Another US city is joining the ranks of locales around the country setting aside money to offer some of its residents a regular stimulus check over an extended period of time.
This time, the city is California’s Palm Springs. Its city council recently set aside a little less than a quarter of a million dollars to offer payments of $900 for up to 18 months. The recipients would include residents who identify as transgender and nonbinary.
Importantly, the payments would also have no strings attached, which makes this program another basic income experiment. That’s another way of describing what amounts to simply stimulus payments handed out on a regular basis. Over the course, that is, of several months or so.
Stimulus check 2022
The Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously in recent days to set aside $200,000 to fund the payments. Which, by the way, will also only go out to recipients who meet a poverty threshold.
According to Fox News, 20 Palm Springs residents will get the taxpayer-funded payments. This program will also be managed by advocacy-based health center DAP Health and an LGBT advocacy group called Queer Works. The latter of the two organizations said in a press release that the initial financial support from the city will enable both groups to study best practices of successful initiatives around the country.
The organizations are also receiving pilot design guidance from the national agency Mayors for a Guaranteed Income.
“We hope that the pilot we design will inspire the City of Palm Springs to join together with DAP Health and other funders to bring significant state funding to Palm Springs,” David Brinkman, CEO of DAP Health, said in the release. “Our goal is to develop a model that impacts the greatest number of individuals possible. We hope our pilot will help confirm that guaranteed income is a cost-effective way to create positive outcomes.”
Basic income payments
As stimulus check payments from the federal level dried up, following the collapse of support in the Senate at the end of 2021, these kinds of initiatives at the local level have emerged as a replacement of sorts.
Indeed, a number of cities around the country have been trying their own versions of this. Like the city of Newark, New Jersey, which recently expanded a basic income program there to 400 residents. Each of the participants is getting a total of $12,000 over two years. The participants are low-income and have to prove a hardship of some kind stemming from the Covid pandemic.
Another example is the new guaranteed income “Breathe” program in Los Angeles. That one will give participants $1,000 a month for three years. And participants can spend the money however they like.
“While the benefits of guaranteed income programs have been documented, this will also be an independent research project that will be used to study the effects of this type of program so that (Los Angeles County) and other jurisdictions can learn about the project’s impact on the economic stability of participants, as well as its impact on participants’ overall health and well-being,” the program’s website notes.