Massachusetts Bill Seeks To Provide Universal Basic Income to Some Residents

Printed from:

Should Massachusetts have a universal basic income?

A bill on Beacon Hill floats that idea.

State Representative Samantha Montaño (D-Jamaica Plain) filed “An Act Relative To Universal Basic Income” (HD.3082) earlier this session. The bill would establish a universal basic income pilot program with 100 participants from three municipalities in Massachusetts; at least one participating community would be rural. Under the program, 100 residents would receive $1,000 per month for three years.

The state Department of Housing and Community Development would administer the program and file a report on the results within a year of the program’s conclusion.

Here is what the bill says, in part:


SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of housing and community development shall, within six months of the effective date of this act, establish and implement a pilot program to demonstrate the individual, family, and community economic impacts and state-level cost savings of a universal basic income. In establishing a plan for the pilot program, the department shall receive input from professionals with demonstrated expertise in the fields of universal basic income, economics, labor, workforce development, and social services administration and may consider, but not be limited to considering, the following factors: (1) community selection criteria and process; (2) participant eligibility criteria and selection processes; (3) pilot program administration and management, including payment timing, systems, and processes; (4) impacts on the economic and public health benefits of a universal basic income scheme; and (5) efficient collection of quality data.


The benefits doled out by the pilot program would cost the state $3.6 million.

The bill also says that the final purpose of a report from the Department of Housing and Community Development is to help state officials craft that would establish a larger statewide universal basic income program.

The report would entail, according to the bill:


(i) socio-demographic information, including but not limited to the age, race, ethnicity, education level, family composition[,] community of residence, housing costs, additional income, and government benefits received, of each participant and their family;

(ii) data collected biannually during the pilot program by survey, focus group, or interview to determine how individuals allocated the $1,000 per month stipend;

(iii) analysis of cost benefit and cost savings extrapolated from the pilot to a true universal basic income scheme;

(iv) consideration of how universal basic income could be used to address historic and contemporary inequalities, including, but not limited to, institutional racism;

(v) recommendations on implementing a statewide universal basic income program, including monthly payment amounts, that will maximize cost savings and public benefits; and

(vi) draft legislation to implement the recommended statewide universal basic income program.


Supporters of universal basic income think providing every adult with a guaranteed income, regardless of employment status, will reduce poverty and spur economic growth. Opponents argue that it is expensive and wasteful, that it discourages work, and that it causes inflation.

No action has been taken on this bill yet; it has not been assigned to a committee.

The bill was filed on January 19. Montaño, a first-term state representative, is currently the bill’s only sponsor. 


New to NewBostonPost?  Conservative media is hard to find in Massachusetts.  But you’ve found it.  Now dip your toe in the water for two bucks — $2 for two months.  And join the real revolution.