SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) referred to henceforth as the “Department” shall, within one year of the effective date of this act shall submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) to establish and implement a public-private partnership with local businesses, non-profits, or private foundations referred henceforth as “Funder” in order to study and implement a Universal Basic Income pilot program.
(b) The pilot program shall include not less than 100 participants. When selecting participants, the Department shall consider factors so that the participants are representative of all demographics of the state, including but not limited to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and educational achievement. No more than half of the participants shall be from the greater Boston area. At least 25% of participants shall be from a community with less than 500 persons per square mile. At least 40% of participants shall be from a Gateway City. The members of the study shall otherwise be selected at random as anyone that qualified for benefits offered by the Department within the last three years.
(c) Each individual participating in the pilot shall receive not less than $1,000 per month which shall be provided by a Funder. The Department shall analyze how a participant’s qualify of life changes over the course of a 2 year period. Participants who agree to participate in the program shall submit to data collection by the Department.
(d) All participants shall remain anonymous to the general public unless the participant signs a waiver agreeing for their identity to become public. Should the participant agree to allow their identity be publicized, this information will not be released sooner than 1 year after the completion of the study period. At any point during this period, the participant may rescind the waiver.
(e) The stipend may not be used to purchase a controlled substance as defined in Section 31 of Chapter 94C of the General Laws. Participants shall have full authority to use the stipend for the purchase of any other goods or services, or to conduct any other transactions at their complete discretion.
(f) All administrative costs related to the distribution of funds, surveys, and data collection shall be incurred by the Department of Transitional Assistance. They Department may hire additional staff for the administration of this program. The Department may enter into a contract with any third-party organization for the administration of this program.
(g) The Department of Transitional Assistance shall work with the Funder to develop criteria regarding collected data and submit a report to the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, the chairs of the joint committee of children, families, and persons with disabilities, the chairs of the joint committee on revenue, and the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways & means no more than one year after the completion of the pilot program. The report shall include information about how the funds were spent; the socioeconomic background of the participants prior to entering into the study; how the participants’ qualities of life evolved over the period of time of the study; recommendations for permanent implementation of this program on a larger scale.
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