California passes US’s first state-backed guaranteed income plan

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The Guardian

California lawmakers have approved the first state-funded guaranteed income plan in the US, which will see $35m used for monthly cash payments to qualifying pregnant people and young adults who recently left foster care, in a move that could spur other states to follow its lead.

The effort passed with bipartisan support in the state legislature on Thursday, a sign of the growing momentum for the idea of guaranteed income across the country. Dozens of local programs have sprung up in recent years, including some that have been privately funded, making it easier for elected officials to sell the public on the idea.

California’s plan is taxpayer-funded, and there are no restrictions on how recipients can spend the money.

“If you look at the stats for our foster youth, they are devastating,“ said the Senate Republican leader, Scott Wilk. “We should be doing all we can to lift these young people up.”

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