Sarah Austin, policy analyst at the left-leaning Maine Center for Economic Policy, said the center supports the concept of basic economic security, but would reserve judgment on any particular plan until all the details are formulated.
Austin said the center would be concerned if a basic income payment was made with the intention of doing away with benefit programs that help the poor.
“Any plan to establish basic income security should not undermine the success of existing safety net programs, such as childcare and food supplement programs,” Austin said. “Replacing that safety net with a new cash benefit could have unintended consequences for low-income families and our economy writ large.”
“Those programs also draw down federal funds, which could be lost if Maine replaced them with a state program for basic income security.”