Chicago could become the largest city in the US to test a universal basic income programme, if its local government takes up a new proposal to start handing out $500 (£385) a month to some households for free.
City lawmakers have voiced support for legislation that would trial a basic income scheme for 1,000 families in Chicago.
A bill, proposed by Chicago lawmaker Ameya Pawar, has started the legislative process by gaining support from 36 of the city's 50 aldermen, who vote on local laws.
Mr Pawar spoke about his plan with news website The Intercept, where he said that he was proposing the scheme in light of the threat of automation to the workforce, and to provide a lifeline to the majority of US families who he said have very little money in the bank for emergencies.
The legislation will now be debated by aldermen on the city's Committee on Workforce Development and Audit.
If enough members are in favour of the plan, it will then be put before the city's council for a vote.
Chicago law means the mayor could then veto the proposal if he doesn't approve, but that in turn can be overruled by a two-thirds majority in the council.
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