Eight U.S. states have declared that they will be issuing their own direct payments to some of their residents, following reports that the federal government is hedging on the decision to send out a “fourth” stimulus check.
The announcement comes after news that experts believe that a “fourth” stimulus check is unlikely. Despite the news that the lawmakers’ petition for recurring monthly checks until the pandemic ends is gaining traction, it seems that the federal government is not feeling the pressure to provide “long term lifeline” to struggling Americans” during the pandemic.
Because of this, the states of California, Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, and Tennessee all pledged their financial support to some residents.
In line with this, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he has signed a $100-billion 2021 California Comeback Plan which allots $8.1 billion for stimulus payments. This will allow taxpayers who are earning between $30,000 and $75,000 a year to receive a $600 check, while parents and guardians will receive $500 for each dependent child.
Even the undocumented migrant families are all set to receive $500 starting September. Reports also say that about 26 million of California’s 39.5 million residents will be receiving the payment from the state government.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis doesn’t seem fazed with the issue as he has already issued an executive order to provide stimulus checks to some Colorado residents late last year.
Disbursement has lready started last December 2020, and it included $375 checks for residents who received at least one weekly unemployment benefit from March 15, 2020, to October 24, 2020. The state had also allocated over $163 million was allocated from the state’s general fund to aid roughly about 435,000 vulnerable residents.
Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland had already signed the state’s bipartisan $1 billion Relief Act of 2021 in February.
The Relief Act repealed all state and local taxes on unemployment benefits, offered a $500 stimulus check to families and $300 to individuals who filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit. In total, the state of Maryland is estimated to have sent out about $178 million to 400,000 qualifying residents, according to WUSA-9, with most of the checks already processed in February and March.
The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) announced earlier in June that they are running a $5-million state program, with a new round of stimulus checks to be sent out to residents who were ineligible for the $1,400 federal direct payments. The payment would also be available to 4,000 low-income individuals who will receive a check of up to $750, as well as the undocumented migrants.
Florida lawmakers have taken the initiative to allocate the $208-million budget from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan to provide funds for the state’s nearly 200,000 first responders. They also added aboiy $216-million to deliver $1,000 stimulus checks to teachers and educators, which Governor Ron DeSantis handed out in ceremonies held across the state this week.
“Those should be arriving this week and into next week,” he announced in an event held at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in Pensacola.
Georgia, Michigan, and Tennessee
Just like in Florida, the states of Georgia, Michigan and Tennessee have also allocated cash support for teachers, educators and school administrators in the form of retention bonuses.
Georgia’s Board of Education showed that they planned to use $240 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to pay $1,000 bonuses to education employees across the state. Governor Brian Kemp annnounced that this is like a “thank you” gift intended to encourage teachers and administrators to keep working through the pandemic.
The Michigan Department of Treasury, on the other hand, announced in late January that teachers and education staff who continued to work through the pandemic will receive a bonus of up to $500 from the state government.
Meanwhile, Tennessee had passed a bill in June regarding the direct payments. The bill abolished the previously planned 2% increase in pay for teachers. Instead, they will be providing $1,000 checks to full-time and $500 checks to part-time educators before the end of 2021.