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Thursday, June 20, 2024

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‘Universal Basic Income’ Milwaukee Program: Alderwoman Pushing Idea

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Universal basic income, Milwaukee plan? A press release from Milwaukee Ald. Chantia Lewis indicates she is continuing to push the idea of “universal basic income” in Milwaukee – and city officials will hear about a similar program that exists in Stockton, California. In Stockton, people are given $500 monthly checks in the program.

Universal basic income, which Lewis has been pushing for more than a year, has not passed yet in Milwaukee, but the new press release indicates the idea is far from dead.

What is universal basic income? According to investopedia, “Universal basic income (UBI) is a government program in which every adult citizen receives a set amount of money on a regular basis. The goals of a basic income system are to alleviate poverty and replace other need-based social programs that potentially require greater bureaucratic involvement.”

Ald. Lewis previously told WUWM of her idea for universal basic income in Milwaukee:

“We would select, randomly select, a total of 50 households throughout the city. So, this is 25 lower income folks and then 25 working family households. We would provide them with a monthly stipend for 18 months. So, it’s a $500 18-month program where they would be handheld and walked through because the goal is to bring them into a more comfortable space that they can provide for their families a lot more.”

A year ago, a majority of aldermen indicated support for the concept, WUWM reported. They asked the Department of Administration to develop a framework for the idea; the Lewis plan would be funded with private donations and involve 50 families living in poverty stricken zip codes.

According to WPR, the Stockton program has “no work requirements and no restrictions on how the money can be spent.”

Here’s the Lewis press release referring to universal basic income Milwaukee from March 29, 2021:

Director of Stockton (CA) UBI program will appear during Community and Economic Development Committee meeting

This week’s meeting of the Community and Economic Development Committee (Wednesday, March 31) will feature the Executive Director of the Stockton (CA) Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) program — the country’s first guaranteed income initiative.

The pilot program gave eligible low-income and working-class Stockton residents an unconditional $500-a-month payment for 18 months, which – according to preliminary reports – was used by a majority of participants on necessities. Alderwoman Chantia Lewis has sponsored legislation to implement a similar pilot Universal Basic Income program in Milwaukee, as she has noted that the city suffers from many of the same racial and economic disparities that Stockton aimed to overcome through its program.

“Universal Basic Income could significantly improve the lives of Milwaukee residents who live at or below the poverty line, and including those who are working multiple jobs but struggling to stay afloat,” Alderwoman Lewis said. “We must continue to be innovative and creative when it comes to how we can best support our residents and bolster our city as a whole.”

The Stockton official in charge of its Universal Basic Income (UBI) program will appear at Wednesday’s committee meeting to discuss his program and answer questions. Alderwoman Lewis said the community is encouraged to learn more about UBI programs and how they can assist and support struggling individuals and families.

Universal Basic Income Milwaukee Meeting

WRN has learned that the Community and Economic Development Committee meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and will be televised live on the City Channel (channel 25 on Spectrum Cable and channel 99 on AT&T U-Verse in the City of Milwaukee) and via streaming video on the city website at city.milwaukee.gov/Channel25.

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Vice President Kamala Harris has a fight on her hands if she wants to inherit the Democratic presidential mantle after President Joe Biden’s time is over, according to a new poll.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll shows that voters have serious doubts about Harris’ electability.

The poll found only 14% of voters said it was “very likely” Harris would win a general election for president if she became the Democratic nominee. Another 20% said it was “somewhat likely.”

The poll is especially noteworthy given Biden's age. The incumbent president is 81 years old and appears increasingly in decline.

A moment of confusion for Biden at a June 6 D-Day ceremony went viral last week, the latest in a string of similar incidents. At the same time, Biden remains competitive with former President Donald Trump, though several polls suggest Trump has a lead over the president.

Biden's incidents have led some to speculate that Democrats could or should try to replace Biden at the Democratic convention in Chicago in August. That would be a highly unusual, though not impossible, move. Removing Biden would naturally raise the question about who could replace him, but for now voters seem to lack confidence that Harris could win.

The poll also looked ahead to 2028: “If President Joe Biden were not in the running for president in 2028, which of the following Democrats, if any, would you want to be the Democratic candidate for president?”

While Harris was top of the list among Democrats, she only received 21% support. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg both received 10% support each, while 41% said they were unsure or didn't know.

Only 42% of those polled described Harris as trustworthy, and 44% described her as honest, according to the poll.

Notably, only 36% of those surveyed said Biden should replace Harris as his VP on the ticket.

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(The Center Square) – Republicans at the Wisconsin Capitol don’t want Gov. Tony Evers to waste the chance to get a good look at Milwaukee Public Schools’ shortcomings.

Evers recently called for an operational and an instructional audit of MPS.

“I’m proposing today to go two steps further with two important goals: the first, to audit MPS’ programs and operations in their entirety, and the second, to audit the effectiveness of teaching and instruction of our kids in classrooms across the district,” Evers said.

The governor, however, wants to keep the audit within his administration and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said that’d be a mistake.

“I’m glad that Gov. Evers has called for an audit of the Milwaukee Public School System. Gov. Evers and DPI should work with Joint Legislative Audit Committee Co-Chairs [Eric] Wimberger and [Robert] Wittke to discuss authorizing the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau to audit MPS, DPI and any other involved stakeholders,” LeMahieu said. “The LAB is more than capable of handling this important undertaking independently and transparently without the use of outside contractors.”

The worry is an audit controlled by the governor’s office will not fully look into MPS’s shortcomings.

The calls for audits in Milwaukee Public Schools come after the state withheld nearly $17 million last week because of incomplete and late financial reports. One of those reports was due to the Department of Public Instruction in September 2023.

Evers has asked MPS leaders to be a part of any audit process but warned that not everyone will be invited.

“I also have to say – I’m exceedingly disappointed by the politicking and jockeying I’ve seen since this situation came to light by opportunists who’re seizing this moment to serve their own selfish goals instead of worrying about what matters most: our kids,” Evers added.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos took to social media to accuse the governor of being the one who is playing politics.

“And who do you think [Evers] will suggest conducts the audits?” Vos asked. “The same failed DPI bureaucrats who allowed this to happen or his administration who wanted to dismantle the school choice system so all kids were forced into this MPS mess? We need real reforms to the current mentality where MPS has been protecting the bureaucracy and Gov. Evers has been advocating for shoveling hundreds of millions of dollars into this broken system.”

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An industry group says the Biden administration’s new staffing regulations for long-term care facilities are unrealistic.

The mandate requires that all nursing homes that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding provide a total of at least 3.48 hours of nursing care per resident per day. Plus, nursing homes must have a registered nurse onsite at all times.

Research by SeniorLiving.org shows 82%, or nearly 12,000 facilities in the U.S., will need to hire staff or face being shut down.

Spokesperson Corie Wagner said Illinois is home to the fifth highest number of understaffed nursing homes in the country.

“If we were to apply the new policies and new standards to nursing homes in Illinois today, 84% of facilities would need more staff, and that is really significant,” said Wagner.

The mandate will be phased in over three years, with rural communities having up to five years.

Nursing home operators strongly objected to the minimum staffing proposal in September, saying they already struggle to fill open positions.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in September announced a $75 million campaign to increase the number of nurses in nursing homes.

Nearly 1.2 million residents live in Medicare- and Medicaid-certified, long-term care facilities, but Wagner said that number is expected to increase.

“It’s called the Silver Tsunami, so more Americans are aged 65 or older than ever,” said Wagner. “It's one of the largest segments of our population but the infrastructure we have is not keeping up with our population shift.”

A resolution aimed at overturning Biden’s nursing home staffing mandate has a legitimate chance to pass the U.S. Senate.

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