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California Launches Tax Credit For Working Poor

Governor Jerry Brown signed California's first-ever earned income tax credit into law in June.

On Wednesday, a coalition of state, civic and business leaders launched a campaign to help California’s poorest working families take advantage of it.

Manuel Romero of Central California Legal Services said his office is helping spread the word about the program.

“It is a no-brainer for us to help the Cal EITC program. It should and it will help bring people out of poverty, the low income wage earners. It will bring money into the local economy," Romero said during a conference call with reporters set up by the governor's office.

Top Brown aide Nancy McFadden said the success of the new program will depend on how many of the estimated 600,000 eligible Californians sign-up.

"This coalition has come together to make sure we reach those 600,000 people," she added.

The governor budgeted $380 million for this fiscal year's tax credit in June. Democrats in the Assembly had long pushed for its inclusion in the state budget.

The program received near unanimous support in the Legislature, garnering votes from Democrats and all but a handful of Republicans.

"We believe the idea (of a tax credit) falls right in line with our principles," said Amanda Fulkerson, spokeswoman for the Assembly Republican Caucus.

The state credit is open to residents with a maximum income of $6,580, if they have no children, or $13,870 if they have two or more children.

More information about the program and who qualifies for it is available online at CalEITC4me.org.