More states have started sending out stimulus checks to residents even as inflation figures remain dangerously high, ending June at 9.1% year-on-year.
California and Florida are two of the latest states to announce stimulus checks for their residents, and it is apparent from Florida’s move that Republican states are also relying on funds sent by President Biden to states under the American Rescue Plan Act.
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The federal administration under President Biden is stuck in gridlock as plans for any more stimulus checks will come under stiff resistance from the opposition Republicans.
And they have succeeded in spreading the narrative that the stimulus checks, especially the economic impact payment under the American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Biden in March 2021, were responsible for this record inflation. And they plan to use this line of attack in the midterms, where they hope to wrest control of the Senate.
President Biden will be completely tied down if he loses control of the Senate, which is at present split right down the middle, with the Vice President using her casting vote on several occasions. She again had to use her powers during the recent Inflation Reduction Bill to move the bill through the Senate. This bill is a watered-down version of the multi-trillion dollar Build Back Better Act which faced stiff opposition even from within the Democratic Party, notably from Senator Joe Manchin.
State Stimulus Checks Being Sent By Several States
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With federal stimulus checks out of contention for citizens, it is up to the states to get cash to their residents. Around 20 states have already enacted plans to send money to residents either as stimulus checks or tax rebates. While most states have gone for a one-off payment, some have spread out the payment over two to three months.
The states have been aided by funds from the ARPA and the budget surplus reported by most states thanks to a resurgent economy in the last two quarters of 2021.
The most recent move came from California after Governor Gavin Newsom signed a budget that contains a Middle-Class Tax Refund that will give low and middle-income individuals and families a stimulus check that could go up to $1,050 in some cases. The payments are set to begin in October this year and will include families earning up to $250,000, though the highest payments are for families earning $150,000 or below.
The Republicans have also jumped onto the stimulus check bandwagon. Even Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, staunchly against the stimulus check, has used money from the ARPA to fund stimulus checks for around 60,000 families with children. The $450 will also go to related and non-related caregivers.
Maine and New Mexico are among the first states to go for stimulus checks for their residents. Maine’s residents have begun receiving an $850 stimulus check as individual filers and double that for married couples filing jointly.
Five thousand miles away in Hawaii, residents earning up to $100,000 will get a stimulus check of $300 while those earning more will receive a $100 payment.
Governor Jared Polis of Colorado signed a new law in May to give residents a tax rebate worth $750 for single filers and double for married couples filing jointly. This law will provide immediate relief to Coloradans by providing payment by the end of Summer this year.
Residents only have to file their state income tax returns for 2021 or even apply for a property tax or heat credit rebate by the end of June 2022.
Residents can expect the Colorado Cash Back by the end of September this year. Extended filers who availed of the October 17 deadline will receive their refund by January 31 of next year. Gov. Polis said that he was excited as the remaining checks are in the mail and residents would be getting them soon.
Residents of Delaware will receive a $300 stimulus check. The bill has passed the legislature and Governor John Carney said that the bill has been signed, thus approving the Delaware Relief Rebate Program. Residents who have filed their tax returns for 2020 will get the stimulus check automatically. Joint filers will get the amount for one of the residents.
Stimulus Checks Not Restricted To Democratic Party Ruled States
Most of the moves though are being pushed by Democratic governments, though it has been seen that it is not exclusive. While the Democratic-ruled New Jersey under Governor Phil Murphy has gone for stimulus checks of up to $500, Republican-ruled South Carolina under Governor Henry McMaster has proposed to send an $800 stimulus check to state residents.
Illinois has gone for a much smaller amount and will be giving an income tax rebate of $50 to residents while Idaho is going for a slightly larger check of $75.
Other states too are in various stages of enacting programs that are more directly targeted to certain segments of the population. West Virginia and New York have initiated a program to send stimulus checks to homeowners. The New York initiative will reach an estimated 2.5M residents.
Maryland on the other hand is providing a $750 stimulus check to frontline workers. Maryland, which had gone for the more traditional route of stimulus support in 2021, has proposed assistance of up to $2,000 to households that are finding it tough to meet their water bills.
Alaska is sending direct stimulus checks to residents under the Permanent Fund initiative that pays energy revenue directly to citizens. And it will be the biggest payment in history for the state as Governor Mike Dunleavy has assured residents that the 2022 stimulus check will be its biggest ever. He said that families have been forced to seek help with record inflation, fuel costs that have almost doubled in two years, and the pandemic caused economic damage.
A range of other states has also initiated moves to send stimulus checks to its residents. North Carolina, Kansas, and Massachusetts are considering various forms of tax rebates and stimulus checks.
The states are flush with funds thanks to strong revenue collection in 2021 as the American economy went through a brief boom period before inflation skewered things.