California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a $100 billion “Comeback Plan” budget package that includes tax relief and stimulus checks to help state residents recover from the pandemic and resulting lockdowns.
“Harnessing the largest surplus in state history, we’re making transformative investments across the board that will help bring all our communities roaring back from the pandemic and pay dividends for generations to come,” Newsom said at the Barrio Action Youth & Family Center in El Sereno.
It provides immediate cash relief to middle-class families and businesses hit hardest by the pandemic and lockdowns, creating the biggest state tax rebate in U.S. history and the largest small-business relief package in the nation, Newsom’s office said in a statement.
Specifically, the package would send funds to small businesses and renters, and to Californians who have an annual income of $75,000 or less.
It also invests roughly $12 billion over two years to tackle the state’s homelessness crisis, Newsom’s office said. In addition, nearly two-thirds of Californians will now qualify for a stimulus check of $600; qualified families with children will receive an additional $500.
The administration noted that the state offers the largest renter assistance package in the country, with $5.2 billion set aside to assist low-income renters and landlords, covering 100 percent of back rent and all prospective rent for “several months into the future.” A further $2 billion is available for past-due water and utility bills and funds for tenant legal assistance.
The package also provides $4 billion in direct grants to the state’s small businesses, on top of the $6.2 billion in tax relief aimed to help small-business owners. A $120 million tax credit grant program will also be created to incentivize businesses to relocate to California, Newsom’s office said.
“Through this comprehensive plan, the state is taking on the inequities laid bare by the pandemic, expanding our support for Californians facing the greatest hardships, increasing opportunity for every child, confronting homelessness head-on and doubling down on our work to build resilience against the climate change impacts that threaten California’s future,” Newsom said in a statement.
The governor, who is facing a recall election on Sept. 14, said at the El Sereno event that he’s “mindful about the stresses and challenges” that the state still faces, but that he is “absolutely confident and enlivened by what this blueprint, what this ‘comeback plan’ here in the state of California offers 40 million Californians strong into the future.”
Hours earlier, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the funds will help the state expand and implement programs that will have “lasting, positive impacts on our city and our communities.”
“Thanks to our Los Angeles legislative delegation, our city secured some big wins. I want to thank our delegation and Governor Newsom for the important resources that will be coming to our community to address homelessness, housing, economic recovery, climate change, and more,” the mayor said.
Newsom said, “California is not only back, but California is once again asserting itself as the temple of the American economy.”