Cortese Applauds State’s Plan to Provide Low-Income & Foster Youth Base Deposits for College Savings

Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), author of SB 739, The Universal Basic Income for Transition Age Foster Youth Act, issued the following statement regarding Governor Newsom’s recently announced plans to provide low-income students minimum base deposits for their college savings. Under this plan, public school first-graders that qualify for federally subsidized school meals would receive $500 to create a college savings account that would grow over time. Foster youth as well as unhoused youth would receive a $1000 payment to create this account.

This plan values the role that direct cash assistance can play in lessening hardships and uplifting our youth so that they can reach their full potential,” said Senator Cortese. “I am pleased to see the concept of unconditional cash transfers grow and take on new forms and I hope this will plant the seed for more programs centered around these principles.”

I applaud Governor Newsom for his leadership and for acknowledging the disproportionate barriers to attaining higher education that our unhoused as well as foster youth face.

Cortese’s bill, SB 739, would provide unconditional and direct cash assistance of $1,000 a month to approximately 2,500 youth aging out of the Extended Foster Care Program in California. The pilot program, based on the successful model championed by Senator Cortese in Santa Clara County, would be administered by the Department of Social Services over the course of three years.

SB 739 has passed through the Senate Human Services Committee and will now be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.