$1,000 for new parents? ‘Baby bonus’ initiative will pass if Baltimore voters approve

Baltimore residents will get $1,000 if they support the new programbaby bonus” which will give new parents a one-time payment.
A group of teachers in Baltimore seeking support to approve the program in the hopes of reducing childhood poverty starting from birth.
The initiative will be on the ballot for city residents this November, following a successful effort where supporters gathered 10,000 signatures to bring the proposal to voters.Their campaign included extensive canvassing and featured a charming logo: a cartoon stork flying with a bag of money, AP reported.
The proposal takes inspiration from a program in Flint, Michigan, where women receive $1,500 during mid-pregnancy and $500 monthly for the first year post-birth, marking the first such initiative in the US European and Asian nations have implemented larger cash payments to encourage higher birth rates, rather than directly addressing child poverty. For instance, Italy provides baby bonus checks to boost population numbers.
Organisers behind the Baltimore initiative argue that while broader systemic changes are needed nationally to lift families out of poverty, providing new parents with a modest financial boost could be a crucial initial step.
Maryland Child Alliance President Nate Golden said the goal of the proposal is to offer financial support to residents who birth or adopt a baby, according to the CBS News .
“The Baltimore Baby Bonus started as a campaign where we could go around state legislators, around city legislators and take our message directly to voters,” Golden said.
The board of elections need 10,000 verified signatures to put the measure on the 2024 General Election ballot.
The main aim is to reduce the poverty. The childhood poverty affects approximately 31% of school-aged children in Baltimore, reflecting a national trend where poverty rates, which decreased during the pandemic due to federal aid, have since risen to around 12% as of 2022.
Golden highlighted the urgent need in Baltimore, where many students face homelessness, food insecurity, and other challenges outside the classroom, impacting their ability to learn effectively, reported CBS News.
If approved, the initiative will provide a one-time payment of at least $1,000 to all new parents in Baltimore. With an estimated 7,000 births annually in the city, the program would cost approximately $7 million annually, constituting roughly 0.16% of the city’s yearly budget.

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