Gavin Newsom proposes $600 stimulus payments for two-thirds of California residents

Gavin Newsom proposes $600 stimulus payments for two-thirds of California residents

Millions of poor and middle-class Californians would get tax rebates of up to $1,100 under a proposal unveiled Monday by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, as part of a broader pandemic recovery plan made possible by an eye-popping $75 billion budget surplus. $600 would be allocated to Californians making under $75,000 per year, and an extra $500 for families with children.

"With the reality of climate change abundantly clear in California, we're taking urgent action to address acute water supply shortfalls in northern and central California while also building our water resilience to safeguard communities in the decades ahead", Newsom said in a statement.

In the meantime, Newsom has been pushing state lawmakers to pass his plan to spend billions of dollars to bolster the state's water resiliency and infrastructure.

To tackle "the stress and the anxiety over the course of the last year-plus in this pandemic-induced recession", Newsom proposed another $5 billion to help low-income Californians pay rent, and up to $2 billion toward water, gas and electricity bills.

The proposal, one in a series the governor plans to make this week in his annual budget revision, takes advantage of a remarkable turnaround in the state's financial picture that comes not only as California emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, but also as Mr. Newsom works to defuse an expected recall election.

"The hots are getting a lot hotter in this state, the dries are getting a lot drier", Newsom said.

State Sen. Scott Wilk used the hashtag #RecallRebate in a tweet calling out the governor's plan. That law, passed by voters as part of a tax revolt that swept the state, calls for a taxpayer rebate if per capita spending, adjusted to account for growth, exceeds a certain level for two consecutive years. Businessman John Cox, who campaigned alongside a bear last week for attention, accused Newsom of engaging in a publicity stunt.

It's the second round of cash payments given by the state in response to the pandemic.

"Californians need permanent, real tax relief, not just one-time stimulus checks", Kevin Faulconer, the Republican former mayor of San Diego, wrote on Twitter. State officials chose a higher eligibility limit for those people because they didn't get federal stimulus checks.

The stimulus payments would be directed to families earning up to $75,000.

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