As local and state governments started to deal with the longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many were looking toward creating a Universal Basic Income program where the local, county, and /or a state government would give citizens who meet certain requirements a set amount of money regularly with the goal of reducing poverty.

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While the powers that be in Buffalo and Western New York considered doing something like this last year, according to Business Insider, officials in Los Angeles, California have just implemented such a program.

California and New York often follow each other's lead when it comes to social programs, so does that mean officials in Buffalo should reconsider their proposal?

In 2021 there was a lot of talk in the New York State Legislature about using tax receipts from marijuana sales to provide cities like Buffalo and New York City with additional funding to provide some sort of Universal Basic Income. The Buffalo Common Council and Mayor Bryon Brown had made statements about the possibility of implementing a universal basic income program to help residents in low-income zip codes around Buffalo.

We'd be looking at potentially providing some income checks to low-income residents in the City of Buffalo, potentially looking at certain zip codes that have been impacted... It's just an idea that we're kicking around. We have made no permanent determination about that.
-Mayor Byron Brown speaking to WGRZ

Earlier this year in New York City, officials announced its first Universal Basic Income program called the TBP, which provides low-income mothers of infants and expecting mothers $500 or $1,000 total a month, paid in biweekly installments, for three years.

With these recent developments, it's not too far-fetched to think that Buffalo won't be too far behind.

What do you think, should Buffalo implement a Universal Basic Income program?

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