The pain of tackling rising prices is proving tougher for Americans to face than the pandemic, mainly because it refuses to abate after close to a year at the top after a continuous rise for over a year. The sudden end of all stimulus checks by the end of 2022 has further made things tough for citizens. In this period it has risen from a little over 2% to cross the 8% mark by the first quarter of 2022.
By June 2022 inflation has touched 9.1%, the highest since November 1981. It is expected to remain above the 8% mark through 2022 and has become a point of partisan politics even as the midterms are a month away. Around 21 states have already moved in and have either paid or are close to paying some form of stimulus relief to residents.
The states have been helped by funds from two sources, ironically one of them is the funds distributed to states by the Biden administration within weeks of his assuming power.
The American Rescue Plan Act distributed the Economic Impact Package or the third stimulus check. But it was also the source of many other support measures that helped businesses stay put during the peak period even as they continued to pay their workers, even if it was only partial.
Other forms of federal support went to educational institutions, hospitals, and similar organizations. The vaccination and other health schemes received a substantial part of the support. Finally, the biggest part of the Rescue Plan funds went to states and local and tribal bodies for use in the future in alleviating the effect of the pandemic.
States Received Funds For Two Sources
States received substantial funds for expenses linked to the pandemic though the federal government did not give specific instructions on how the funds should be spent. This freedom to states led to use for unrelated expenses. Republican-ruled Alabama has moved ahead with building three new prisons, totally unrelated to the pandemic, and subsequent relief measures for affected people.
But most states are using the funds for inflation relief stimulus checks. They have also been helped by a booming economy in the last two quarters of 2021. This combined economic support helped states give out generous amounts to residents, with several states even giving out multiple stimulus checks to their residents.
Ohio Moves In With Stimulus Checks
Ohio is the latest among states that could follow the other states with stimulus checks to support inflation relief if the Democrats come to power. Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley has announced a stimulus check to residents of Ohio that will be worth $350.
Whaley stated that residents of the states are hurting with rising prices, be it from the higher bills at the grocery store, or the steep prices at the pump. She said that Governor Mike DeWine appeared to be more interested in his donors and special friends. But he should instead be using his powers to help residents face the high costs of everything from groceries to gasoline.
Nan Whaley has said that if elected, she would ensure that the families of Ohio will be the greatest priority. She said that she would ensure that individuals get $350 while couples would get $700 stimulus checks to offset the record prices of gasoline, essential items, utility prices, and home rents.
Around 7.4 million residents of Ohio could benefit if the state stimulus checks become a reality. They comprise around 89% of state adults. But to implement her proposal she would first have to win the election. The elections are due on November 8, 2022. But incumbent Republican Governor DeWine continues to retain a respectable 19-point lead over his Democratic rival.
New Mexico Announces A Fourth Round Of Stimulus Check
A few states could be moving towards another round of stimulus checks for their residents as the record inflation rate continues to hurt the poor and moderate-income groups. The question of whether the federal administration would go for the fourth round of stimulus checks has been the foremost question among millions.
But the withdrawal of all other federal measures has dampened hopes and people have resigned themselves to the fact that there is little chance of any more stimulus money being sanctioned by Washington.
But the $500 million and above that each state government received from the federal administration is coming in handy now. Around $195 billion were distributed in total and the states have till 2024 to allocate the funds. And distribute it by 2026. The funds will then revert to the federal government.
Other states that are going for multiple rounds of stimulus checks include New Mexico which has already given out $1,500 as inflation relief payments.
Earlier New Mexico gave out $1,500 to eligible families between May and August 2022. Two laws were passed in 2022 that provide for either relief or rebate payments for residents. Those who filed their 2021s state income tax returns got the New Mexico stimulus checks.
Eligible residents received a $250 stimulus check in June, $250 more in August, and if their income was within the limits, $250 in July. For married couples filing jointly, the amount is double. The payment date will depend on how quickly file your income tax returns for 2021.
A new round, the fourth, of cash payments or rebates will soon be hitting the accounts of New Mexicans this summer, the first of the fourth round of stimulus checks, which the federal administration could never manage despite repeated attempts by Democratic legislators.
The application for the new stimulus checks will be accepted starting September 26. A payment of $400 will be provided over and above the multiple economic relief payments and tax rebates that people received between May and August this year. but the latest round is only for low-income families and individuals. The priority is the qualified household with the lowest income and one check will go out to every household.
Only a limited number of applications will be taken in and the payments will be based on the funds available. A $10 million fund has been set aside and the money was sanctioned by legislators in the regular legislative session of 2022.