California has just approved a bill that guarantees income to every resident. By using taxpayer funds, the Gold Rush State will provide funds to people who need it most, prioritizing pregnant people and minors who are on the verge of coming out of the foster care system. This initiative is the first of its kind and sets a precedent for other states who want to support residents in a similar way – by guaranteeing some income to help stave off poverty for people in at-risk groups.
The bill will provide qualifying people with monthly checks for $1,000. The bill does not stipulate restrictions on how the money can be spent, which means recipients are given the freedom to spend the money however it can help them most.
Lawmakers are pleased that they have passed the first-of-its-kind bill that will offer a lot of support to Californians who are at increased risk of poverty. The taxpayer-funded payments will go to those who need it most to help them lead a safe and healthy life.
“I’d like to thank my colleagues for partnering with me on this important work and investing in this concept that will uplift the lives of so many,” said state Sen. Dave Cortese, who was a strong advocate of the program in a statement. “I’m excited that 40 million Californians will now get a chance to see how guaranteed income works in their own communities.”
California state lawmakers modeled their bill on a similar basic-income program that was successfully run in Santa Clara County as recently as last year. The county-specific guaranteed income offered $1,000 to those who were about to age out of the foster care system.
The new bill would support both urban and rural recipients who apply for the guaranteed income program. Although the bill has passed the California state legislature, it still needs to be signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsome.
The universal basic income became a popular concept after Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang proposed it as one of his campaign promises. Since then, the idea has been put into practice by California in an attempt to support those who are suffering in poverty or are at risk of being impoverished.
COVID-19 relief payments were a step in the direction of an American universal basic income program. Many lawmakers believe that the payments should continue for eligible Americans who are struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic and after – whenever America and the world are able to pull out of the pandemic and get to the other side.
An April report from the Economic Security Project found that continued rounds of COVID-19 stimulus checks would work wonders in helping millions of Americans out of poverty. The report found that by issuing a fourth and fifth payment, the number of Americans struggling through poverty would drop from 44 million to just 16 million.
While President Joe Biden has not confirmed whether or not further COVID-19 relief payments are on the way, California has taken a step to support its residents with guaranteed income for those most in need.
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