California And Florida Are Sending Out More Stimulus Checks. Could Your State Be Next?

Topline

With federal Covid-19 relief cash in hand and larger-than-expected revenues in the last fiscal year, some states and cities are moving to send out additional cash payments to residents.

Key Facts

Earlier this week, state lawmakers in California announced a budget deal that would allocate $8.1 billion for stimulus payments of $500 or $600, plus an additional $500 for households with children, for eligible residents (which will follow an earlier round of $600 payments by the state). 

On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a new budget that includes money for $1,000 direct payments to first responders and teachers, Bloomberg reported.

Last month, the Treasury Department released rules that allow state and local governments to use their portion of $350 billion in American Rescue Plan money for direct assistance to individuals who have been economically harmed by the pandemic, though it also warned states against payments much larger than the $1,400 checks authorized by the ARP. 

This week, the Council of the Cherokee Nation also approved a budget that will use some of the funding the tribe received from the ARP to send $2,000 Covid-19 relief payments to all citizens of the Cherokee Nations, according to the Siloam Springs Herald-Leader.

Big Number

$75.7 billion. That’s the budget surplus California reported last month, Politico reported, attributing the unexpected windfall to a soaring stock market (the state heavily taxes capital gains) and the Silicon Valley professionals who kept their high-earning jobs because they could work from home during the pandemic, among other factors. 

Tangent

Now that 24 Republican states have announced the early termination of a $300 weekly federal unemployment supplement, some are beginning to consider legislation that would send one-time cash payments to unemployed workers who accept a job. At least six states, including Montana, New Hampshire and Oklahoma, have already authorized the return-to-work bonuses. A proposal has also been floated in St. Louis that would pay 10,000 residents of the city between $350 and $500 to make up for Missouri’s early termination of the supplement, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Key Background

This isn’t the first wave of state stimulus checks. In February, Maryland’s governor signed into law a relief package that authorized stimulus payments of $300 for individuals (and $500 for joint filers) for eligible residents of the state. Last December, Colorado announced it would pay $375 to residents that had been impacted by Covid-19. New Mexico began sending out $600 payments to eligible residents in March, and California did the same in February. 

Further Reading

Could Another $1,400 Stimulus Check Arrive—This One, From Your State? (Forbes)

Here Are The States Offering ‘Return-To-Work’ Bonuses As High As $2,000–And Which May Be Next (Forbes)

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