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 Jersey; Tacoma, Washington; Denver, Colorado; Cambridge, 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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