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Ulster Co. to participate in universal basic income initiative for one year

Feb 17, 2021 2:15 pm

Patricia Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced Tue., Feb. 16, a new initiative that would give 100 county residents a universal basic monthly income of $500 a piece for one year under a pilot program intended to analyze the impact of a guaranteed income on individuals' lives and behaviors. Ryan announced the initiative in his State of the County address, which was prerecorded and shown on Facebook, due to social distancing concerns stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Basic Universal Income pilot program will provide the guaranteed monthly sum to specific eligible county households from May 1, 2021, to April 30, 2022, for a total of $6,000 per recipient. The initiative is a partnership among Project Resilience, the University of Pennsylvania Center for Guaranteed Income Research, Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, and Ulster Savings Bank. The money will come from Project Resilience and Community Foundations, and the bank will set up bank accounts and provide debit cards. "We're really excited about this," Ryan said in an interview. "What we're really trying to understand is, is there a better way to get relief to people coming out of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic?" Eligible participants must income qualify to be selected via a lottery system run by the University of Pennsylvania. Those chosen to participate must agree to share information, including how they spend the money, with Penn's Center for Guaranteed Income Research. In the roughly 14-minute budget address, Ryan outlined his vision of "resilience and renewal" for the upcoming year that he said will use "compassion, ingenuity, urgency, equity and economic justice" to guide the county from the "darkness and difficulties of the past year" to a future that is "better, stronger and more equitable." Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

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