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South Dakota, Iowa bills would ban guaranteed income programs

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(The Center Square) – More states are taking preemptive steps against the policy of universal basic income.

The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee recommended approval of a bill Friday prohibiting cities and counties from creating guaranteed income programs as other states consider similar measures.

Senate Bill 115 defines guaranteed income as “a plan funded or administered by the government under which an individual is provided with regular, unconditional cash payments to be used for any purpose by the individual.”

“It’s a socialist idea that has no place in South Dakota,” said Sen. John Wiik, R-Big Stone City, who said it should be banned at the local level.

“We know from history, especially in California, these program start off at a small local level and eventually move upwards and infiltrate state policy,” Wiik said. “So we don’t need to test universal basic income at a local level to know it’s a bad idea at the state or federal level. Workforce shortages higher inflation and increased taxes are some of the side effects of universal basic income because, we all know from watching just life in the last few years that handing out free money comes at a very high cost.”

California is piloting two programs. One provides 150 former foster youth in Ventura County with $1,000 a month, while in San Francisco, 150 former foster youth receive $1,200 monthly.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said in November the programs “help level the playing field and will give these former foster youth the support and resources they need to pursue their California dream.”

One-hundred and fifty guaranteed income programs are operating in 24 states, according to a report released last week by the Foundation for Government Accountability.

One of South Dakota’s eastern neighbors is also considering legislation to ban guaranteed income programs one year after a pilot program started in three counties.

UpLift – The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot, doled out its first $500 to recipients last May to residents in Polk, Dallas and Warren counties, according the program’s website. The 24-month program’s goal is “to study the impacts of a sustained monthly income on participants’ health and well-being.” The program is being funded privately, according to the website.

Iowa Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison, introduced a bill banning cities and counties from creating guaranteed income programs. The bill passed out of committee and was added to the House of Representatives calendar on Feb. 5.

South Dakota’s bill passed the Senate earlier this month and will be heard by the full House of Representatives next.

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