‘Baby Bonds’ bill sets out to help impoverished families; Nevada Republicans say it’s unfair

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 9:47 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Nevada Treasurer Zach Conine calls for the state to invest in babies’ future, while some Republicans worry the costs may be too high for taxpayers.

Assembly Bill 28 creates the Baby Bonds Bill. AB 28 would help 7,000 babies a year, born under Medicaid to Nevada’s poorest families.

Eligible families would get $3,200 per baby in an investment portfolio. It will grow to $10,000 to $13,000 by the time the child turns 18.

It would cost the state $45 million a year, Conine said. The child can only apply the funds towards school, a business or a home.

Other states have looked into Baby Bonds as well, Conine said; the state would be saving money by helping pull children out of poverty, he said.

“The goal here is to create just a little bit of money that can be invested over that child’s life. Each family that we pull out of this is more than likely to stay out of poverty, to not be a burden to the social safety net. The state spends more money than this program would cost on SNAP benefits every month. If a child is born under Medicaid, they’re most likely to remain on Medicaid throughout their childhood, and to stay on Medicaid throughout their adult life,” he said.

Republicans and others voiced opposition in the Government Affairs Committee.

“We are concerned this is broad and would cover too many people. we are concerned about fraud,” said Marcos Lopez of the Nevada Policy Research Institute

Republican Assemblyman Brian Hibbetts of District 13 in Clark County issued a statement:

The bill passed through the Government Affairs Committee onto the Ways and Means Committee. If it passes there, it will head to the Assembly floor and then the Senate.