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After two months of limbo, roughly two-thirds of California taxpayers can expect to receive a COVID-19 stimulus check from the state, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom's office.
The checks are part of an extension of the Golden State Stimulus program, which originally distributed $3.8 billion to low-income residents in the form of one-time payments of $600, according to the nonprofit newsroom CalMatters. This second set of stimulus checks will provide a one-time payment of $600 to middle-class residents earning up to $75,000, as well as a $500 check to qualifying residents with dependents.
The California Franchise Tax Board, a state tax collection agency, anticipates payments from the second installment of Golden State Stimulus checks will begin in September, according to the agency's official website.
The FTB has released a tool for residents to estimate their payment.
"The stimulus payment is issued per tax return, not by household/residence," the agency says. "Two individuals in the same residence could receive a stimulus payment (as long as they both qualify)."
The checks will arrive either via mail or direct deposit, the agency says: "Typically, you'll receive this payment using the refund option you selected on your tax return. If you received an advanced refund through your tax service provider, or paid your tax preparation fees using your refund, you'll receive your payment by check in the mail."
The program’s extension comes from Newsom’s California Comeback Plan – the largest economic recovery package in the state’s history, according to the governor’s official website. Newsom said the state’s budget surplus of $75.7 billion would go toward expediting the Golden State’s pandemic recovery – bringing “California roaring back” – by addressing core issues such as economic relief, homelessness and housing affordability, infrastructure and public education.
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"$600 checks are coming to 2/3 of Californians. And if you have a kid, you can benefit from an additional $500," Newsom said on Twitter on May 11.
Newsom acknowledged at the time that the proposal required approval from the state legislature to go into effect, which he got when the California legislature approved a $262.6 billion state budget at the end of June. However, after that, progress on the Golden State Stimulus's expansion skidded to a halt.
The fate of the checks looked promising but remained in limbo until Newsom officially signed the budget. Earlier in July, Grace Papish, a communications assistant for Newsom, said the governor’s office doesn’t “typically comment on pending legislation” and would provide more information “once the budget is finalized.”
“The second set of Golden State Stimulus checks is still a proposal and part of the budget that is yet to be signed,” Newsom’s press office wrote in an email to USA TODAY. “Once the budget is signed, the second round of the stimulus checks can start rolling out.”
Daniel J.B. Mitchell, an economics expert and professor from the University of California Los Angeles, said pandemic-aid programs put a logistical strain on the state system that can create delay in doling out other government benefits, such as the Golden State Stimulus checks.
“California is good at creating policies, but sometimes not so good at managing [and/or] administering them,” Mitchell wrote in an email to USA TODAY. “Policymakers often don't have a lot of experience in management and may not always understand the complexities of actually delivering services.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: California stimulus: When will Golden State Stimulus checks arrive?