SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday unveiled an $18.1 billion package to help reduce the impact of inflation on Californians. The proposal includes tax rebates to eligible vehicle owners, rental assistance, and money for hospital and nursing staff.
The announcement also included a projected minimum wage increase to $15.50 per hour for all workers effective January 1, 2023 (an increase required by law when inflation exceeds 7%).
Included in the proposal package is:
- $11.5 billion in tax rebates to help address inflation (in the form of the previously announced $400 checks to all registered vehicle owners)
- $2.7 billion in emergency rental assistance for low-income renters
- $1.4 billion to help residents pay overdue electric and water bills
- $750 million to support free public transportation
- $304 million to extend health insurance premium assistance under Covered California for families of four earning $166,500 a year
- $439 million to pause diesel sales tax for 12 months
- $157 million to waive child care fees for low-income families, benefiting 40,000 low-income families
Additionally, $933 million was outlined for bonuses for hospital and skilled nursing facility workers. The governor’s office claims it would provide $1,500 to those who have been “providing care to the most acute patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and saving thousands of lives.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly welcomed the investment in child care and financial assistance for those who use Covered California, describing them as investments that reflect California values.
“These investments will have a significant impact on the lives of Californians by making health care and child care more affordable, while providing relief to the many who have struggled to pay the cost of energy during the pandemic.”
dr mark ghaly
In a statement, Newsom says the surplus is being used to help offset the high cost of inflation that continues to weigh on Californians.
“This inflation relief package will help offset the higher costs Californians are facing right now and provide support to those still recovering from the pandemic,” Newsom said.