Hawaii May Become First State With Guaranteed Income

Hawaii May Become First State With Guaranteed Income

Above Photo: A bill was recently passed in Hawaii through both the houses of the legislature in a unanimous vote that declares that all Hawaiians ‘deserve basic financial security’ and prompts state agencies to look over ‘universal basic income’ along with other policy. Getty Images

Hawaii could become the first state to offer its citizens universal basic income after bill passes through both houses of state legislature

 

  • Hawaii is working to becoming the first state to offer guaranteed basic income
  • The state’s cost of living – the highest in the country – motivated the passing of the resolution in May
  • Next the state has to create a list of community leaders to determine whether universal basic income is feasible

It may have been the last state to join the United States, but Hawaii may trail blaze and become the first to offer guaranteed basic income.

A bill was recently passed through both the houses and state legislature in a unanimous vote that declares that all Hawaiians ‘deserve basic financial security’ and prompts state agencies to look over ‘universal basic income’ along with other policy.

‘As innovation and automation and inequality disrupt our economy, we want to make sure that everybody benefits and nobody is left behind,’ said state Representative Chris Lee of Kaliua to Mother Jones.

‘It’s past time that we had a serious talk about not just tweaking our economic policies but having a new discussion from the ground up about what our values and priorities are.’

‘As innovation and automation and inequality disrupt our economy, we want to make sure that everybody benefits and nobody is left behind,’ said state Representative Chris Lee of Kaliua

While Alaska has provided state residents a stipend funded by oil revenue since 1976, Hawaii is the first to consider the income to cover living expenses.

Hawaii’s cost of living – the highest in the country – motivated the passing of the resolution in May along with the states reliance on low-paid service industry jobs.

According to Lee, Hawaii has a very limited manufacturing and tech sector which puts the service-focused economy at risk.

The text of the measure mentions the impact of technological advancements which have helped kill jobs in the state.

‘There has been a discussion for a long time about how do we build an economy where everybody can afford to live here and survive,’ Lee said.

According to Lee, Hawaii has a very limited manufacturing and tech sector which puts the service-focused economy at risk. Next a collective of community leaders will need to come together to see if universal basic income is actually tangible.

Next, Hawaii has to gather a ‘basic economic security workshop group’ comprised of leaders from various sects of public life.

Silicon Valley in Northern California is also potentially looking into UBI with Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna (bottom right) proposing a $1 trillion earned income tax credit for working families

They will be tasked with assessing the state’s exposure to ‘disruptive innovation’ and submit studies on universal basic income (UBI).

Lee said: ‘There is definitely a recognition that beyond just talking about basic income that things need to change.

‘We need to take proactive action to chart a stable path forward for our economy and all of our residents.’

Other states have tossed about the idea of UBI for their residents. California’s Silicon Valley is looking to explore how working to address its displacement of blue-collar workers.

Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna proposed a $1 trillion earned income tax credit for working families. This is seen as a huge step for the movement of UBI.

 

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