An estimated two-thirds of California’s nearly 40 million residents are expected to receive a stimulus check of $600 under a new budget plan pushed forward by the state’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, and approved by lawmakers there this week.
The federal government has previously approved three rounds of stimulus checks amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and this will mark the second direct payment passed at the state level in California. Under the latest round of direct payments, all taxpayers in the state earning up to $75,000 per year will receive a $600 stimulus check, while families with dependents would receive an additional $500.
Undocumented immigrant families will also receive $500 payments—with about $8.1 billion set aside in total to cover the cost of all the new stimulus checks.
State officials have estimated that two out of every three residents in California will receive a stimulus payment. With a population of about 39.5 million people, that means more than 26 million residents should see checks in the coming weeks.
Newsom first proposed the “Golden State Stimulus II” in May. Under a former California stimulus package, lower-income residents already received a previous $600 stimulus check. Those payments, which were approved in April, doled out payments to Californians who earned up to $30,000 per year. The new plan expands on that, providing checks to significantly more state residents.
Lawmakers in California additionally approved a $5.2 billion plan to pay off all the unpaid rent of lower-income residents from during the COVID-19 pandemic. Newsom hailed this as the “largest rent relief package” the U.S. has ever approved.
“NEW: California is investing $5.2 billion to cover ALL the unpaid rent for lower-income Californians who struggled during the pandemic. This is the largest rent relief package America has ever seen,” the governor tweeted on June 25. “California is ROARING back—and leaving no one behind.”
Congress passed bipartisan COVID-19 legislation back in March 2020 that provided a majority of Americans with one-time stimulus checks of up to $1,200. In a second bipartisan COVID-19 stimulus package approved in December, lawmakers in Washington, D.C. approved another round of $600 direct payments. After President Joe Biden took office, Democrats in March pushed through a third round of stimulus payments of up to $1,400—which no Republicans in Congress supported.
More than 80 Democratic lawmakers in Congress have publicly backed providing additional stimulus support to Americans, as millions remain unemployed and face economic difficulties due to the fallout from the pandemic. A petition on Change.org calling for recurring stimulus checks of $2,000 per month has garnered nearly 2.5 million signatures in support since it was first launched last year.