(Headline USA) A California city is moving forward with its plan to provide universal basic income payments to its transgender and nonbinary residents.
The Palm Springs City Council voted to approve a $200,000 initiative this week to apply for a state grant that guarantees various income programs. In a recent report, the city council argued that its basic income program should apply only to transgender and nonbinary residents because they are “more vulnerable” and more likely to experience “unemployment, homelessness, assault, and discrimination.”
“The $200,000 financial commitment is intended to support the application and design phase,” the report added. “This phase is expected to take approximately six months and will include drafting and submitting a proposal for additional state funding, raising additional funds needed as cash match for the project, community engagement and feedback and finalizing eligibility requirements.”
If the plan is approved by the state, Palm Springs will begin paying a monthly income of $900 to at least 20 eligible residents for 18 months. City council members said they expect their plan to be approved and go into effect some time this year.
“Since there are very few inland California cities that are doing these pilot programs, we might be at the top of the list for state funding,” councilwoman Christy Holstege said.
Other council members, however, opposed the idea of implementing any kind of basic income program, arguing that it could set a dangerous precedent.
“Such a program to help people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer community is unbelievably part of the values of Palm Springs, hands down,” councilman Dennis Woods said.
“But we have so many priorities going that I just am not sure we can commit to developing a guaranteed income program long term.”