SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — In what would be the first state-funded guaranteed income plan in the US, California lawmakers on Thursday approved $35 million for monthly cash payments to qualifying pregnant people and young adults previously in foster care.
Both votes in the California Senate and Assembly were unanimous with some abstentions (36-0 and 64-0, respectively), but the plan did get some bipartisan support.READ MORE: 44 Structures Now Destroyed As Dixie Fire Grows To 240,795 Acres
“If you look at the stats for our foster youth, they are devastating,” Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk said. “We should be doing all we can to lift these young people up.”
The plan could possibly spur other states to follow.
“Now there is momentum, things are moving quickly,” said former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, now an advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The guaranteed income program that was instituted in Stockton during Tubb’s time as mayor catapulted him to national recognition. That program gave dozens of people living in lower-income neighborhoods $500 a month with no strings attached.
Stockton’s plan was funded by donors, however. California’s guaranteed income plan is taxpayer funded.READ MORE: Search Continues For Woman Missing Following Boating Accident
“The next stop is the federal government,” Tubbs said.
In California’s plan, local governments and organizations will be applying for the money and running the guaranteed income programs.
Lawmakers didn’t specify how much the monthly payments would be, leaving it up to local officials. However, other existing programs around the country range from $500-$1,000 a month.
The guaranteed income programs are not without their detractors. Some groups argue that taxpayer money would be better used for scholarships or other programs that incentive education.
“It’s less offensive if it is targeted to people who truly need it,” Jon Coupal, president of the California-based Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, told the Associated Press.
Along with Stockton, other cities around the US have started or announced guaranteed income programs. They include Oakland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Tacoma, and Gainesville.MORE NEWS: Forward Progress Stopped In 5 Fires That Threatened Structures In Calaveras County
Reporting from the Associated Press contributed to this article.