Mar 30, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Dem governors want to give out inflation relief cash

Total surplus being returned to taxpayers, by state
Data: Axios research; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Some Democratic governors up for re-election are proposing to use their budget surplus to give cash directly to residents through stimulus checks and rebates.

Why it matters: It's a direct form of relief to a beleaguered population — and potential voters — as Americans feel the effects of inflation and sky-high gas prices.

The details: In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to deliver $400-per-vehicle direct payments to drivers. It's capped at two vehicles per household.

  • In Hawaii, Gov. David Ige is proposing to use his state's surplus to issue $100 refund checks.
  • In Maine, Gov. Janet T. Mills recently proposed an increase in the amount of "direct relief" to residents. The $850 relief checks will be delivered "in the face of record-high inflation and rising oil and gas prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine," said a gubernatorial press release.
  • In Kansas, taxpayers would receive a one-time $250 tax rebate, if Gov. Laura Kelly's proposal is passed.

That's not all.

  • In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz recently upped the direct payments — dubbed "Walz checks" — to residents to $500 for an individual and $1,000 per couple.
  • In Michigan, car owners are set to receive a $400 insurance refund for vehicles, based on legislation signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
  • And in New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a law that will provide residents with a one-time, refundable income tax rebate of $500 for married couples and $250 for single filers.
  • Those eligible for the rebate must have incomes under $150,000 if they're married or under $75,000 if they're single.
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