Some people who’ve been wanting to know whether we’ll be getting more stimulus money anytime soon — in the form of a fourth relief check — have arguably been looking for that financial boost in the wrong place.
The federal government is bogged down with a number of catastrophes and politically thorny legislative priorities at the moment. The Biden administration, for example, is trying to call on every drop of political capital it can to push an infrastructure bill over the finish line. Meanwhile, unrelated crises in Afghanistan as well as damage stemming from Hurricane Ida are demanding immediate attention. All of which is to say, finding enough votes in Congress to pass some sort of new stimulus legislation that funds an all-new round of checks anytime soon seems like a mountain that no one has the stomach to climb right now.
More stimulus money from states
That’s not to say, though, that there’s not a base of support for this among ordinary Americans. Indeed, a Change.org petition calling for $2,000 recurring stimulus checks for the duration of the pandemic is now up to almost 2.9 million signatures. The thing is, though, just because no new checks will be coming from the federal government anytime soon, that doesn’t mean no new checks are coming at all, from anywhere.
Individual states, themselves, have taken up the gauntlet here. And have begun sending out stimulus checks of their own. Of different amounts, at different times, and to different recipients and demographics.
Here are a few examples.
New stimulus checks started going out to California residents on Friday, the result largely of a state budget surplus. The new payments will range from $500 to $1,100, depending on factors including whether the recipients have children. And this new stimulus money is going out automatically. To people who make $75,000 or less and who filed 2020 tax returns.
Some school districts in Texas are paying employees retention bonuses (which, in the Dallas suburb of Irving, are as much as $2,000). This comes as some school districts around the country have been tapping federal stimulus money to use as a reward for teachers.
A second round of checks for the neediest residents of New Mexico is coming in a “couple of months.”
That’s according to a recent announcement from state officials. And it follows more than 4,000 households in the state getting up to $750 in emergency stimulus aid.
Other states giving out stimulus money
States including Tennessee and Florida have also been pursuing similar efforts here. In the former, state lawmakers approved a 2% raise for teachers statewide then scrapped that in favor of a one-time, $1,000 payment for full-time teachers. $500 is going to part-time educators. And those checks are expected to go out later this year.
Florida, likewise, has been giving $1,000 stimulus checks to teachers. The state is also paying first responders including law enforcement officers and EMTs, among others, up to $1,000. Those payments were intended as a recognition of sorts for their work during the COVID-19 crisis.