Parker Floats State Basic Universal Income Legislation

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State Sen. Kevin S. Parker (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, Park Slope) this week introduced universal income legislation where under a pilot program 10,000 randomly selected applicants would be given cash grants of $7,200 for individuals and $14,400 for families per year for two years.

The implementation of the measure,  S.6696, and dubbed Universal Basic Income (UBI), has been promoted by the likes of Martin Luther King Jr, Elon Musk, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Former United States Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Mark Zuckerberg and recently Presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

Sen. Kevin Parker

“The need for a universal basic income is necessary in order to aid our residents from an unprecedented financial crisis sure to come with the growth of employment automation,” said Parker. “New York should lead and be the first metropolis in the U.S. to successfully implement such a program for its citizens.”

Parker said the basis of a UBI program is to ensure the prevention and reduction of financial hardship, while increasing economic equality. 

Parker also introduced corresponding legislation, S.6691, that would require both the State and City Comptroller, in conjunction with the Division of Budget, to conduct a study on the feasibility of implementing a UBI program that would provide state residents with an annual income.

The study establishes a set of criteria for each participant and requires a study on the program one year after its conclusion. 

 Additionally, the reporting mandated by this legislation would require the state to collect key information on whether this type of program could be implemented on a larger scale.

Parker’s legislation comes as he faces a tough election primary next year against Democratic District Leader Josue Pierre.

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