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California Approves First Guaranteed Income Program — Here’s Who Qualifies

California is the first state to fund its own $35 million universal basic income plan.

The State Assembly and Senate passed the bill on Thursday, according to the Associated Press, as part of the state budget. The guaranteed income plan will be funded by taxpayers.

Young adults who recently left foster care and pregnant people will be prioritized to receive the monthly income. People who qualify will have no restrictions on how to spend the monthly payouts; the amounts will be determined by each local group receiving such grants from the state, though they’ll likely be up to $1,000 a month.

Lawmakers approved the bill with bipartisan support: 36-0 in the Senate and 64-0 in the Assembly, the AP said.

Language from the budget document AB-153 said that it will ensure “grant funds are awarded in an equitable manner to eligible entities in both rural and urban counties and in proportion to the number of individuals anticipated to be served by an eligible entity’s pilot program or project.”

California Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) cheered the plan in a Thursday statement. “I’d like to thank my colleagues for partnering with me on this important work and investing in this concept that will uplift the lives of so many. I’m excited that 40 million Californians will now get a chance to see how guaranteed income works in their own communities,” he said.

The news comes on the day that President Joe Biden’s Child Tax Credits rolled out. About 39 million American households began receiving advanced child tax credit payments as part of the Biden administration’s goal of cutting child poverty in half this year.

Eligible families will receive $300 per month for the rest of the year for every child under age 6 and $250 for every child ages 6 to 17; most payments will be deposited directly into parents’ bank accounts.

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