State leaders in California have settled on a stimulus relief bill that will soon help residents defray the recent rise in the cost of essential goods like food and gas. In other words, more state government spending will be issued in the hopes of offsetting the rampant inflation that has plagued the American economy for the last year or so.
Last Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the $17 billion stimulus bill that supporters hope will provide much needed "inflation relief" across the state.
"We have an agreement with the legislature on California’s budget!" the Office of the Governor of California boasted in a tweet late last month. "This budget takes immediate actions to give $ back to millions who are grappling with global inflation and rising costs while tackling some of the greatest challenges of our time."
As with the stimulus checks issued with the federal government in response to government shutdowns during COVID-19, the California inflation checks will be means-tested. According to CBS, "[A] couple that earns a combined $125,000 and has two children would qualify for $350 per adult plus $350 for their children, for a total of $1,050."
Couples earning at least $500,000 or single taxpayers earning at least $250,000 will not qualify for a relief check.
Fox 5 San Diego claims that more than 20 million California residents will likely receive a check. The state has developed a "middle class tax calculator" to help residents determine whether they qualify, and if so, for how much.
However, some are worried that these checks double down on the very government policies that caused inflation to skyrocket in the first place.
CBS says, "Economists credit the combination of government stimulus spending — like direct payments to families and loans to businesses — and supply-chain problems as contributing to the current inflation crisis."
But others deny that this relief bill will contribute to the problem since it merely redirects funds from the $97 billion budget surplus the state announced it had about six weeks ago. It doesn't call for printing more money and injecting it into the economy artificially.
Californians can expect to see the money, either through direct deposit or debit card, as early as October. On Friday, gas in California reached $6.27 a gallon, nearly 30% higher than the national average.