Citing Major Budget Surplus, Newsom Proposes $600 Rebate Checks

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Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference in Oakland, Calif., on Monday where he announced a new round of $600 stimulus checks residents making up to $75,000 a year.

"California is gonna come roaring back", said Newsom at a press conference Monday.

That rebound, along with a $26 billion infusion of federal stimulus money, sent the state budget soaring even though a year ago at this time, California was projecting a $54 billion shortfall. The proposal also includes $5.2 billion to pay back rent and $2 billion for overdue utility bills for people who fell behind during the pandemic.

It's part of a decades-long trend that has rocked local and state politics, a trend that's gone on to influence the rest of the U.S. Today, we examine the roots of the upcoming recall election against California Gov. Gavin Newsom with L.A. Times politics columnist Mark Z. Barabak and Randy Economy, one of the architects of the Recall Gavin 2020 campaign. Gavin Newsom has expanded a drought emergency declaration to a large swath of the nation's most populated state amid "acute water supply shortages" in northern and central areas.

State law requires that taxpayers get a rebate when a budget surplus hits a certain size, which has only happened once in California in more than 40 years.

About 98% of California is now experiencing drought conditions, according to the US Drought Monitor, with almost 75% of the state seeing extreme drought conditions.

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"The governor's got a lot of money to hand out".

It's the second round of cash payments given by the state in response to the pandemic.

Raphael Sonenshein, the executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles, said it was unlikely that an extra $600 would soften hard-line opposition to Mr. Newsom among the state's minority of Republican voters. The proposal would cover eligible taxpayers, regardless of immigration status, who did not get a $600 state stimulus check under an earlier program that targeted more than four million low-income Californians.

Former San Diego Mayor, and Republican candidate, Kevin Faulconer put out a statement right after the announcement, arguing, "Californians need permanent, real tax relief, not just one-time stimulus checks".

The stimulus payments would be directed to families earning up to $75,000.

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