Board of Aldermen Approve Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program
The Board of Aldermen passed a bill establishing a Guaranteed Basic Income pilot program to help families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
ST. LOUIS, Missouri – This afternoon President of the Board of Alderman Megan Green signed Board Bill 116 as amended, establishing a Guaranteed Basic Income pilot program for city residents. It now heads to Mayor Tishaura O. Jones for approval.
The program will use $5 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to issue monthly payments of $500.00 to approximately 440 St. Louis households for 18 months.
The Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) program will be available to parents and legal guardians whose children are enrolled in St. Louis Public Schools and whose median household income is at or below 170% of the federal poverty level. Nearly 20% of SLPS students experience housing instability which undermines academic achievement. Focusing on caregivers through this initiative provides an investment in youth education which plays a key role in reducing poverty long-term.
“Today we demonstrate our commitment to St. Louis families and their children. No child’s education should be compromised because their living arrangements make it difficult to study,” said President Green.
The bill also allocates $2 million in ARPA funding to support GBI programs for Early Childhood Education (ECE) professionals. The T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Missouri Scholarship and Childcare WAGE$ programs provide financial assistance to ECE educators pursuing additional accreditation or higher education. This direct investment in childhood education supports providers by offering tuition assistance, paid time off for study, and supplemental income.
With the passage of this bill, St. Louis joins a growing list of U.S. cities that have launched basic income pilot programs in recent years. Distinct from universal basic income programs which provide payments to all residents, guaranteed basic income pilots target small groups which meet specific eligibility criteria. St. Louis’ Guaranteed Basic Income pilot will help strengthen the case for a federally funded universal basic income program by providing crucial data to decision makers.
Beyond GBI programs, this ordinance funds equitable recovery initiatives to assist residents and communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill as amended allocates $13 million for the development and expansion of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), $13.6 million for housing stabilization, and $6 million for youth & juvenile diversion programming through the newly established Office of Violence Prevention.
“We rose collectively to the occasion today. I’m proud to have played a role in passing a bill that will directly impact working families in our beloved city of St. Louis,” said the bill’s sponsor, Alderwoman Shameem Clark Hubbard.