California Legislature Approves $9.6 Billion for Early COVID-19 Relief

From the office of Assemblymember Chris Holden


Monday, the California Legislature passed a package of budget bills that will speed needed relief to individuals, families and businesses suffering the most significant economic hardship from the COVID-19 Recession. The package includes SB 87, principal coauthored by Assemblymember Chris Holden, which will provide $2.1 billion additional funds for small business and nonprofit relief grants.

“With vaccinations increasing and COVID-19 rates coming down, we can’t forget that small businesses who are the lifeblood of our economy are still struggling,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “The COVID-19 relief package passed today will play a vital role in California’s economic recovery.”

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The seven budget ‘trailer bills’ included the following provisions:

  • $2.1 billion in additional funding for the state’s COVID relief small business and non-profit grant program.
  • $2 billion in tax cuts—focused on small businesses—over the next several years by exempting the first $150,000 of expenses paid by federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds.
  • $600 additional tax rebate for all CalEITC recipients for 2020 tax year.
  • $600 tax rebate for all ITIN tax filers up to $75,000 of income
  • $600 additional grant for families enrolled in CalWORKs.
  • $600 additional grant for individuals enrolled in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).
  • $5.7 million supplemental stimulus payments for low-income Californians.
  • $857 million beginning in 2021-22 to restore selected program cuts in the 2020-21 budget agreement including:
    • $300 million for the California State University, $300 million for the University of California, and $128 million for the Judiciary.
    • $240 million to expand eligibility for CalWORKs by exempting the supplemental federal Unemployment Insurance benefits from income calculations.
    • $400 million in available federal funds to 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 of 2022, and increase 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 of 2022.
    • $120 million to accelerate proposed additional aid for community college students, and $16 million for outreach to higher education students on availability of CalFresh benefits.
    • $35 million for immediate support for Food Banks and Diaper Banks.
    • $24 million to support the Housing for the Harvest program to provide shelter and aid for farmworkers impacted by COVID-19.