California lawmaker, former Andrew Yang campaign co-chair, proposes statewide universal income

Kristen Sze Image
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
California lawmaker proposes statewide universal basic income
Andrew Yang may have dropped out of the presidential race -- but his platform of universal basic income lives on through his campaign co-chair who's also a California assemblyman.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Although tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang has dropped out of the Democratic race for president, his main platform of universal basic income lives on.

Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Cupertino) represents a large part of the South Bay, the heart of the Silicon Valley.

He just introduced AB 2712, proposing a universal basic income for Californians.

Perhaps the bill is no surprise, given Low was the national co-chair of Andrew Yang's presidential campaign, which was based on the idea of giving every American adult $1,000 a month.

Low introduced Yang when the candidate was here last month, when he was still in the running for President.

RELATED: Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang talks about Universal Basic Income

On Monday, Low talked about it with ABC7 News anchor Kristen Sze.

"This is basically mirrored similarly to the proposal of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, in which we would be giving individuals in the state of California $1,000 a month to provide a baseline level of trickle up economics," Low said.

Yang has tweeted his support for Low's bill.

But there are still skeptics.

Some say paying for it with a 10 percent tax on goods and services, like those bought on Amazon, would hurt the poor.

Stockton's mayor Michael Tubbs, whose city has a universal basic income pilot program, has another concern.

He tweets that people shouldn't have to choose between public assistance and the $1,000 a month, as Low's bill is currently written.

Low says he's open to input and changes, but the point that drove Yang's campaign farther than imagined remains relevant.

"This is an issue that transcends any type of candidacy of an individual," Low said. "But rather this is about a movement, a grassroots movement to making sure we re-write the rules of the economy to make sure it works for everyone."

Low's bill now goes to committee to figure out the cost and other details.

To pass, it would need a two-thirds majority vote, which could make it an uphill climb.