Governor Announces a Second Round of Golden State Stimulus in May Revision Preview
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 10, 2021
Public Policy Director, United Ways of California
916 317 4997
Advocates come together to praise this move, outline a bold and equitable proposal to build on the Administration’s May Revision, and craft a vision for inclusive economic hardship relief
[Los Angeles, Calif.] - California is facing record budget revenues and Governor Newsom’s proposal today to expand the Golden State Stimulus makes powerful use of a portion of this windfall. Advocates from the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) Coalition are heartened by the May Revision proposal, knowing that this is a starting point for negotiations within the Legislature. The CalEITC Coalition looks forward to working with legislators and the Governor to ensure those most impacted by the pandemic are equitably supported and that our community voice is heard throughout this process.
Children’s Defense Fund-California, Executive Director, Shimica Gaskins states that “the fight for an equitable tax system is rooted in ensuring that low-income individuals and families have access to economic resources that uplift them out of poverty. We celebrate the boldness of the Golden State Stimulus 2.0 that provides two-third of Californians with a benefit of $600 direct payments and families with qualified dependents, including undocumented families, an additional $500. We need to continue to step into this boldness and prioritize families that are excluded, especially undocumented households who have been excluded from thousands of stimulus dollars.”
California can and should look to other states as we consider what the Governor has proposed. New York recently invested $2.1 billion in stimulus and wage replacement specifically for excluded workers and has approximately half the total population and a third of the number of undocumented residents as California. Similarly, Washington, Oregon, and New Jersey have established relief replacement programs for excluded residents. California should join them in targeting efforts for economic justice for individuals and families who have disproportionately experienced food, housing, health, and employment insecurity.
The Governor’s proposal builds on the first Golden State Stimulus (GSS) in response to the economic crisis brought forward by COVID-19. This urgent infusion of relief to those hardest hit by the economic crisis was a bright spot during a challenging time. However, this relief has been dependent on the ability for an individual to file their taxes, and for undocumented Californians the possession of an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This has meant that tens of thousands of residents have not been able to access federal relief, or the Golden State Stimulus. Further, immigrants comprised the majority (58%) of pandemic-related deaths among workers in high-risk industries including warehousing, agriculture, food processing, restaurant/food services, nursing care, landscaping, grocery and building services. These health risks also had a devastating impact on many workers’ ability to provide basic necessities for their families. These realities, especially when framed by our state’s extensive revenues, leave little room for debate over if we can afford it - we surely can. The question before us now is one of political will and vision.
UWCA President, Pete Manzo, “We applaud Governor Newsom for proposing this second round of Golden State Stimulus. While California’s state revenues have exceeded expectations, low-income families have suffered due to the economic disruption caused by the pandemic. We know that flexible cash support is the best way to assist working families and boost local economies. We are pleased that California extended eligibility for the CalEITC, Young Child Tax Credit and Golden State Stimulus to ITIN filers, but we urge the Governor and Legislators to do more for our undocumented neighbors. Many essential employees, who have put their lives at risk on a regular basis throughout the pandemic, are undocumented. Indeed, California’s undocumented workers contributes more than $3.7 billion a year to California’s budget through state and local taxes, yet they have been excluded from thousands of dollars in state and federal aid this past year.”
The Governor's proposal, which we will learn more about in the coming days as the May Revision is published in full, lays the groundwork for a serious investment in hurting households. However, in order to put economic equity into action, we need to see a second Golden State Stimulus that targets resources to people who continue to be excluded from federal relief, including residents who use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and their families, as well as residents that do not yet possess an ITIN.
The next GSS should be inclusive and ensure equitable distribution of funds for undocumented workers who, despite accounting for nearly 1 in 10 workers throughout California, were excluded from receiving federal stimulus and Unemployment Insurance, critical lifelines to families during the pandemic. Therefore, this new stimulus package should include $1,800 per adult and child to ITIN filers with incomes up to $75,000 and $3,200 for all excluded Californians, which would reach residents that do not have an ITIN. Lastly, this new stimulus should explore providing wage replacement payments for excluded workers up to $13,308 given undocumented workers were excluded from unemployment insurance.
These dollars would go to work quickly to support local economies, including many small businesses, as low-income households often have a much higher expenditure multiplier effect on their surrounding community. Therefore, the more stimulus these people receive, the more their local economy will benefit and grow.
Core to the goals of the CalEITC Coalition is economic justice and equity and we acknowledge the incredible work and hardship that too many in our community are having to undertake because they are excluded from federal relief payments and Unemployment Insurance. This lays out a clear path for us as advocates and organizers to lift up the voices of impacted communities and to codesign a more inclusive and equitable system of tax credits, relief, and wage replacement. We are eager to engage fully in the budget process in the California State Legislature and help inform critical investments in the budget that is sent to Governor Newsom in June for his signature.
The CalEITC Coalition was formed in 2015 and is comprised of over 60 policy advocates, immigrant rights, low-income service providers, labor representatives, and community-based and faith-based organizations.