Written by Will Seykora
Last month Gavin Newsom presented his revised budget proposal, which outlined state spending that blows past proposals out of the water. However, something that was seemingly hidden in this proposal was a $35 million pilot program for Universal Basic Income (UBI).
Seemingly following in the footsteps of Oakland, Los Angeles, and other socialist havens in California the state hopes to use this money to fund more county UBI programs. Included in the program is a mandated local match on funds given to the county for this program. This means that counties would either need to raise taxes or find private donors to fund their UBI programs.
Also included is a mandate that these programs target low-income families. Meaning that in some of the state’s poorest counties middle-class families could be forced into poverty by the taxes caused by a program meant to help struggling families get into the middle class.
This idea was first put into Newsom’s head by former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs. Tubbs launched a privately funded guaranteed income program in 2019, and he believes “This support from (Newsom) for local governments to test ideas to strengthen our safety net, provide economic security, and end poverty is needed to truly make the golden state golden for all.”
The funding is a big step for the former Stockton Mayor as he’s hoping that the idea could be picked up by the federal government soon. He believes that Universal Basic Income could work in the long-term only if it is run by the federal government.