Guaranteed income is graduating from charity to public policy

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Vox

It seems like everywhere you look in the US these days, new guaranteed income pilot programs are springing up. Over the past month or so, they’ve launched in Newark, New JerseyTacoma, WashingtonDenver, ColoradoCambridge, Massachusetts; and Los Angeles County, California.

“Guaranteed income” is similar to, but not quite the same as, universal basic income (UBI). Whereas UBI aims to offer enough money for a basic subsistence living to every single adult, guaranteed income might provide a more modest amount — less than enough to live on — to a more targeted group of people (say, the lowest-income people in the population). It can still be life-changing for those who receive it.

So it was a big deal when California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on May 14 that he’s including $35 million in his state budget to help pay for local governments to launch their own guaranteed income pilots targeting low-income families. (Individual cities or counties are expected to supplement the funding for the pilots through taxpayer dollars or private donations.)

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