Ian Patrick, FISM News
On Thursday California’s lawmakers approved the creation of a state-funded guaranteed-income plan that will cost $35 million dollars of the state budget. The plan will be entirely taxpayer funded, and is the first of its kind in the U.S. It passed both chambers with no opposition, as final counts showed 36-0 votes in the state’s Senate and 64-0 votes in the state’s Assembly.
The plan is intended to provide financial assistance specifically to pregnant women of a certain economic status and foster children who recently aged out of the foster care system. Local governments and other programs can apply for the funding and dole it out to those who meet the requirements set by California’s Department of Social Services. The plan is expected to provide monthly payments to those who qualify of anywhere between $500 to $1,000 with no restrictions as to how recipients may spend it.
California State Senator Dave Cortese, a Democrat, hopes that this program will get rid of what he called the “big brother government knows what’s best for you” philosophy by allowing free spending for those who receive the funding. However, the idea doesn’t sit well with all state politicians.
Republican Assemblyman Vince Fong worries that such guaranteed income will “undermine incentives to work and increase dependence on government.” He further pointed out that such funding “doesn’t provide the job training and skills needed for upward mobility.”
The Associated Press reports that multiple similar programs have popped up recently, but the have all been privately funded.