California will deliver $600 stimulus checks to an estimated two-thirds of its nearly 40 million residents in September under the state’s recently-approved $100 billion budget package to aid economic recovery amid a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic.
And as the highly virulent Delta variant continues to drive up COVID-19 cases across the country, a petition for federal monthly direct payments of $2,000 has gained momentum, with a total of 2.72 million signatures as of Saturday.
After state lawmakers approved the bill, Governor Gavin Newsom signed his 2021 California Comeback Plan earlier this month, which includes $8.1 billion for stimulus payments. Taxpayers earning between $30,000 and $75,000 a year will receive a $600 check. Undocumented migrant families will also receive $500, as well as parents and guardians for each dependent child.
Officials said the payments will be distributed sometime in September, and about 26 million of the state’s 39.5 million residents can expect to receive a payment.
“In partnership with the Legislature, we’re providing direct relief to struggling families and money into the pockets of small business owners across the state. Your incredible resilience and perseverance have brought our state to this moment, and California is committed to making you the foundation of our recovery,” Newsom said in a statement to Newsweek.
With three federal stimulus checks already sent, it’s unlikely that the U.S. government will move on another. However, an ongoing Change.org petition calling for monthly payments of $2,000 for the duration of the pandemic continued to gather signatures in July amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Denver restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin created the online petition last year, which calls for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to pass legislation that would provide families with “a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks” until the pandemic ends.
The petition has drawn more than 2,726,870 signatures, with about 282,000 new supporters this month. It will become one of Change.org’s most signed petitions if it hits its goal of 3 million signatures.
Bonin told Newsweek that people will keep signing because “we’re still in uncertain times.” She added, “It’s times like this that it feels like people go back into a fear-based life.”
The U.S. reported 194,608 new COVID-19 cases Friday, with a seven-day rolling average of over 103,000 infections, according to Johns Hopkins University. It was the highest single-day case figure since February 7. The Delta variant is now responsible for 83 percent of new cases, according to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.