Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday in Oakland that he would be proposing a $ 100 billion “California Comeback Plan” to cover statewide stimulus checks for 2/3rds of all Californians, rental assistance, and other direct cash forms of economic relief.
While Newsom’s proposal will be slowly revealed this week until a formal submittal of the proposal to the state legislature in Sacramento on Friday, many parts were unveiled on Monday. The largest part known of the proposal so far is the $12 billion state stimulus check program. Under the plan, Californian’s making $75,000 a year or less would receive $600 from the state. Families with children would receive another $500, with undocumented families also receiving $500. If passed, the stimulus checks would be the second round approved this year, following the $600 per person Golden State Stimulus divested last month to only 4 million low-income Californians.
In addition, $5.2 billion of the proposed $100 billion would go to doubling rental assistance to complete 100% of back rent paid for those who fell behind payments, and $2 billion to go towards water, gas, and electric utility bills for those needing assistance.
“Direct stimulus checks going into people’s pockets and direct relief. That’s meaningful,” said Governor Newsom on Monday. “The stimulus goes well above and beyond what is projected to be required by the law. It’s the largest tax relief year-over-year in U.S. history as well, not just California history. We believe people are better suited than we are to make determinations for themselves on how best to use these dollars.
“California is not just back. California is roaring back.”
In a Tweet, the Governor’s Office reiterated the size of the proposal, saying “This week, we unveil the biggest economic recovery package in CA’s history – the $100 billion California Comeback Plan. We will take on our most persistent challenges – and start with immediate, direct relief to Californians. California will roar back from this pandemic.”
This week, we unveil the biggest economic recovery package in CA’s history – the $100 billion California Comeback Plan. We will take on our most persistent challenges – and start with immediate, direct relief to Californians.
California will roar back from this pandemic. pic.twitter.com/5a9hpFBntM
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) May 10, 2021
Governor’s “California Comeback Plan” receives heavy praise, criticism
“Because of California’s very progressive tax structure, and because most of our revenue comes from the wealthiest, we have money,” said Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) on Monday. “Now, unlike other states, we are using that money to support the many Californians who’ve been hurt during this pandemic. We are in the position now to be able to provide more.”
California Democratic Party (CADEM) leadership also weighed in, with CADEM Chairman Rusty Hicks also giving support to the Governor’s plan.
“Today, Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement of California’s economic recovery plan demonstrates how Democratic leaders across the state are working to ensure every person builds back stronger,” said Hicks in a statement on Monday. “The California Comeback Plan prioritizes communities who have been hit hardest while creating opportunities for California’s workforce who have been displaced due to COVID-19.
“As Democrats work to create equitable solutions that meet the moment, the California Democratic Party commends Governor Newsom for centering our recovery around those who need it the most. CADEM looks forward to continue working with Democratic leaders as we emerge from this global pandemic together.”
However, many opposed the Governor’s announcement on Monday, with Republicans, recall supporters, and others charging that the Governor would have had to provide a taxpayer rebate by law because of the size of the surplus, as well as accusing him of providing such a large stimulus plan to buy his way out of the upcoming recall election, with many nicknaming it as a “recall rebate”.
Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) specifically went after Newsom on Monday, replying to the Governor’s “better suited” quote with a Tweet saying “Who is gonna tell Gavin Newsom that this is what Republicans have said for years? #recallrebate.”
— Scott Wilk (@ScottWilkCA) May 10, 2021
California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson also released a statement on Monday along the same lines, while also stressing the need for a permanent recovery.
“It’s amazing what a looming recall will do, as Gavin Newsom prioritizes his political career over addressing the problems that will put California back on track,” stated Patterson. “While it’s nice to see Newsom acknowledge that people are struggling under his incompetence, a one-time payment does not make a permanent recovery. California will still have the highest poverty level, highest amount of homelessness, highest taxes, near the highest cost of living, near the highest unemployment rate and highest number of residents fleeing to more welcoming and affordable states. Sacramento Democrats and this governor created California’s problems. Gavin Newsom earned this recall, and his politically-convenient photo op today doesn’t begin to fix the damage he’s inflicted on the Golden State.”
Newsom insisted later on Monday following the backlash that the recall has been driven largely by Republicans, despite evidence to the contrary.
“It is a Republican-backed recall period, full stop,” added Newsom. “To the extent that people rightfully and understandably were stressed and anxious over the last year because of this pandemic-induced recession and all the struggle, I completely respect and understand why some may have filled out a petition. But at the end of the day, this is what it is, a Republican-backed recall.”
The Governor is expected to present his stimulus plan to the legislature on Friday, with many expecting it to pass due to the Democratic supermajority in both the Assembly and Senate.