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California Stimulus Checks: Lawmakers Considering Sending $2,000

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

California stimulus checks

California has already sent two rounds of stimulus checks under the Golden State Stimulus program. A coalition of anti-poverty organizations is now calling on the state to send more California stimulus checks. If the bill is approved, the state would send a $2,000 one-time payment per child to families.


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California Stimulus Checks: Who Will Get Them?

Assembly member Miguel Santiago introduced Assembly Bill 2589 that calls for a one-time California Child Tax Credit to low-income families. The proposal intends to use the state’s budget surplus to send $2,000 California stimulus checks to families earning $30,000 or less per year.

This one-time payment would go to families with children ages 17 and younger. Another $1,000 could also come from the state’s existing Young Child Tax Credit for qualifying children under the age of 6.

Speaking to lawmakers in the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation, Santiago said this bill could prove a “game changer” for families that have fallen into poverty after Congress failed to extend the expanded child tax credit for one more year. The 2021 American Rescue Plan expanded the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,600 per qualified dependent.

“We’ve now had 1.7 million children fall back into poverty for those families who are $30,000 and below, and the inability of the federal government to step up has had devastating impacts on those families earning $30,000 and below,” Santiago told lawmakers.

Columbia University research found that the expanded child tax credit helped in reducing child poverty by more than 26%, especially among Black and Latino families. It is believed that most families spend the expanded child tax credit money on basic needs, such as food, clothing or rent.

A study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) claims that 1.7 million California children are at risk of falling back into poverty. The expanded child tax credit program expired in December 2021.

Santiago says that his proposal to send the one-time California Child Tax Credit is a follow-up act on “the largest anti-poverty program we’ve had.”

Plans To Raise CalEITC As Well

Along with proposing a one-time California Child Tax Credit, Santiago bill’s also plans to raise the minimum California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) payment to $255 for those with income of $30,000 or less. Santiago estimates that such a raise would give an “economic boost” to around 3 million California tax filers who do not have dependents.

Those in favor of the bill say that over 100,000 California families with kids and half of workers without kids currently get a CalEITC of less than $100.

Santiago bill’s has already been heard by the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee on Monday. The committee will vote on the bill sometime later. There has been no stated opposition to the proposal thus far. If approved, the legislation would cost about $3.8 billion.

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