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Nearly two-thirds of residents in Southern California and across the state would receive $600 state stimulus checks under a rebate proposal Gov. Gavin Newsom announced recently, while families with children would receive an extra $500.

“We are tripling the Golden State Stimulus to get money in the hands of more middle-class Californians who have been hit hard by this pandemic,’’ Newsom said. “Two in three Californians will receive a check from the state and more than $5 billion in aid will be made available to those who need help paying their rent or utility bills.’’

The payments are being proposed in response to what Newsom called a $75.7 billion state budget surplus.

In addition to the direct stimulus payments, Newsom also proposed $5 billion to assist renters who have fallen behind in their payments, and another $2 billion to cover utility bills that residents hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic have struggled to pay.

The stimulus payments would be directed to families earning up to $75,000. The proposal needs to be approved by the state Legislature.

Kevin Faulconer, the Republican former San Diego mayor who has been spearheading the recall effort against Newsom, was quick to criticize the plan.

“Californians need permanent, real tax relief, not just one-time stimulus checks,’’ Faulconer said. “Our state is unaffordable because of Gavin Newsom’s failed leadership, which has forced countless families to flee our state.’’