California Launches First Guaranteed Income Program

The California Department of Social Services will be awarding more than $25 million in grant funding to seven guaranteed income pilot projects across the state - direct cash assistance monthly payments of $600 to $1,200 will be going to at least 1,975 Californians, including transition age foster youth and pregnant women.

Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) made the following statement regarding this launch of California’s first state-funded guaranteed income program – the “California Guaranteed Income Pilot Program”:

I am pleased to see the legislative framework we proposed, modeled after our successes in Santa Clara County, be implemented statewide so that families can meet their basic needs and achieve stability and success. Through the Governor’s leadership, the state is leading the nation in providing new opportunities for individuals to exit poverty and advance themselves.”

Senator Cortese authored SB 739 (2021), The Universal Basic Income for Transition Age Foster Youth Act and SB 1341 (2022) the California Success, Opportunity, and Academic Resilience (CalSOAR) Guaranteed Income Program. SB 739 was incorporated into last year’s budget through the state’s first-of-its-kind investment of $35,000,000 in the “California Guaranteed Income Pilot Program”, while SB 1341 is moving forward as a district pilot program to serve unhoused students in Santa Clara County through guaranteed income.

In 2020, Senator Cortese led the creation of Santa Clara County’s first-in-the-nation universal basic income program to serve transition age foster youth.