Rent Relief, Tax Filing Tips, Celebrating Black History Month & More!

Dear neighbor,

February will be a short but busy month at the Capitol! Bill introductions will be finalized by February 19th and COVID-19 vaccinations and relief efforts remain a top priority. In addition, counties have re-opened some additional industry sectors, tax season begins, and we celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth. Here is what you need to know about these important events and developments: 

  • Celebrating Black History Month: This month, and every day, we must celebrate and uplift the historic contributions of generations of Black Americans in our nation and stand up against racism and injustice in our community. This year’s theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity”. Let us collectively explore the history of Black families across the nation and honor Black American leaders in our community who are making a difference, championing for a better tomorrow absent of prejudice and bigotry, and with true equity for all.
    • Would you like to nominate someone you know to be recognized for their work and leadership to improve the lives of Black Americans in SD33? Submit your nominations to by Monday, February 8th, 2021!
  • Rent Relief: On January 29th, 2021 Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB91. This legislation extends the state’s eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021 and allocates $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance dollars to assist struggling California tenants and small property owners.
    • SB91 pays landlords 80% of a tenant’s rental arrears as long as they forgive the remaining 20%. It also offers tenants a 25% payment for landlords who decline to participate in order to secure eviction protection. Click here for a more detailed overview.
    • The LA County 2021 Rent Relief Program is still under development. If you are in need of rent relief, sign up to be notified when the application opens and for other updates here.
  • The Regional Stay Home Order ended January 25, 2021. To find the status for permitted activities in your county visit the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Los Angeles County, along with the majority of the State is in the most restrictive purple tier. You can find the most recent LA County Health Officer Order here.
  • Keeping Up With the California Senate Legislative Cycle: February 19th is the last day for bill introductions in the California Senate. Bill ideas are introduced at the Senate Desk, where they are assigned a number and read for the first time. After this, the bills then go to the Senate Rules Committee, where they are assigned to a policy committee. Want to know more? Follow the legislative process and calendar for more details. 
  • Vaccine Update: While COVID-19 vaccine supply is still limited, California is prioritizing vaccines for specific groups based on exposure risks, health risks, and health equity.
    • Visit My Turn to find out if it's your turn to get vaccinated and schedule vaccination appointments. If it isn't your turn yet, you’ll be able to register to be notified when you become eligible.
    • You can sign up for newsletter updates, read vaccine FAQs and more at the LA County Public Health vaccine website. Residents with disabilities or without computer access can call 833-540-0473 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. 7 days a week for assistance with appointments.
  • Tax Filing: Tax season begins for individual filers on February 12 and closes on April 15. Make sure you are ready to file! 
    • Are you one of the millions of Californians who qualifies for the California Earned Income Tax Credit?  The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and the Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC) are state tax credits for working Californians. If you qualify, you may see a reduced tax bill or a bigger refund. You may qualify if:
      • You’re at least 18 years old or have a qualifying child
      • You have earned income of $30,000 or less
      • And if you don't have a social security number, don't worry—taxpayers with an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) are eligible, too.
    • IRS 2021 Tips for taxpayers to make filing easier:
      • File electronically and use direct deposit for the quickest refunds
      • Those who didn't receive a stimulus payment or only received a partial payment may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return
      • Anyone with income of $72,000 or less can file their Federal tax return electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program
      • Taxpayers should remember that stimulus payments they received are not taxable, and don't reduce the amount of their refund
  • Have You Followed Our Accounts? Get more updates and important resource information for Senate District 33 by following me on Facebook and Twitter!

We have a lot ahead of us this month, please remember to continue practicing physical distancing, washing your hands, and wearing a mask! If you need information regarding COVID-19 resources or help with other state related matters, please contact my office. You can reach us at (562) 256-7921 or send us a message here.


Lena Gonzalez
33rd State Senate District