Local first experiment with a guaranteed basic income for low-income residents is being passed. It is by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in her 2022 budget. Lightfoot explains what the money will do and who for. This was in her remarks after the budget was passing. She said it was intending to help keep working families afloat as the city is continuing its pandemic recovery.
Local Guaranteed Income Pilot Program
“A difference can be made for the working poor with extra income consistently. They are living on the very cusp of financial ruin,” Lightfoot said. “We are investing in family assistance programs with $35 million of the $157 million. It will fund the largest pilot program in the country. It would provide $500 a month to 5000 families with cash assistance can lift them up out of poverty.”
Tests of These Programs in Other Cities
In addition, in other smaller cities recently, there have been similar guaranteeing income programs. In fact, they include some in the Midwest cities and states as well as a Northern city in a West Coast state. Thus, now another city in the West Coast state recently has announcing its own basic income pilot for 3000 households.
In fact, there has been an effort to start a basic income earlier by Ald. Gilbert Villegas this year. Therefore, in April, his committee has introduced the ordinance.
Pilot Program Requirements
The requirements are as follows: a Chicago resident who is enrolling in City Colleges or has a dependent: (a) who is enrolling in Chicago Public Schools or City Colleges or (b) who is not yet the minimum age to attend Chicago Public Schools; to have to experience a COVID-19 Impact at the time of application; to have an income at or below 300% of the federal poverty guidelines, and to not be employees of or elected officials of the City of Chicago or the State of Illinois.