Undocumented Californians and mixed status families have been excluded from thousands of dollars in federal aid and most other supports during the worst recession in generations.
Governor Newsom’s proposed Golden State Stimulus directs $600 payments to tax filers eligible for the CalEITC. Many of these Californians work in low-wage positions in industries that have been hit hard by COVID-19 job losses.
Almost 17 million Californians — 44% of all state residents — live in homes that are rented. As the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have unfolded, the urgent needs of California’s renters have rightly received significant attention, including calls for eviction moratoriums, rental assistance, and production of more affordable housing. Many of the millions of workers who have lost jobs fear missing rent payments and losing a safe home for their families at a time when having a safe and stable home is especially vital for both personal health and public health. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, when the state’s economy was booming, millions of California renters struggled to afford the high cost of their housing. In the coming months, California’s local, state, and federal policymakers will have choices and decisions to make about how to address the needs of renters through proposed changes in laws and new policy proposals.
As California students of all ages cannot fully return to classrooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, learning from home and the technology needed exposes the state’s digital divide. Distance learning requires computers, tablets, or other devices as well as a reliable, high-speed internet connection, but inequitable access to this technology creates a persistent digital divide that disproportionately affects low-income, Black, and Latinx students. This digital divide was affecting students’ academic achievement before the pandemic, and distance learning has likely exacerbated these existing disparities.
On January 8, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2021-22 state budget, drawing on stronger-than-expected revenues to call for a series of emergency investments to respond to the public health and economic impacts of the pandemic and provide modest relief for Californians. These much-needed emergency investments, which the governor calls for the Legislature to enact as quickly as possible in the coming weeks, include providing $600 in one-time assistance for Californians with low incomes, extending the state’s eviction moratorium, putting steps in place to reopen schools, and providing small business assistance through loans and tax credits.