Warren submits Guaranteed Basic Income Pilot Program legislation in final act as mayor

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren submitted legislation to the City Council to create a Guaranteed Basic Income (BGI) Pilot Program Wednesday as her final act as mayor.

Warren said the GBI pilot program would provide $500 per month to 175 city families who live at, or below, 200% of the federal poverty during its first year.

Then, in its second year, she said it would provide a different 175 families with a GBI of $500 per month.

She said it’s estimated that it would cost $2.2 million, and she said it would be eligible to be covered using money from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund established by the American Rescue Plan Act.

Warren said the legislation she submitted would allow the City to establish a contract with The Black Community Focus Fund, Inc., led by Rev. Myra Brown, for $50,000 annually to administer the program and authorize the Reparations and Universal Basic Income (RUBI) committee to develop final selection criteria and establish metrics and reporting to measure the pilot’s impact.

She said city council will consider the legislation during its December cycle.

Warren first announced she was "exploring" the idea of reparations in the form of a guaranteed basic income back in March of 2021.

Warren’s last day was Wednesday after she agreed to resign on Dec. 1 as part of a plea deal to a misdemeanor campaign finance charge that also satisfied the gun and child endangerment charges filed against her stemming from the New York State Police raid of her house back in May.