Baltimore Chief Recovery Officer Shamiah Kerney said her city is sponsoring a guaranteed income pilot program in which 200 “18 to 24-year-olds who have children” receive $1,000 a month in supplemental income for two years.
The city hopes to collect enough data to determine if providing a guaranteed basic income for low-income families with children benefits recipients and taxpayers, she said.
“We’re hoping that will inform the dialogue on a national basis,” Kerney said during the roundtable, cohosted by the National League of Cities and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), a watchdog panel created by the U.S. Office of Inspector General (OIG) to monitor federal pandemic allocations.
Baltimore’s Young Families Success Fund earmarks $4.8 million in ARPA money for the program. It began dispersing $1,000 a month to 200 recipients with incomes at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level—$26,200 for a family of four—in August.
By fall 2024, Kerney said, the city suspects data collected from the pilot program will “demonstrate the need” for sustaining, if not expanding, the program.
In Cook County, Ill., which includes Chicago, the board of supervisors in September approved the nation’s largest guaranteed income pilot program, a $42 million plan mostly using ARPA money to provide $500 monthly to 3,250 households, at or below the federal poverty line, for two years.
Cook County Budget Director Annette Guzman said officials are looking at the program to determine if it should be “a permanent piece” in addressing poverty “going forward.”
On Dec. 13, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen in a 21-1 vote set aside $5 million in ARPA money for a test universal basic income program that will provide 440 families with $500 a month for 18 months.