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House Bill 572 — Guaranteed income program, preempt

House Bill 572 — Guaranteed income program, preempt

Parrish Miller
February 20, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 572 would prohibit local governments in Idaho from establishing "guaranteed income programs." 

Rating: +1

NOTE: The Senate Amendment to House Bill 572 changed the definition of a "guaranteed income program." The change addresses some but not all of the concerns raised in the original analysis. The rating of the bill has not changed.

Does it increase government redistribution of wealth? Examples include the use of tax policy or other incentives to reward specific interest groups, businesses, politicians, or government employees with special favors or perks; transfer payments; and hiring additional government employees. Conversely, does it decrease government redistribution of wealth?

House Bill 572 would create Chapter 19, Title 56, Idaho Code, to say that, "except as expressly authorized by state statute, a county, city, agency, board, or any other political subdivision of this state shall not adopt or enforce any law, rule, regulation, or ordinance for the purpose of making payments to individuals under a guaranteed income program. Any law, rule, regulation, or ordinance prohibited by this chapter is null and void."

The bill would also define a "guaranteed income program" as "a program under which individuals are provided with regular periodic cash payments that are unearned and that may be used for any purpose." It would also say that a "guaranteed income program" does not "include a program under which an individual is required to perform work or attend training."

The bill would also define a "guaranteed income program" as "a plan funded or administered by the government under which an individual is provided with regular, unconditional cash payments to be used for any purpose by the individual. 'Guaranteed income program' does not include a program under which an individual is required to seek reemployment, perform work, or attend training as a condition of any payments."

The intent of this bill is positive, as any permutation of a guaranteed income program would necessarily engage in government redistribution of wealth. Unfortunately, the definition of "guaranteed income program" included in this bill could still be circumvented by a defiant local government. 

A city or county could, for example, require applicants for a guaranteed income program to attend a short, one-time "training" session on the program, thereby triggering the exclusion contained in this bill.


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