‘Revolutionary’ federal stimulus bill could cut California child poverty by half

In summary

The $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package includes a temporary expansion of the child tax credit. Some California experts are likening it to a universal basic income and say it’s urgently needed, especially for California’s families with undocumented parents left out of previous stimulus relief.

As President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion virus relief package heads to the Oval Office for his signature, the mammoth spending bill has the potential to reduce child poverty in the Golden State by half.

That would be a turning point for a state that is an economic powerhouse vexed by the highest poverty rate in the nation when accounting for the cost of living. 

Economists and progressives are hailing as “revolutionary” a provision to send periodic cash to most families with children through a one-year expansion of the existing child tax credit. When combined with the state’s new stimulus aid, the payments could lift millions of Californians out of poverty this year, particularly immigrant households that have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s health and economic effects.