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Americans may claim $1,000 in free money from family programs but you must meet a single criteria

COUPLES may be entitled to a cash incentive for having a baby.

A new proposal hopes to provide a one-time payment for families in need.

Under the charter, the payment would mean couples are eligible regardless if the birth is natural or adoptive
According to the new initiative, parents could receive up to $1,000 in a one-time cash payment
According to the new initiative, parents could receive up to $1,000 in a one-time cash payment
Getty

The Maryland Child Alliance proposed the charter amendment called the Baltimore Baby Bonus Fund.

The program would provide financial support to new parents in Baltimore.

For this to become a reality, the organization collected 10,000 signatures from registered voters in order for the Charter Amendment to be added to the 2024 general election ballot.

Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, November 5.

HELPING HAND

According to the new initiative, parents could receive up to $1,000 in a one-time cash payment.

There are still criteria that need to be worked out but initial eligibility is geared toward residents who will either give birth or adopt a child.

According to the outlet, the initiative is loosely based on a program implemented this year in Flint, Michigan where pregnant women were given $1,500 mid-pregnancy and $500 a month for the child’s first year.

Officials said the Flint program was the first of its kind in the US.

Organizers of the proposed program stated that more systemic change is needed on a national level to help lift families out of poverty, but the state-level initiative is a good start.


“If we’re going to spend a limited amount of money, where do you get the most bang for your buck? Research says at birth,” said Nate Golden, founder of the Maryland Child Alliance, told the outlet.

“This could literally have a lifelong impact on a kid.”

Golden also stated that he hopes the program shows leaders that the people of Baltimore want policies that help vulnerable children.

According to the Maryland Child Alliance, in Baltimore, one in three kids live in poverty.

Who are The Maryland Child Alliance

The Maryland Child Alliance is a non-profit group dedicated to helping to combat child poverty in Maryland and beyond.

The group was established by a group of teachers who are attempting to bring the issue to a national light.

According to the group, 15 percent of children live in poverty.

It was also stated that four percent of kids live in deep poverty, meaning their family income is less than half their poverty threshold/.

While across the state, 15% of children live in poverty.

“When you see what they’re going through outside school, I’m still going to demand their best in the classroom but it’s just not enough,” Golden, who is also a high school math teacher, said.

“We have to take care of these underlying needs before we can get kids to focus on learning.”

It is estimated that 7,000 children are born in Baltimore each year, so the program would cost about $7 million annually.

The outlet goes on to state that this number is about 0.16% of the city’s annual operating budget.

MONEY MATTERS

According to the organization, the passage of the bill will not raise taxes, but it would be up to Baltimore’s City Council to allocate the funds.

Advocates say the move is to make sure no one is left behind.

Even if the initiative fails to get the proper votes to pass, associate professor of economics at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Christina DePasquale said it will raise awareness about childhood poverty and could possibly jumpstart future action.

“It’s worthwhile in the sense that it gets people thinking about it,” she said.

“It’s something to build off of. Even if you don’t have something perfect, the less perfect version of it is better than not having it at all.”

The program is also similar to one used in California called California Kids Investment and Development Savings Program, or CalKIDS.

According to the program, the initiative helps hundreds of thousands of young residents in the Golden State with tuition costs.

In Texas, about 1,900 families are receiving monthly payments of $500 for 18 months.

Another state is offering residents a payment of $750 with no strings attached.

It is estimated that 7,000 children are born in Baltimore each year, so the program would cost about $7 million annually
It is estimated that 7,000 children are born in Baltimore each year, so the program would cost about $7 million annually
Getty

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