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$1,000 a month with no strings attached: Guaranteed basic income could be coming to LA

Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles is poised to become the latest city to try universal basic income.

Mayor Eric Garcetti included a $24 million Basic Income Guaranteed program in his city budget to be released Tuesday. L.A. would become the biggest city to try the concept, possibly joining California cities Stockton and Compton as well as cities elsewhere.

Here is a primer:

What would the L.A. program do?

If approved by the Los Angeles City Council, the program would provide $1,000 a month to 2,000 Los Angeles families for a year. There will be no obligation on how to spend the money, according to the mayor’s office.

“When you give money to people who are poor, it creates better outcomes,” the mayor said. “It covers child care. It puts food on the table. It leads to more high school graduations and better checkups.”


Already, the Los Angeles City Council has unveiled plans to spend more than $11 million in funds diverted from the Los Angeles Police Department budget on such programs in South L.A. and the San Fernando Valley.

In the South L.A. district represented by Councilman Curren Price, a program will provide $1,000 per month for a year to 500 households headed by single parents. It’s expected to launch this summer.

Additional programs are being floated in the districts represented by Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas.

A Garcetti spokesman said the $24 million allocation for a citywide program would be in addition to those proposed efforts.


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