SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Similar to last year, there is a push to possibly send more Golden State stimulus checks.
“What would you do with $45 billion?” said State Senator Brian Jones.
In a video released Wednesday, Jones broke down the state’s projected budget surplus with rice.
“If each grain of rice is $100,000, that means California’s $45 billion surplus is taxes over-collected by this much,” Jones said, motioning to a pile of rice.
He noted that it is enough to give $1,125 back to each Californian, more than $4,000 for a family of four.
This year, California is likely to pass what is called the Gann Limit, which restricts the amount of tax revenue the state can spend and gives the state some options on what is left over, including a rebate back to taxpayers.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said in his January budget proposal his office projects the state would be over the Gann Limit by $2.6 billion. Jones supports sending rebates, or what last year was considered the Golden State stimulus.
“If it’s 2,500, if it’s 1,500, any amount that we can convince the state, the governor, the Democrats in the Legislature to send back, I think is a benefit to every Californian and every California family,” Jones said.
Newsom did not include this kind of spending when he presented his state budget proposal last month, but he did answer questions about a potential round of Golden State stimulus checks.
“Yes, there likely will be substantial contributions back to the taxpayers. What form they come in, we’ll work with the Legislature, and to what degree will be determined more closely in May,” Newsom said.
“Our office thinks it’s a very good idea for the Legislature to develop a plan before that,” said Gabe Patek, a State Legislative Analyst.
Patek said waiting until May to decide how to spend the money could put lawmakers and the governor in a tough position, giving them only weeks to negotiate with a budget deadline June 15.
He said it is likely the budget surplus will be even bigger than Newsom’s $45.7 billion projection last month.
“Since the time of the governor’s budget proposal even, we know revenues have exceeded the governor’s estimate, and they’ve exceeded last year’s budget act. All signs point to higher revenue than what the governor is estimating,” Patek said.