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Chicago poised to create one of the nation’s largest ‘guaranteed basic income’ programs

By Mark Guarino

25 Oct 2021 · 5 min read

The Chicago City Council is poised to vote this week on what would be one of the nation's largest basic income programs, giving 5,000 low-income households $500 per month each using federal funding from the covid-19 stimulus package.

Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot has proposed the $31.5 million program as part of her 2022 budget, which the city council is scheduled to consider on Wednesday. The one-year pilot, funded by the nearly $2 billion Chicago received from the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan, is supported by most of city's 50 aldermen. But it has received pushback from the 20-member Black Caucus, which has urged Lightfoot to redirect the money to violence prevention programs.

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