California's $18B inflation relief package includes payouts for hospital, nursing home staffs

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed an $18.1 billion inflation relief package that includes $1,500 direct payments to hospital and nursing home employees across the state.

The spending package is meant to help Californians with rising inflation and must be approved as part of the state budget by the California legislature, according to a May 12 news release from the governor's office. 

Included in the proposal:

  • $933 million for hospital and nursing home staff, providing up to $1,500 to hospital and skilled nursing facility workers

  • $11.5 billion in tax refunds: Registered vehicle owners would be sent $400 checks, capped at two checks per individual

  • $2.7 billion for emergency rental assistance for qualified low-income tenants who requested rental assistance before March 31

  • $1.4 billion for past-due utility bills: $1.2 billion for electricity bills and $200 million for water bills

  • $750 million for free public transit: Incentive grants to provide three months of free public transportation for communities throughout the state

  • $304 million to make health coverage more affordable: Extend health insurance premium assistance under Covered California for families of four earning up to $166,500 annually, for upward of 700,000 Californians

  • $439 million to pause the diesel sales tax: A 12-month pause in the sales tax rate for diesel fuel that would provide upwards of $439 million in relief

  • $157 million to waive child care fees for low-income families: Making state-subsidized preschool and child care more affordable and benefiting 40,000 low-income California families with savings of up to $595 per month

Additionally, California's minimum wage is projected to increase to $15.50 per hour for all workers on Jan. 1. The increase is required by a provision in the state's minimum wage law when inflation exceeds 7 percent.

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