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State lawmakers debating how to provide direct relief to Californians

Three different proposals are currently on the table to provide aid to Californians coping with the rising costs of fuel, food, housing and other essentials.

SAN DIEGO — While many San Diegans are struggling to pay for everything from gas to groceries, lawmakers in Sacramento are debating the best way to provide relief to Californians through direct rebates. 

While Governor Gavin Newsom recently pitched his idea for putting money back in the pockets of some Californians, there are currently two others competing with it.

"I think it's nuts!" said Chula Vista mom Claudia Martinez as she filled up her gas tank Monday. She said she's forced to spend more on food, fuel, and other essentials, while her income stays the same.

"I t was already an expense," she told CBS 8. "And now it's almost like an extra bill on top of that."

$200 payments to CA taxpayers, dependents

To help offset these rising prices, leaders of the State Senate and Assembly have put forth a proposal to put money back in Californians' pockets.

It would provide $200 payments to taxpayers and to each of their dependents: limiting eligibility to households with income up to $250,000.

"It's middle income and lower income Californians who are struggling," said Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, who is from San Diego. This proposal, estimated to cost $6.8 billion, would target those who need it most, covering about 90 percent of the state population, whether or not they have a vehicle.

"We're trying to be fiscally prudent and at the same time, affect the people who need it the most,: Atkins told CBS 8.

$400 rebate per registered vehicle that you own

Competing with Pro Tem Atkins' idea is Governor Newsom's proposal. Newsom's proposal would provide a $400 rebate per registered vehicle that a California resident owns, up to two vehicles, with no income eligibility limit. 

His proposal also includes the possibility of up to three free months of public transit.

"That direct relief will address the issue that we all are struggling to address," Newsom said, "And that is the issue of gas prices!"

$400 to every CA taxpayer, regardless of income

A third proposal, by more moderate Democrats in the Assembly, would provide $400 to each taxpayer, regardless of income, like Newsom's idea. This would cost an estimated $9.2 billion.

Atkins says it's critical to provide relief to those who need it the most.

"We are trying to put something together that is real, meaningful and of course, we are still negotiating."

As those negotiations continue, Atkins said that she is hopeful that some form of relief will be approved by the Legislature in the next couple of weeks.

WATCH RELATED: How many hours do you have to work to afford a tank of gas? (April 2022).

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