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California lawmakers approve nation's 1st state-funded guaranteed income plan

California lawmakers on Thursday approved a state-funded guaranteed income plan to distribute $35 million in monthly cash payments to eligible pregnant people and young adults who recently left foster care.

Why it matters: California is the first state to approve such a program. It could serve as a template for other state governments as guaranteed income gains traction across the U.S.


Driving the news: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced in mid-May he would include a carve-out in the state budget to help pay for local governments to launch their own guaranteed income pilots to help low-income families.

  • The plan, included in a bill related to the budget, was approved unanimously in both chambers of the legislature in a clear showing of bipartisan support. It now goes to Newsom's desk.

How it works: The plan will be taxpayer funded.

  • Local governments and organizations that run programs to help pregnant people and youth aging out of foster care will be able to apply for funding, and California's Department of Social Services will decide who gets the money, according to AP.

The big picture: Guaranteed income programs have been proliferating in cities across the country, including New Orleans, Denver and Los Angeles.

  • Michael Tubbs, former mayor of Stockton, California, in 2017 launched a guaranteed income program that proved to be "monumental," he told Vox. He noted that California’s investment marks “the largest commitment of recurring cash in a state budget — and the first time a state has ever supported guaranteed income pilot funding,” per Vox.
  • A March 2021 report of the Stockton program's first year found that guaranteed income helped recipients pay for necessities such as rent and child care, but also reduced depression and anxiety and helped recipients find or change jobs.
  • "We found our folks spent money on food and utilities and rent and things of that sort, and not on frivolous expenses," Tubbs told Axios in December. "We've also found that people are healthier" because they have less stress.
  • "There's a lot of dignity in having these dollars at your disposal, so that you can decide what is best for you and your family," Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza told Axios last winter.

Of note: Unlike other government assistance programs, which typically come with strict guidelines for how recipients can spend the money, guaranteed income programs don't come with any rules about how the funds may be used, per AP.

  • "It changes the philosophy from ‘big brother government knows what’s best for you,’" state Sen. Dave Cortese (D) told AP about the program's lack of strict spending rules.
  • Guaranteed income is also different from Universal Basic Income, another program that's gained popularity in recent years. With UBI, all adults receive a set amount of money per month, CNBC explains.

American Carissa Moore wins first-ever women's Olympic gold in surfing

Team USA's Carissa Moore won gold in the first-ever Olympic women's surfing final, at the Tokyo Games on Tuesday.

The big picture: Brazil's Italo Ferreira won the gold medal in the inaugural men's Olympic surfing contest. The finals were brought forward a day due to the threat of Tropical Storm Nepartak.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Activist Tong Ying-kit found guilty of terrorism in first Hong Kong security law trial

Tong Ying-kit, the first person to be charged and tried under Hong Kong's national security law was found guilty of terrorism and inciting secession by three judges Tuesday, per Bloomberg.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Naomi Osaka eliminated from Olympic tennis tournament in Tokyo

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka was eliminated from the Olympics after losing her Tokyo tennis tournament match 6-1, 6-4 in the third round to Czech Marketa Vondrousova on Tuesday.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Extreme drought pushes 2 major U.S. lakes to historic lows

Two significant U.S. lakes, one of which is a major reservoir, are experiencing historic lows amid a drought that scientists have linked to climate change.

What's happening: Lake Powell, the second largest reservoir in the U.S., has fallen 3,554 feet in elevation, leaving the crucial reservoir on the Colorado River, at 33% capacity — the lowest since it was filled over half a century ago, new U.S. Bureau of Reclamation data shows.

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North and South Korea restart hotline and pledge to improve ties

North and South Korea's leaders have pledged to improve relations and resumed previously suspended communication channels between the two countries, per Reuters.

Details: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to "restore mutual confidence and develop their relationships again as soon as possible," South Korea's Blue House spokesperson Park Soo Hyun said in a televised briefing, AP notes.

  • This followed an exchange of letters between the two leaders since April.

Go deeper: Kim Jong Un says prepare for "dialogue and confrontation" with U.S.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

U.S. teen Lydia Jacoby wins Olympic gold medal in 100m breaststroke at Tokyo Games

Team USA's 17-year-old swimmer Lydia Jacoby has won the Olympic gold medal in the women's 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Games.

Of note: The Alaskan is the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, and she beat Lilly King into second place.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Pelosi expected to extend proxy voting as Delta variant surges

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to extend proxy voting through the fall — and potentially until the end of the year — Democratic lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: The spread of the Delta variant has alarmed both members and staffers anxious about interacting with the unvaccinated. Pelosi’s anticipated move — continuing an emergency COVID-19 measure enacted last year so lawmakers could vote remotely — is aimed at allaying those concerns.

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Jan. 6 panel to paint haunting scene of Capitol attack with graphic footage

The Jan. 6 select committee will paint a haunting picture of what unfolded during the attack on the Capitol during its first public hearing on Tuesday, Axios is told.

Why it matters: The nine-member panel will not only hear from four police officers on the grounds that day, but show graphic video footage similar to the chilling 13-minute video Democrats aired during Donald Trump's second impeachment trial.

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