Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced an agreement on a package of immediate actions for relief to individuals, families and businesses suffering from the COVID-19 recession.
Separately, the Governor and legislative leaders said that discussions are continuing on measures for the safe reopening of the state’s K-12 schools, including strategies to address learning loss caused by the pandemic.
Below are key provisions of the Immediate Action Agreement.
Direct relief to individuals and families:
The agreement provides $600 in one-time relief to households receiving the California EITC for 2020. In addition, the agreement provides a $600 one-time payment to taxpayers with Individual Tax Identification Numbers who were precluded from receiving the $1,200 per person federal payments issued last spring and the more recent $600 federal payments. The agreement would provide the $600 payments to households with ITINs and income below $75,000. ITIN taxpayers who also qualify for the California EITC would receive a total of $1,200. The payments will be provided to these households shortly after they file their 2020 tax returns.
Immediate relief for small businesses:
The agreement reflects an increase – from $500 million to more than $2 billion – for grants up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic. It also allocates $50 million for cultural institutions.
Fee waivers for most impacted licensees:
The agreement provides for two years of fee relief for roughly 59,000 restaurants and bars licensed through the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that can range annually from $455 to $1,235. The agreement also reflects fee relief for more than 600,000 barbering and cosmetology individuals and businesses licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs.
More resources for child care:
The agreement adds just over $400 million in new federal funds that will provide stipends of $525 per enrolled child for all state-subsidized child care and preschool providers serving approximately 400,000 children in subsidized care statewide. The new federal resources will extend care for children of essential workers through June 2022. It funds increased access to subsidized child care for more than 8,000 children of essential workers and at-risk children — who are not currently served in the system — through June 2022.
Additional aid for individuals and families:
The agreement provides an additional $24 million for financial assistance and services through Housing for the Harvest, a program to support agricultural workers who must quarantine due to COVID-19. The agreement also provides a combined $35 million for food banks and diapers.
Emergency financial relief to support community college students:
The agreement provides an additional $100 million in emergency financial aid for qualifying low-income students carrying six or more units, with award amounts to be determined locally and made available by early April. The agreement also provides $20 million to reengage students who have either left their community college studies because of the pandemic or to engage students at risk of leaving.
CalFresh student outreach and application assistance:
The agreement provides roughly $6 million to support outreach and application assistance to University of California, California State University and California community college students made newly eligible for CalFresh, the state-administered federal program for supplemental food assistance. The agreement also provides $12 million in state funds to support associated county administrative workload.