Santa will ditch his red suit and sleigh for a pair of khakis and a Corolla in one California city. Officials in Santa Ana will deliver $300 prepaid Visa debit cards to 20,000 low-income families next week. It’s part of the city’s stimulus program to boost its economy and help families struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Santa Ana city leaders approved the money earlier this month, The Sun reported. The $6 million in debit cards is part of the city’s Resident Stimulus Program.
Officials will deliver the cards door-to-door on Dec. 4. City leaders said they chose the recipients based on U.S. Census data. Areas with poverty rates above Santa Ana’s 42 percent median poverty rate qualify for the money.
“Those low-income families are the ones who were most hard hit,” Santa Ana Mayor Vincente Sarmiento told the Orange County Register. “This is pretty incredible, and we are blessed, because not many communities that have the need that we have, are able to do this for the residents. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in my 14 years on the council, that we can directly impact households and people’s lives this way.”
Sarmiento said there are no restrictions on where the recipients spend the money. But Sarmiento hopes they’ll use the money at local businesses.
“It will be like a double injection of stimulus to households, but also those businesses that are going to see those cards being redeemed,” he said.
California plans to send out $1,100 checks to 9 million residents as part of the Golden State Stimulus II program. State officials will deposit the money into their bank accounts this week. Californians must have earned before $30,000 to $75,000 on their 2020 tax returns to qualify.
Illinois Considering $200 Stimulus Checks
California isn’t the only state that wants to goose its economy ahead of Christmas. Republicans in the Illinois House of Representatives hope to pass a stimulus measure that would send $200 checks. People who filed their taxes jointly could be eligible to receive $400, The Sun reported.
The bill still needs to pass, but it currently would send the money to anyone who makes less than $75,000 a year. Couples can make up to $150,000.
GOP State Representative Tom Demmer said that it’s not a lot of money, but it could make a big difference to many families.
“$400 won’t make all the problems go away, but it could have a positive impact,” he said. “It could be an extra week or two of groceries, it could be a few extra utility bills, or it could make the difference between being able to buy new shoes or winter coats for your kids.”
Residents in Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, and New Hampshire could receive checks as part of those states’ stimulus programs.