SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – New stimulus checks can go a long way for some Californians, but one economist says Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal Monday may not benefit the economy at all.

Shelley O’Neill is staying positive despite struggling to find work. Right now, money is tight and an extra $600 could get her out of the truck she’s currently living in.

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“It would help me out enormously, like a down payment for a…find my way to an apartment,” she said.

Aleisha Anderson is a stay-at-home mom.

“As far as for me, we have a big family, so an extra income, it’s always gonna help,” she said.

Newsom plans to send $600 stimulus checks to people making up to $75,000 a year plus an extra $500 if they have children.

The proposal is part of a $100 billion economic recovery plan made possible by a projected $75 billion budget surplus.

So how did the state get to this point after facing a multi-billion dollar budget deficit just last year?

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Sanjay Varshney, a professor of finance at Sacramento State, says it has to do with tax revenue from California’s most wealthy residents.

But when it comes to the impact on the economy, Varshney says giving free money could in fact delay getting people back to work.

“I’m not sure what that does for our economy,” he said. “If anything, it’s going to make it more miserable for some small business owners who are relying very heavily on the minimum wage workers to come back and these workers are not showing up.”

Trevaun Pannell hasn’t stopped working and says the added cash would go a long way.

“It would help me with rent, you know electricity, things like that, just everyday life,” he said.

Varshney says, economically, that projected surplus could have got to help with infrastructure or even go towards the state’s rainy day fund.

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While Newsom was speaking in Oakland Monday, reporters did ask the governor if this move is in response to the looming recall election, but he didn’t answer.