Chicago Mayor Proposes Universal Basic Income

President Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats have enacted a series of policies directed at trying to reduce wealth inequality in America. Now, it appears one of America’s largest cities may follow suit.

Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot has proposed giving $500 per month cash to 5,000 families below the poverty line in her city as a pilot program. The proposal is part of her larger, nearly $17 billion budget proposal.

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The program would reportedly cost $31.5 million and last for one year.

The plan also makes changes to the city’s pension plan.

“In the 2022 budget, the City will have finally climbed the pension ramp for all four of the City’s pensions funds. Beyond climbing the pension ramp, the City will also have climbed the scoop and toss ramp, which means that the City can start investing in critical infrastructure assets necessary for economic growth and improvement of quality of life,” said city’s Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett.

“These are incredible financial accomplishments for the City, especially when you layer on over $1 billion in structural solutions over the last three years, a forthcoming casino and recovering revenues from a one in a lifetime pandemic.”

Overall, Lightfoot has touted her wide-ranging budget.

“Chicago’s 2022 ‘Recovery Budget’ will allow us to not only fulfill the obligation we have to our residents, but future generations—and that is to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform our city for the better,” she said.

“With $1.9 billion in key and enhanced investments, we will develop Chicago into a safer, stronger and more prosperous place in which people can safely raise a family, build a business, and make a better life for themselves. As much as these investments are a commitment to our city’s immediate and most urgent needs, they are also bridges to the brighter future that is just over the horizon.”

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