A state senator from San Jose has introduced legislation that would create a guaranteed income for homeless high school seniors.
Senate Bill 333, authored by Sen. Dave Cortese, D-San Jose, would establish Success, Opportunity and Academic Resilience (SOAR), a guaranteed income pilot program that would offer a fund to all 12th grade unhoused students who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.
“We must stop graduating 15,000 high school students into homelessness each year,” said Cortese.
In 2020, Cortese, then a Santa Clara County Supervisor, helped create the nation’s first universal basic income program to serve transition-age foster youth.
SB 333 is a reintroduction of SB 1341 which was introduced in 2022. SB 1341 would have provided direct cash payments of $1,000 monthly to approximately 15,000 students.
Direct cash payments from SB 333 would be awarded from April to August 2024.
Co-authors of SB 333 include Senator Angelique Ashby, Assemblymember Matt Haney, Assemblymember Alex Lee, Assemblymember Evan Low, and Assemblymember Gail Pellerin.
Teri Olle, California Campaign Director of the Economic Security Project, said that she stands with Cortese’s bill.
“Helping young adults during the crucial transition from high school to college or career allows them to clear away obstacles and position themselves to create the life they want,” said Olle.