New Bill Would Give Nearly Every Californian $1,000 a Month, Similar to Andrew Yang’s Freedom Dividend Plan
Aila Slisco, Newseweek, Feb. 21, 2020
A proposed California law would provide most adults in the state with a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 per month, similar to the proposed plan of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
The California Universal Basic Income Program was introduced by Democratic California State Assemblymember Evan Low on Thursday. Low was the co-chair of Yang’s campaign and the proposal bears a striking similarity to the former candidate’s national plan.
“I’ve just introduced Assembly Bill 2712- California Universal Basic Income (UBI).. Continuing your work, @AndrewYang. #HumanityFirst #UBI,” Low tweeted on Friday.
I’ve just introduced Assembly Bill 2712- California Universal Basic Income (UBI). Continuing your work, @AndrewYang . #HumanityFirst #UBI https://t.co/J96GihNilb pic.twitter.com/mJC9bX5Vn5
— Evan Low (@Evan_Low) February 21, 2020
The program would be paid for with a state value-added tax of 10 percent on goods and services, with exemptions for groceries, medicine, medical supplies, clothing, textbooks and other items. Recipients of several programs, including the state’s Medicaid plan, would be ineligible.
Yang dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination on February 11, after disappointing results in the New Hampshire primary.
The longshot Yang campaign garnered a surprising amount of support and his UBI proposal popularized the idea to an unprecedented degree. Yang dubbed the payments offered by his plan “Freedom Dividends,” which would have mirrored the Low plan in giving most U.S. adults $1,000 per month.
Critics of Yang’s plan are likely to have similar critiques of Low’s proposal. Funding the program with a value-added tax has been blasted by some who believe such a tax would disproportionately burden the poor. Concerns have also been raised over potentially forcing people to choose between UBI and other existing public assistance programs.