HomeNewsStimulus Checks: How Thousands Could Possibly Get $500 a Month for a Year

Stimulus Checks: How Thousands Could Possibly Get $500 a Month for a Year

by Victoria Santiago
(Photo Illustration by Karol Serewis/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

CA has continued to send out stimulus checks to residents. Now, thousands of students may be eligible for monthly payments of $500. The payments would last for a year. These payments would be available for CA students under a new proposal. However, it hasn’t passed yet. The deadline for the proposal is this week.

Since the start of the pandemic, three rounds of federal stimulus checks have gone out. In addition to that, many states have decided to keep sending out extra payments to their residents, including CA.

$500 Payment Won’t Be Your Average Stimulus Check

While CA has been sending out stimulus payments from their Golden State Stimulus program, these proposed $500 payments are a little different. Typically, a stimulus payment is a one-time thing. Even though there have been several rounds of payments sent out, they haven’t been consistent, nor have they been for the same amount of money. On the flip side, universal basic income (UBI) payments are recurring.

Stimulus checks have been sent out for the purpose of boosting the economy. However, UBI payments are more focused on low-income Americans. Many states have been experimenting with recurring payments for residents in need. For example, child tax care credits are similar to how UBI works.

Now, CA state senator Dave Cortese wants to send out $500 recurring payments to 14,000 students in need. He’s got a few schools in mind already.

UBI Proposal Specifics

So far, the schools being considered for these payments are San Francisco State, CSU East Bay, CSU Los Angeles, Fresno State, and San Jose State. To send payments to three schools would cost the state roughly $57 million. To send payments to five campuses would cost around $84 million. These are early estimates. As many as 14,000 students would be able to qualify for the payments.

If the bill gets passed, then the program would focus on sending the payments to families whose earnings are in the bottom 20%. An official proposal needs to be made soon, however. The Sun reports that there’s a deadline in the state legislature for February 18.

Senator Cortese is pushing for this bill to pass because of poverty levels among students. According to him, 11% of students in the CSU system are homeless. While stimulus checks and other programs help, a recurring payment makes the most sense. “What happens if they need $50 worth of groceries?” Senator Cortese asked. “What happens if they do need a warm coat or a pair of shoes even if it’s at the thrift store?”

In the future, Senator Cortese said that he would also be open to sending these payments out to more CA residents, as long as they had qualified for the stimulus checks.