July 26, 2021 4:00 PM
by Stephanie Venegas
On Monday, July 12, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a package of budget bills that comprise a $262.6 billion spending plan agreed upon with state lawmakers for the upcoming fiscal year that began July 1, 2021. This state relief package is the largest of its kind in the country and was fueled by a $76 billion state surplus and $27 billion in federal aid. Not only will this package continue to facilitate California’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will also provide immediate relief to those most vulnerable Californians.
Below are some key budget provisions that will help Santa Monica residents and businesses in our collective economic recovery:
- $8.1 billion to expand the Golden State Stimulus plan to provide $600 checks to California taxpayers making up to $75,000 annually, as well as an additional $500 to families with children.
- $1.5 billion in small business and non-profit grants including $50 million for microgrants of up to $10,000 to seed small business creation as well as provide direct relief to existing microbusinesses.
- $12 billion in new funding for homelessness programs over the next two years including $2 billion in support for local governments and $2.75 billion in additional funding for Project Homekey, which funds the purchase of hotels and motels for the purposes of housing the unhoused.
- Extension of the statewide eviction moratorium until September 30, 2021, and expansion of the program to provide up to 100% in assistance for rental and utility financial obligations, including arrearages and prospective payments.
- $95 million to implement strategic media recovery campaigns that will jump-start the recovery of the travel and tourism industry.
- Expansion of Medi-Cal to include undocumented residents aged 50 years and older.
- $4.4 billion over five years to create a behavioral health system for youth ages 0 to 25, including $205 million for the Mental Health Student Services Act to support the mental health and emotional needs of children and youth as they return to schools and every day life.
- $1 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to prevent energy utility disconnections for consumers experiencing financial hardship due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- $150 million for the California Venues Grant Program to provide financial relief to independent venues, live events businesses, and minor league sports.
- An increase of $439 million for an equity-focused matching grant program to support local library maintenance, capital projects, broadband and technology upgrades, and purchasing of devices.
Council & Legislative Affairs Liaison