Over a dozen states have used their budget surpluses to approve stimulus checks in various forms to help out residents. People are hard to put to manage their finances to help deal with the rising prices of gas and food.
Families in America, especially in the low and moderate-income categories, are being battered as prices continue to rise unabated with inflation touching 9.1% in June, the highest since December 1981. It has led to record prices of gas, and other essential items such as food, utilities, and home rent.
The federal administration continues to be gridlocked, with the Republicans opposing them every step of the way. The last of the stimulus checks, the economic impact payment, was given more than a year back after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021. The bill led to the release of $.9 trillion for various measures that included the third stimulus check.
Successive Federal Stimulus Checks Helped During Pandemic
ARPA was the 6th of the COVID-19 relief bill passed within the space of a year and provided the most generous stimulus check worth $1,400. It was the largest infusion of resources to the state. The scale of assistance and time frame over which funding remains available led states to ensure that the recovery efforts of the state were oriented toward transformative initiatives.
The funds enabled the states, cities, and local bodies to work towards transformative initiatives that would help them emerge from the shadow of the pandemic stronger and healthier, and ready to resume the progress that has made them a more desirable place to live.
People for the first time millions were able to live normal lives despite being without a job as businesses closed down abruptly.
The stimulus checks were followed by other support measures including the extended unemployment checks, which were given up to September 6, 2021, and the enhanced child tax credit stimulus checks which were paid out to families all through 2021.
But the federal support ended in 2021 though regular support continued in the form of SSI and other similar payments. People who had seen births and adoption in their families in 2021 were also able to collect the extra $1,400 after filing their 2021 returns in 2022.
Additionally, people who had collected their stimulus checks based on their 2019 or 2020 returns and had seen a drastic drop in income in 2021 due to the pandemic were able to claim more by way of additional stimulus checks after filing their 2021 returns.
But with no new measures on the horizon, millions of families have started facing the same desperate situation they encountered back in the first quarter of 2020 when the pandemic first struck.
States Move In With Inflation Relief Payments Even As Federal Support Dries Up
People abruptly lost their jobs, and it was the successive stimulus checks that saved them. And now as inflation extracts a similar toll on the finances of low and moderate-income families and individuals, it has been the states who are considering measures for their residents. And several states have already stepped in with support measures.
At least fourteen states have moved in to help their residents as federal support remains elusive. They have been using their budget surplus to help residents with direct stimulus checks and tax rebates. 5 more states are contemplating some form of stimulus support for their residents.
California Is The Latest Among States To Move In
California is the latest among states to move in to help its residents. Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the biggest relief measures among all states. The stimulus check is expected to benefit around 23 million Californians, which is around 60% of the total population of the state.
Soaring inflation has led to gas prices touching $6.3 in the state, the highest in the country. The main portion of the inflation support measure includes a $17 billion relief package. $9.5 billion of that fund will be used from the Golden State inflation relief stimulus check of $1,050 maximum to eligible residents of the state.
California enjoyed a huge surplus budget of $97 billion and the measures would ultimately cost only a quarter of the total money in the state’s control.
Other States Move Ahead With Their Inflation Relief Measures
Taxpayers in Delaware who file their 2020 state income tax returns can look forward to a $300-worth relief rebate. The relief is intended to help residents face higher prices of almost all goods at the grocery stores and the gas pump.
The one-off payment was announced in May 2022 and those who have filed their 2021 do not have to take any further action to get the payment.
Florida, ruled by the Republicans, has also stepped in with stimulus checks for its residents despite its Governor DeSantis speaking out multiple times against any measures. His administration will give out a one-time payment of $450 per child that is expected to benefit 59,000 families.
The stimulus check is way smaller in spread than the Golden State stimulus check and should arrive in time for the sales tax holiday that takes place between July 25 and August 7.
The measures will especially benefit those who adopt and foster children. Around 60,000 families received the notification this month. DeSantis’s administration said that the letters were authentic. The benefit aligns with the initiative of Casey DeSantis named Hope Florida: A Pathway to Prosperity.
DeSantis said in a statement at he wants to ensure that no child in Florida goes without hope and happiness and remains homeless. He said that he would do all he can to support people who have taken the initiative to support and welcome children into their homes.
Some States Are Already Off The Mark
States such as Maine and New Mexico, ruled by the Democrats, have already begun issuing stimulus checks to qualified taxpayers. By the last week of June, Maine has sent stimulus checks to more than half of the eligible residents and more are being sent every week.
The state has revealed that with an increase in the cost of housing, energy, and food, the stimulus checks of $850 for individuals and double that for families will be a large help for low and moderate-income households who continue to struggle to cover high costs.