Speed Reads

pandemic relief measures

California lawmakers approve $600 stimulus payments for lower-wage workers

The California state Legislature approved a $7.6 billion COVID-19 economic relief package on Monday that includes $600 stimulus payments to residents earning $30,000 a year or less and more than $2.1 billion in grants and fee waivers for small businesses.

The stimulus payments will be delivered quickly, a spokesman for the California Department of Finance told the Los Angeles Times — on average, about four to five weeks after a person files their 2020 state tax returns. About 5.7 million payments will be made, totaling $2.3 billion, to help "lower-wage workers" who have been "disproportionately impacted" by the coronavirus pandemic, state Sen. Nancy Skinner (D) said.

The Legislature passed six bills on Monday to make up the relief package, and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said he intends to sign the measures on Tuesday. The legislation also includes $50 million for cultural institutions, grants to community college students, and fee waivers for barber and cosmetology licenses. The state received higher-than-expected tax revenues, as many Californians were able to keep their jobs and work from home, which made this relief legislation possible. Lawmakers are expected to pass an additional $2 billion in tax breaks for businesses later this week, the Times reports.