Milwaukee Common Council will explore pilot program for low-income funding

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Common Council passed a resolution that allows the city to look into a pilot program that would give some lower income residents a basic income. 

The common council passed the resolution 10-5 at a meeting Tuesday morning, Jan. 21. 

If after studying the issue a resolution is passed to implement the seed pilot program, a group of lower income residents would receive a basic income for 18 months. The money given out would be raised philanthropically and would not be taken from the city budget. 

Critics say it sends the wrong message to people but proponents say it will help struggling families. 

“There have been cities like Stockton and others that have shown some level of success because along with the money there is financial literacy and a whole bunch of other things that occur to help people kind of change the trajectory of their family and their livelihood,” 6th District Alderwoman Milele Coggs said.

“I guess it’s just kind of the opposite of a work ethic and you know what I hope we are not trending this way because that’s what made this country great. You know people got together. They worked hard. They provided for themselves and they made it work,” 11th District Alderman Mark Borkowski said.

The passage only means the city will study the pilot program and a resolution would be needed in the future to implement it in Milwaukee. 

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