New Proposal Would Launch $1000-Per-Month Universal Basic Income Pilot Program in LA County

A new proposal in Los Angeles County would launch a universal basic income pilot program for 1,000 residents, The Los Angeles Times reports.

County Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Sheila Kuehl introduced a proposal this week to provide at least $1,000 per month to 1,000 residents for three years.

The criteria for selecting the recipients have yet to be determined.

“We must fundamentally shift the idea that people who face financial insecurity have somehow failed, and instead recognize that it is the inequity and lack of access built into our economy and government assistance programs that have failed us,” the two lawmakers said in their proposal.

The County Board of Supervisors will vote on the measure next week.

The program is similar to one proposed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, which would provide $1,000 per month to 2,000 families for a year.

A south Los Angeles district is launching its own program to provide $1,000 per month to 500 households headed by single parents and other districts may follow.

The LA County program would cost at least $36 million.

More cities trying UBI:

Several other municipalities are proposing their own UBI pilot programs, including New Orleans; St. Paul, Minn.; Tacoma, Wash.; and Hudson, N.Y.

Compton recently announced a UBI program that will pay between $300 and $600 per month to 800 low-income residents.

That program will be funded by the charity Fund for Guaranteed Income, which is headed by the daughter of the owner of the Los Angeles Times.

“A guaranteed income program provides households with financial stability during sharp economic swings, alleviates stress and broadens recipients’ horizons,” Mitchell and Kuehl said in their motion. “Importantly, these programs come without the scrutiny and work requirements of programs such as welfare and food stamps.”

Some success so far:

A pilot program in Stockton, California gave 125 randomly selected low-income residents $500 per month for two years.

An analysis of the program found that it “measurably improved participants' job prospects, financial stability and overall well-being,” according to NPR.

The study also found that it created "new opportunities for self-determination, choice, goal-setting, and risk-taking."

Recipients spent the money on basic needs with less than 1% going toward alcohol or tobacco.

"SEED gave people the dignity to make their own choices, the ability to live up to their potential and improved economic stability going into the turmoil of the pandemic,” former Mayor Michael Tubbs, the founder of the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, which is funded by donors, said in a statement.

"When I think if we can get a guaranteed income, an income floor, at this time, we also have to have a conversation about the moral awakening our country needs because, again, as Dr. King said, poverty robs us of the richness of a society where everyone's given the opportunity to realize their full potential,” Tubbs told NPR.


Related News