stimulus plan

The plan would allow the state treasurer to issue tax vouchers that proponents said could raise billions of dollars.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Legislature are using its final weeks in session to help Californians impacted by the coronavirus pandemic by developing a stimulus plan.

The $100 billion plan — Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, and Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, and Assemblymembers Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, and Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks — relies on what they are calling future tax vouchers. They also want to speed up other spending during the coronavirus pandemic.

The plan would allow the state treasurer to issue tax vouchers that proponents said could raise billions of dollars. The state would let taxpayers prepay their taxes for a future budget year at a slight discount.

The plan includes:

  • Extending the sales tax loan program.
  • Streamline the Work Sharing program administered by Employment Development Department [EDD] to ensure temporary alternatives to layoffs.
  • Borrowing money from the federal government to help the state's insurance programs.
  • Accelerate existing CPUC revenue streams that will expand broadband services throughout the state to benefit distance learning and other activities.
  • Accelerate future Cap and Trade funds to backfill lost revenues due to the downturn and ensure critical programs remain funded.

Lawmakers announced their plan Monday as the Legislature begins a five-week sprint to its adjournment after abandoning most of this year’s legislative session for fear of spreading the virus.

Earlier in the summer, Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a $202.1 billion budget, which contains billions of dollars in cuts to state worker salaries, the court system and public colleges and universities. But that spending would be restored if the federal government sends the state more aid by Oct. 15.

In addition to the spending cuts, the budget closes the deficit by temporarily raising taxes on some businesses, pulling heavily from the state's reserves and delaying billions of dollars of expenses to future years.

READ MORE: 

California lawmakers head back to Capitol with much work to do

Gov. Newsom pushes need for expanded protections for essential workers

Financial aid appeals surge as students cope with pandemic hardships

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