Governor Newsom and legislative leaders announce COVID relief payments for low-income Californians

Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced Wednesday that they have reached an agreement to provide relief to Californians struggling due to the pandemic. This immediate action agreement includes one-time $600 payments to low-income Californians.



This compromise builds on initiatives in the Newsom’s budget proposal. The initiatives include providing cash relief to lower income citizens, increasing aid to small businesses and providing license renewal fee waivers to businesses. 

Atkins emphasized the importance of the compromise:

“We’re nearly a year into this pandemic, and millions of Californians continue to feel the impact on their wallets and bottom lines. Businesses are struggling. People are having a hard time making ends meet. This agreement builds on Governor Newsom’s proposal, and in many ways, enhances it so that we can provide the kind of immediate emergency relief that families and small businesses desperately need right now. People are hungry and hurting and businesses our communities have loved for decades are at risk of closing their doors. We are at a critical moment, and I’m proud we were able to come together to get Californians some needed relief.”

The agreement also provides tax credits for small businesses, combines resources for childcare services and funds emergency financial aid for community college students.

Newsom spoke about the agreement:

“As we continue to fight the pandemic and recover, I’m grateful for the Legislature’s partnership to provide urgent relief and support for California families and small businesses where it’s needed most. From child care, relief for small business owners, direct cash support to individuals, financial aid for community college students and more, these actions are critical for millions of Californians who embody the resilience of the California spirit.”

The relief agreement includes the Governor’s Golden State Stimulus plan that was part of his budget for the state. This plan will provide $600 in one-time relief to households that are receiving the California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for 2020. They will also provide this payment to taxpayers who did not receive the federal stimulus checks.

If a Californian is receiving an EITC and did not receive federal stimulus checks, they will receive a total of $1,200.

The agreement broadens the initial plan and provides direct relief to more Californians through a one-time grant to households that are enrolled in the CalWORKS program, recipients of Social Security and recipients of the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants

The combined total of payments that will be given to low-income Californians is $5.7 million.

Rendon also praised the agreement: 

“Californians have been hurting. Our response tackles the human and the economic impacts of COVID in a way that echoes President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and will help those who are hurting most. We are building an economic foundation for the recovery of jobs, small businesses and, indeed, our everyday lives”