NEW JERSEY (FOX 5 NY) - Getting a paycheck for doing nothing could be in the future for residents of New Jersey's largest city. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says the city is going to study a pilot program to provide a universal basic income, or basically guaranteeing income for all residents whether they have a job.
He made the statement during his annual State of the City address Tuesday night at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
The city has launched a taskforce to see if the program is feasible with help from the Economic Security Project and the Jain Institute.
"We believe in Universal Basic Income, especially in a time where studies have shown that families that have a crisis of just $400 in a month may experience a setback that may be difficult even impossible to recover from," Baraka said.
He noted that a third of the city still lives in poverty. He didn't release any more details on the plan, like how it would be funded or when a final decision would be made.
There has not been a successful long-term Universal Basic Income program. A small basic-income program that was tested in Finland was ended after one year.
Baraka was re-elected last year to a second term as mayor of the city of 280,000 residents.