- One state has given its residents a surprise stimulus check update as a counter to the lack of action on new $1,200 checks from the federal government.
- The state of Colorado will be sending out checks to about 435,000 residents.
- The stimulus checks are expected to be sent out by early December.
It is regrettable that months of backstage negotiating led to a protracted stalemate, inaction, and ultimately to the defeat of any attempt by the federal government to pass another coronavirus relief accord, at precisely the time when millions of Americans so desperately need it, to say nothing of the $1,200 stimulus checks that would have been part of such stimulus legislation.
There is, however, a stimulus check update that should make residents of at least one US state happy. Because in the absence of new stimulus checks from the federal government, one state (Colorado) has decided to take matters into its own hands and just send out stimulus checks itself, to some of its own residents. Granted, these checks that Colorado residents will be getting over the next couple of weeks are much smaller than what had been expected from the federal level ($375, compared to the $1,200 federal stimulus checks), but it’s certainly better than nothing.
“Washington, DC, has failed to act to provide additional direct cash support for hardworking Coloradans and to further stimulate the economy, so today Colorado is boldy doing our part to help our own,” Colorado Governor Jared Polis said in a written statement about the move, which will ultimately distribute $163 million to state residents.
Per the governor’s office, the money will be sent out by early December. Polis signed an executive order setting this in motion on Wednesday. It’s also important to note: The plan is to send this one-time payment to about 435,000 Colorado residents. According to The Colorado Sun, this aid is only expected to go to people who are or were making less than $52,000/year.
The announcement of these stimulus checks comes after Polis issued mandatory unpaid furloughs for most state workers in order to save $8 million and as Democratic lawmakers, per The Sun, are warning voters not to support an income tax cut that’s on the 2020 ballot since the state needs the money for essential government services. To fund the stimulus payments, the state is using $148.9 million in unspent Medicaid dollars, $13.8 million from the state’s disaster emergency fund, and $5.3 million from the state’s controlled maintenance trust fund.
This move also comes as Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate until November 9. That decision guarantees that no new stimulus checks will be approved before next week’s presidential election. It remains to be seen if federal lawmakers will pick this back up after the election and at least try to pass something between the post-election period before the end of 2020.
Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.