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New parents in Baltimore could get $1,000 bonus

Posted at 5:34 PM, Jun 25, 2024

BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Baby Bonus fund would hand out cold hard cash to new mothers and fathers.

Their charter amendment would give out $1,000 to each family that has a new baby or adopts one.

"Everyone experiences increased expenses and decreases income when a new baby comes into a family. In the best case it's a short term disruption to their income and the worst case it can be a disruption that totally derails their life," said media chair Julia Ellis.

The Maryland Child Alliance is made up of mostly teachers in Baltimore City.

They've seen the impacts of Baltimore's child poverty up close.

"We think starting at home, especially starting at birth to support a child and support a family to make sure they have the resources they need will go a long way in improving life outcomes, job outcomes, and education outcomes," said campaign manager Emily Yu.

"We designed this program to impact infants cause that's when you get the most bang for your buck," added Ellis.

The group estimates it would cost about $7 million a year.

Less than a quarter of a percent of Baltimore's annual budget.

It's based on the average 7,000 children born or adopted in Baltimore each year.

There's no limit on people who make large incomes.

"Due to a lot of research we found that providing a universal payment is much more cost effective then trying to determine who gets it and who doesn't based on income," said Yu.

The group has gathered 13,000 signatures in an effort to get it on the ballot in the upcoming election.

If the charter amendment passes, some decisions like how this money is given out will be decided by the city council.