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

Universal Income Program in California Proposed in New Bill

AB 2712 would give $1,000 a month for all residents over the age of 18

By Evan Symon, February 26, 2020 3:09 pm

A bill that would give $1,000 a month to every California resident over the age of 18 was introduced into the Assembly and is currently awaiting Committee assignment.

Assembly Bill 2712, authored by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), would have the tentatively named California Universal Basic Income Program (CalUBI) be funded by a 10% value-added tax (VAT) on goods and services that are not medical or education based. Residents over the age of 18 would not be able to collect a ‘basic income’ if they are currently on Medi-Cal, a County Medical Services Program, CalFresh, CalWORKs, or Unemployment Insurance. It is currently not known what the residency requirements would be.

Assemblyman Low modeled the program based on former Democratic presidential nominee Andrew Yang’s ‘Freedom Dividend’ universal income plans.

“We must continue the conversation on how the job loss that comes with automation will profoundly change our economy,” said Assemblyman Evan Low in a statement. “The innovations and technologies created in California today are already disrupting our workforce. It’s time that we consider the merits of expanding economic security through a universal basic income.”

Low further credited Yang on Twitter, addingI’ve just introduced Assembly Bill 2712 California Universal Basic Income (UBI). Continuing your work, Andrew Yang. #HumanityFirst #UBI.”

Universal basic income is currently only partially available in the form of a temporary pilot program in Stockton. Stockton’s program has seen numerous flaws since it started in April of last year but is expected to run through its 18 month trial by September of this year.

Support for AB 2712 has been low. Many UBI advocates, like Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs, have come out against it because of how it doesn’t give any income to those currently on state programs.

Much of the opposition also currently comes from being against the program itself and because of how open to interpretation it currently is.

“I have hundreds of concerns,” said Dr.  Megan Graham, a Los Angeles based researcher who has studied past UBI programs. “A big one that jumps out at me are residency requirements. How long must someone be a resident here to receive benefits? Is it immediate? Is it a year?”

“And I’m also worried about how it will kick California’s population up. A lot of people would move here for another $12,000 a year. That means increased rent prices, increased almost everything because of higher demand. And the sad thing is that a lot of people who would need this most would not get it. That’s insane.”

“This is a very socialist plan, but it would be somewhat easier for people to swallow if it helped out poor people more. But it wouldn’t. It largely wouldn’t. CalFresh alone wouldn’t allow over 4 million people to get it.”

“Conservatives hate the plan because of how much state intervention is here, along with all the financial issues and many more that should just be obvious. And now liberals don’t like it because it excludes so many people who would need it. Who is left to support it?”

AB 2712 is expected to be heard in as-of-yet unknown Assembly Committees this spring.

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17 thoughts on “Universal Income Program in California Proposed in New Bill

  1. Let’s put aside that this sort of thing is not good for anyone, ok? — and instead ask: Can these legislators do math? Even the bloated and overblown state budget is not enough money just for THIS. What makes you think that every Dem special interest who is already lined up for their bag of money from the state is going to let you get away with this sort of giveaway? Please just knock it off, Evan Low. Take a break. You are constantly giving Californians the finger and wasting everyone’s time and it stopped being amusing a long time ago.

    1. A $1,000 a month .. wow.. I can see every grifter in 49 states flooding into this declining state for free cash.. Sooo… how do these followers of Marx propose to pay for it.. MORE and HIGHER taxes of course.

    2. UBI is a good idea but this bill is very flawed.
      I would like to hear Andrew Yangs thoughts on this bill. His plan was to give everyone UBI.

      This California Bill seems like it wants to exclude the poor.

      I’m sure they will rework it.

  2. There’s no way this will pass. This is probably the most RIDICIULOUS thing I’ve heard in a while, and that’s saying something. Seriously: WTF.

  3. Let’s stipulate that 40 million live in California today. Paying everyone 1000 per month will cost 40 billion per month, or 480 billion per year. Where is that money going to come from? To come up even close to that amount, California’s budge will need to be at least 3 times what it is today. The only way governments make money is via taxation, so expect your taxes to triple. Sales tax of about 25-30%, gas price up another $3 per gallon of fuel, utility bills, water bill, vehicle registration, state licences and fees …

    1. You’re so right. Silly under-educated Evan Low. Not proficient in 3rd grade math!
      K’s right —- I don’t think we have to worry about this one; it’s not going to fly.

      1. yes but the real issue is that there is this constant push for all of these social welfare programs but not much more than a whisper about ways to develop their economy so more people can get better jobs. free stuff,free stuff,free stuff,free stuff,free stuff,free stuff… it’s unending and a sop to keep the current administration in power. it’s disgusting.

    2. Hat451 – First of, I agree that this bill should be dead in the water (and it will be), but you’ve got to read past the headline, man. It wouldn’t cost anywhere near $40 billion/month because there are only ~25 million Californians aged 18 or older. So that’s $25 billion/month. Then you’ve got to remove people on CalFresh or MediCal. That would drop the cost even lower. As for how it would get paid for, the article states explicitly that there would be a 10% VAT so no….there would NOT be a 30% sales tax or a doubling of gas prices, etc. It’s cool to be against something, and this is certainly something to be opposed to, but argue against it based on fact.

  4. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more ridiculous, it did. Why don’t you morons in Sacramento do something else than trying to duck the life out of the people!!

  5. Amen! And those of us who are California Natives, has been working here, paying our taxes through employment for the last 60+ years are the ones that’s getting screwed by all thos BS taxes! No more VAT’s!! I’m packing up and getting out of this date next year. Take my money elsewhere!

  6. So if you’re poor it’s like “look you’re too poor to qualify for help”. This only helps people that dont need it as bad. Maybe if the people with medical Medicaid calfresh etc had a little basic income maybe it would be a good push out of poverty and a path to better employment and a path to independent stability. It’s called basic income and the families that domt have a legitimate basic income dont qualify? Makes no sense. This bill should be thrown away. Or heavily proofread and edited and reintroduced because in summary it is a bill to help the poor which excludes the poor. 🤔🤦‍♂️

  7. My God, these people just won’t keep their hands out of our pockets!
    Everywhere I look there are help wanted signs, on the backs of of 25% of the trucks on the road, “Drivers Wanted”, yet liberal democrats still want to treat people like victims. GET A JOB! That’s right, many of us get up early and go to jobs we don’t enjoy, it’s called “grinding out a living”.

  8. “Help Wanted, Drivers Wanted”, I see the signs everywhere. My God, we just can’t keep the liberal hand out of our pockets. How about you go out and work? That’s right, the majority of us get up early and go to jobs we don’t want to be at, it’s called grinding out a living.
    There are three ways to make a living in our society..
    1. Start your own business, deal with the stress and long hours.
    2. Become an employee of #1, and get paid for a skill-set
    3. Or live off of .1 and .2, take the the fruits of their labor becasue you don’t want to get up and go to a job you don’t like.

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