Governor Signs Much Needed Relief for Californians
- Karie Portillo
SACRAMENTO – Yesterday, the California State Assembly voted on a pandemic relief package containing immediate actions providing $7.6 billion in relief to individuals, families and business owners suffering economic hardship from the COVID-19 Recession. Governor Newsom signed the Immediate Action Budget bills this morning.
“I’ve spoken with many families and small businesses who have been struggling to get by over the last year due to COVID-19 and our necessary precautions,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks). “The goal of this package, which builds upon previous relief passed by the Legislature, is to provide a helping hand to those working hard but still unable to make ends meet. Californians are hurting now, so we are taking action while we wait for a more comprehensive federal relief package.”
The relief package includes funding in grants for small businesses, tax relief for businesses and new relief payments for low-income Californians.
“I want to thank Assemblymember Irwin for her leadership on this relief package. Small businesses are struggling and have been operating under complex state mandates for nearly a year,” stated Danielle Borja, President & CEO of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce. “The combination of additional small business grant funding and tax forgiveness for Paycheck Protection Program expenses will help business owners bridge the gap to keep their doors open. It will also keep their employees on the payroll as the vaccine rollout continues.”
“The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit are some of the best tools we have to promote work and fight poverty,” said Eric Harrison, United Way of Ventura County, President & CEO. “This additional stimulus for one-time relief to households receiving the California EITC for 2020 will provide much needed assistance and we are grateful to Assemblymember Irwin for her leadership and support.”
Below are some key measures for the pandemic relief package:
Direct Relief to Individuals and Families
- Those with incomes below $30,000, as well as those unfairly excluded from previous federal stimulus payments.
- $600 in one-time relief to households receiving the California EITC for 2020.
- $600 one-time payment to taxpayers with Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs).
- $600 payments to households with ITINs and income below $75,000.
- ITIN taxpayers who also qualify for the California EITC would receive a total of $1,200.
- The payments will be provided to these households shortly after they file their 2020 tax returns.
- $600 one-time grant to households enrolled in the CalWORKS program and recipients of SSI/SSP and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).
- Grant payments for CalWORKS households are expected by mid-April; timing for the delivery of SSI/SSP and CAPI grants is currently under discussion with federal officials.
Immediate Relief for Small Businesses Quadrupled
- From $500 million to more than $2 billion – for grants up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic, and also allocates $50 million for cultural institutions.
Fee Waivers for Most Impacted Licensees
- Two years of fee relief for roughly 59,000 restaurants and bars licensed through the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
- Fee relief for more than 600,000 barbering and cosmetology individuals and businesses licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs.
More Resources for Critical Child Care
- Just over $400 million in new federal funds that will provide stipends of $525 per enrolled child for all state-subsidized child care and preschool providers serving approximately 400,000 children in subsidized care statewide.
- The new federal resources will extend care for children of essential workers through June of 2022, and funds increased access to subsidized child care for more than 8,000 children of essential workers and at-risk children – who are not currently served in the system – through June of 2022.
Additional Aid for Individuals and Families
- Additional $24 million for financial assistance and services through Housing for the Harvest – a program providing support for agricultural workers who have to quarantine due to COVID-19.
- The agreement also provides a combined $35 million for food banks and diapers.
Emergency Financial Relief to Support Community College Students
- An additional $100 million in emergency financial aid for qualifying low-income students carrying six or more units, with award amounts to be determined locally and made available by early April.
- $20 million to reengage students who have either left their community college studies because of the pandemic or to engage students at risk of leaving.
CalFresh Student Outreach and Application Assistance
- Roughly $6 million to support outreach and application assistance to University of California, California State University and California Community College students made newly eligible for CalFresh – the state-administered federal program for supplemental food assistance.
- $12 million in state funds to support associated county administrative workload.
Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin represents California’s 44th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Camarillo, Moorpark, Oak Park, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village.