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Massachusetts Is Considering a Baby Bond Program to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

As she convenes a task force to investigate the issuance of the state’s first baby bonds, Massachusetts Treasurer Deb Goldberg is taking notes from a pioneering initiative.

In an interview, Goldberg said her office is in contact with Connecticut Treasurer Shawn Wooden, who was the first to implement such a scheme in 2021. Newborn children are given baby bonds, which are government-funded trust accounts. Over the course of their childhood, these accounts are supposed to generate wealth. According to studies, such programs can help close the racial wealth gap.

According to Goldberg, Wooden’s team is about a year ahead of Massachusetts in the process. However, Wooden’s term ends in early 2023, and he has no plans to run for re-election, putting the program’s future in danger.

I worry about what will happen to baby bonds in Connecticut without his support and engagement, Goldberg said. I’m in it for the very long marathon.

So far, newborn bonding programs have only been established in Connecticut and the District of Columbia. A few other states, including New Jersey and Washington, have explored similar proposals.

Goldberg’s task team will provide recommendations on the program’s structure, including the amount and source of initial money. So far, no decisions have been made, according to Goldberg.

We feel this is an interesting idea and worthy of our exploration, Goldberg said. We will do it with a Massachusetts flavor.

Goldberg is running unopposed for a third term as state treasurer, which might give her more time to oversee the implementation of a baby bond program.

She also stated that the state’s rainy day fund, which has a record balance of $4.6 billion in fiscal 2021, is likely to hit $5.9 billion by the end of fiscal 2022.

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