Home>Articles>Statewide Universal Basic Income Bill Passes Assembly Committee With Funding Source Unclear

Assemblyman Evan Low. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Statewide Universal Basic Income Bill Passes Assembly Committee With Funding Source Unclear

California Universal Basic Income would cost state between $67-129 billion a year, administered by FTB

By Evan Symon, April 27, 2021 2:48 pm

A bill that would give most Californians over the age of 18 $1,000 a month, costing the state between $67-129 billion a year, was passed in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee on Monday.

According to Assembly Bill 65, authored by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) and co-authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the proposed California Universal Basic Income (CalUBI) Program would be administered by the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). $1,000 a month would be given with no strings attached to all Californian residents over the age of 18, as long as they have lived in the state for at least 3 consecutive years and if the resident’s income doesn’t exceed 200% of the median per capita income for the resident’s current county of residence, as determined by the United States Census Bureau.

While AB 65 doesn’t say directly where funding for the bill would come from, it does say that a Universal Basic Income Fund will be created in the state treasury and administered by the FTB, meaning that state taxes would likely play a part in it. With the FTB estimating a yearly cost of $67-129 billion a year, since so much money would be going into the program, AB 65 makes it difficult for CalUBI funding from being moved elsewhere, such as through the provision that prohibits the FTB and the Controller from using any part of the CalUBI payments to offset tax liabilities or delinquent accounts.

Assemblyman Low wrote the bill to provide economic relief for lower-income Californians, to improve the lives of recipients, and to give recipients better personal, creative, and educational opportunities.

“Universal Basic Income would provide Californians with the financial security to take time for personal and creative pursuits, as well as go back to school for better career opportunities,” said Assemblyman Low on Monday. “The benefits translate to improvements in mental, physical and economic health. “As the recent federal stimulus package has shown, economic relief for vulnerable Californians can only be achieved by putting cash directly into their pockets.”

We took a BIG step forward yesterday in the fight for economic justice, as the California Legislature — for the first time in its history — discussed the creation of a statewide universal basic income,” added Low in a follow-up tweet on Tuesday. “Plenty of work to do but we can build on this!”

The first UBI bill to make it past a committee

State UBI bills have been attempted several times in the past, such as last years AB 2712, but never made it past the committee level. However, several completed, ongoing, or approved UBI pilot programs have sprung up in the last several years in cities across California such as Stockton, Compton, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland. While the results have been mixed so far, the growing acceptance of UBI programs in California brought about the first Assembly Committee approval of a state UBI program.

“This was unexpected,” noted Cheryl Keating, a law researcher who has studied UBI proposals and programs in the United States and Canada. “This was the first time that an entire state made it past the first hurdle to passing it. This isn’t just some city pilot program giving income to a group of low-income families or artists. This is the entire state.”

“Before they do anything else, they need to nail down how they can possibly fund this. California has a surplus right now, but not nearly enough to cover this. And, for many residents and businesses, taxes are high enough as is. So where would this money come from?”

“That’s the literal $129 billion question. Hopefully more people will question it soon, or California is going to find itself in quite the predicament.”

AB 65 is due to be heard next in the Assembly Committee on Appropriation.

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19 thoughts on “Statewide Universal Basic Income Bill Passes Assembly Committee With Funding Source Unclear

  1. Free money every month for doing absolutely nothing except voting Democrat. Bribery and corruption at its best, only in CA!

  2. Seriously, what is wrong with these people.
    They are addicted to spending other people’s money!
    No revenue source, so what they say, we can just raise taxes.
    I can’t imagine conducting a business or my life that way.
    There’s that swoosh again. Money down the drain.
    California the nanny state.

  3. To make this work, they’ll have to repeal Prop 98.

    What also has to happen is the UBI needs to be set at a rate sufficient to check into a residence hotel (SRO), and there may need to be a county differential. California does have a GA grant program at the county level, so this might be viewed as a “stat-iz-ation” of GA or a new “realignment.”

  4. Howard Jarvis is turning in his grave. The cost will be pushed down to the local level onto the shoulders of you know who.

  5. I do not agree with this. I don’t need it. I would vote against it. HOWEVER, if CA is hellbent on sending me a grand a month, I’m gonna take it. You try to do the right thing, vote the right way, but sometimes you’re just out-numbered and commie leftists get their way. What can a fellow do? I only have one vote.

    1. Mr. Schilling – I hear you. The problem is that they won’t send everyone the $1000 a month – they will take yours and mine and give it to someone else whom they deem is more deserving – ie. more likely to vote for them.

  6. John, sometimes it takes only ONE to make the difference. The Marixists I have dealt with were cowards. When I “pushed back” they backed down. It set an example for the others who were watching. Then THEY stood their ground against the tyranny. Set an example.

  7. From my understanding The federal government will have to print more money to fund this scheme. Will usd collapse after that? And how will it affect other states? It does not look good. If CA implement this other states should secede to keep out of thouble.

  8. I have worked my entire life to earn, save, invest and defer gratification for the right to “take time for personal and creative pursuits”. My start in life was indeed modest; some would say poor. This was my motivation to improve my life. UBI is welfare that will doom many individuals to a life of dependency. This is the future the democrats seek. Damn these politicians!

    1. Yes, Owed Nothing, this is a TERRIBLE idea for us AND for the recipients of such a scheme, as so many of such Marxist (now Democrat) ideas are. And it’s by design! There must be SOME connection between productive work and sustenance — the motivation of you don’t work, you don’t eat — as an ennobling and strengthening feature of human development and existence, as you have so well explained.

  9. One more log on the fire…
    C’mon, hurry up and finish building our new home so we can GTHO of this San Franfreakshow-led sh#those….
    Eff you Low & Wiener, you dumbclucks obviously never passed an Economics course….

  10. There can never be enough moving trucks in CA. It said the individual tax rate will increase! And they think people will just stay and keep working to give it to those that have no incentive to? My God it never stops here. Who voted these idiots in office? Please vet before voting. So happy for the Newsom recall now vote like you have a brain.

  11. “A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship” – Alexander Tytler

  12. well this should improve the next re-districting with a wave illegals and homeless coming to cali for free money. Blue state cali is blue because the demo-rats are sucking all the air out of the taxpayers. We need resuscitation so STOP re-electing these idiots, or worse anti-America commie politicians.

  13. Surplus my behind!!! The state is BILLIONS in debt on its promised pension liabilities. It’s time for the dog and pony budget show to see a TRUE audit and the light of day. Enough with shell fame thru ALWAYS play. How’s that bullet train to nowhere coming along?

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