In its heart of hearts, “Cascadia” would love to become the Scandinavia of America, without the charm and authenticity of old Ballard. Rather, urban Western Washington and Oregon pine for the kind of social democracy and generous safety net found in such countries as Sweden, alas without high-speed rail.
At least I suspect this is true of a voting majority.
To this end, a bill was recently introduced in the Oregon Legislature to provide $1,000 a month for low-income or unhoused people. It would be a $25 million pilot program running for two years and evaluated by Portland State University researchers. The goal: to see if the extra money helps the recipients remain sheltered and otherwise improves their material conditions.
Expect it to migrate north.
More significant, Oregon would become the first in the nation to offer such a statewide basic income program. It might open the door to a universal basic income, funded either at the state or federal level.
To read more, go here.