California

California OKs ‘baby bonds’ to help combat child poverty

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Parenthood – that long chain of decisions that lead to a good adult – is less stressful for Laura Guerra because her husband Rigo is “100% in it” for their daughter. , Emilia.

But Rigo died from COVID-19 on Christmas Day 2020, alone in a hospital room while Guerra watched helplessly from the other side of the window. Since then, left to raise their now 2-year-old daughter alone, Guerra’s focus on racing hasn’t stopped.

“I’m still thinking about it,” he said. “Every decision I make, if I make the wrong decision, he will suffer for it. And that’s what scares me.”

Currently, California uses one of its own accounting records to lighten the mood of Guerra and others like him. Last month, California became the first state to create trust funds for children who have lost a parent or caregiver to cancer.

The money — $100 million in total — will go to special programs for children from low-income families who have lost a parent to COVID and children in the state’s foster care system. State lawmakers haven’t decided how much money each child will receive, but one preliminary proposal would give young children $4,000 and young children $8,000. It is enough to provide money for 16,000 children, who will be able to spend money when they become adults.

“As a mother, this gives me a little bit of that security,” said Guerra, who supported the trust fund as a member of the support group COVID Survivors for Change. “I don’t want him to continue with this disease forever.”

America’s first savings bonds were introduced in the 1930s to raise money for the government and give ordinary Americans the opportunity to invest. Those bonds are called “baby dolls,” because parents often buy them for their children.

Unlike today’s baby bonds, which are not bought by parents, the government gives money to children from low-income families for free. Supporters viewed the idea as a way to help close the racial wealth gap between white and minority families, which have been largely excluded from federal economic development programs in during the Great Depression.

Hillary Clinton briefly introduced a baby boom proposal in her 2008 presidential campaign, and Sen.

The Washington DC City Council passed a 2021 baby subsidy program, promising to give low-income children $500 and another $1,000 each year their parents live below a certain income level. Last year, Connecticut became the first state to approve a statewide birth control program — albeit without funding.

The idea is similar to guaranteed income programs that give money to low-income people every month without restricting how they can use it. California has similar programs at the local level, modeled after a high-profile program in Stockton launched three years ago.

While income programs are about helping people with short-term costs, baby boomers are about the future. Children cannot touch money until they are adults. During that time, the money will grow by collecting interest payments from a bank.

How much money the children will receive depends on how long the savings will grow. For minors, sponsors hope they will have between $20,000 and $40,000 when they become adults.

“Income and wealth are two different things,” said Michael Tubbs, the former mayor of Stockton who is now an adviser to Gov. Gavin Newsom and founder of the End Poverty advocacy group in California. “People need to pay their bills today…

California’s baby boom program is the latest in a growing number of new subsidies aimed at preventing poverty. Since 2018, California has spent $13 billion on a series of new laws and policy changes that lifted 300,000 children out of poverty, according to a report released earlier this year by Grace, a non-profit in California.

That spending includes a $1,000 tax credit for low-income families with young children, a universal school meal program, savings accounts for low-income children and a commitment to send every 4-year-old to kindergarten for free.

The group believes California’s birth control program is just the first step. His goal is that the state will eventually provide trust funds to every child in the state born into a low-income family.

“The goal is always, ‘How can we best help prepare underprivileged children for their future?’ said Shimica Gaskins, president and CEO of Grace. “We really believe in educational opportunities, but we also know that money and financial aid and opportunity are important.”

It is unclear whether Congress will expand the program to include all children from low-income families. State Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley and chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said lawmakers should closely monitor the COVID survivor bond program to see how it works.

“The biggest irony of California, but the nation as a whole, is that we have wealth but it’s very tight,” Skinner said. “Anything we can do to address income inequality is important to do.”

The state treasurer’s office manages the money in the deposit accounts. When the recipients become parents, they can spend the money as they wish. But supporters hope they will use it for things like lower housing costs, school fees or a car.

Guerra said she doesn’t know how her daughter will use the money when she’s old enough to spend.

“I’m doing what I can to guide him in the right direction to be a good person, okay?” he said.

Now, he felt his daughter Emilia’s memory of her father. Now, his works are known.

Emilia Guerra sees her father everywhere. He has pictures on the walls of his room. He was on his mother’s phone screen. And he is in the recess of his 2-year-old mind, showing his eyes to him at scattered times in his busy life.

“Unfortunately, we’ll be sitting there and he’ll say, ‘Hi Dad!'” Guerra said. “I tell her that mommy can’t see daddy. But maybe he can. “

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California OKs ‘baby bonds’ to help combat child poverty Source link California OKs ‘baby bonds’ to help combat child poverty

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