California lawmakers passed the nation’s first state-funded guaranteed income program on Thursday, a plan that will reportedly provide monthly cash payments to eligible pregnant women and young adults who have recently aged out of foster care.
There will be no restrictions on how the recipients can spend the money.
According to the Associated Press, “Dozens of local programs have sprung up around the country in recent years, including some that have been privately funded, making it easier for elected officials to sell the public on the idea.” The outlet reported, “California’s plan is taxpayer-funded and could spur other states to follow its lead.”
The proposal had broad bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature, passing 36-0 in the Senate and 64-0 in the Assembly, with some abstentions.
Senator Dave Cortese, a Democrat from San Jose, led the drive to take the concept statewide. He recently told the San Francisco Chronicle, “Foster youth are an extraordinarily vulnerable population.”
“We have a demographic that’s launched