2022 is finally here, but, unfortunately, we still don’t have good news yet for anyone hoping for clarity around when and if the federal government is sending out more stimulus checks (and here’s why). This will be the first month since June 2021 without any new child tax credits checks on the 15th. And it’s for that reason, as we’ve been saying for days now, stimulus checks are very much a state-level story for now. Initiatives like California’s Golden State Stimulus program offer an instructive example.
The most populous state in the US used a budget surplus in 2021 to fund two rounds of stimulus checks. And it’s now in the final throes of the second tranche of checks, known as Golden State Stimulus 2 payments.
Golden State Stimulus checks
Importantly, the final checks through this program are going out to California residents over the next few days. A previous iteration of the Golden State Stimulus checks went out earlier in 2021.
According to news reports, about 794,000 Golden State Stimulus 2 checks worth a collective $568 million were mailed out to eligible state residents through Dec. 31. Now, just one more batch of the payments is going out. With that final mailout set to wrap up by January 11, according to the state’s Franchise Tax Board.
Also important to know: Residents should allow up to three weeks to get their paper check in the mail.
As far as what recipients are actually getting? Some California families with eligible dependents will get up to $1,100. But the main stimulus check payment going out is for $600. Also, eligible residents who live in Zip Codes ending in 928-999 are who can expect their Golden State Stimulus checks in this final batch.
Why state checks are so important now
In all likelihood, meanwhile, Congress will soon find some way to cobble together a continuation of the child tax credit stimulus extension. President Biden’s target is a 12-month extension of those payments. That, in fact, is a key provision of his nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better legislation. The bill, remember, that’s currently languishing in the Senate.
That legislation needed to get passed by Congress by the end of December for the IRS to have time to set up its systems to continue sending out checks on the 15th of this month. Since that didn’t happen, things are in limbo at the federal level. For now.
One complicating factor is that 2022 is, of course, a midterm election year. And there’s every indication, at least for the moment, that Democrats are poised for something between a drubbing and a wipeout.
That would tend to suggest that Republicans don’t have much, if any, incentive to work across the aisle and help get more child tax credit stimulus checks funded. On the other hand? The checks are widely popular. So much so, that at least some Republicans might calculate voters will hold them responsible if the child tax credit extension eventually dies for good.