The $18.1 billion package was announced by Gavin Newsom on Thursday, aimed at relieving inflation for struggling Californians.
The relief program would include $400 checks for all eligible registered vehicle owners in the state. The proposal comes as drivers are facing record gas prices.
We enacted the most comprehensive economic stimulus program in the nation last year, which got billions of dollars in immediate relief for millions of Californians. But many folks are still struggling, especially with high costs due to inflation, so we re leveraging this historic surplus to get money back into the pockets of Californians, said Newsom.
He said that this inflation relief package will help offset the higher costs that Californians are currently facing and provide support to those still recovering from the Pandemic. Public transportation and child care for low income families are some of the areas of financial relief. Newsom's plan would offer these services for a subsidized rate, but it wouldn't be free of charge for a limited time.
A further $1,500 in relief checks is proposed for hospital and nursing home staff who have been delivering care to the most acute patients during the COVID-19 epidemic and saved thousands of lives. Over $1 billion would be set aside to help residents pay their past utility bills, including electricity and water.
A minimum wage will take effect in an increase triggered by soaring inflation.
The University of California, Berkeley economics professor Jim Wilcox, warned that the inflation proposal could add to the problem.
Wilcox told KTVU Fox that if you give these extra subsidies, you're only increasing the amount of demand.
Newsom's administration announced on Thursday that the minimum wage will increase to $15.50 per hour.
Inflation for the 2022 fiscal year will be 7.6% higher than the year before, triggering the increase, according to the California Department of Finance.