Massachusetts Baby Bonds Task Force

Treasurer Goldberg and the Office of Economic Empowerment announce the Massachusetts Baby Bonds Task Force

State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg announced at the Economic Empowerment Trust Fund board meeting on March 7, 2022, that she is convening a task force to explore the creation of Baby Bonds in Massachusetts. The Baby Bonds Task Force will provide comprehensive recommendations to the Treasurer, the Office of Economic Empowerment, the Legislature, and other entities on developing an at-birth publicly funded trust fund program for Massachusetts residents.

The Baby Bonds Task Force is a diverse cross-sector collaboration with members who have work, research, or volunteer experience in racial wealth equity, child welfare, public policy, community engagement, and asset-building initiatives. The Task Force will also serve as an instrument to engage with impacted communities to allow community participation in the design of the program.

The Task Force will meet monthly, beginning in June. Recommendations will be submitted by November 2022.

Baby Bonds Task Force Members

Shannon O’Brien
Former Massachusetts State Treasurer
Chair, Baby Bonds Task Force

Allie Puleo
Program Administrator
 Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Ancel Tejada
Program Manager, Financial Empowerment
Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP)

Andrea Lee-Salley
CEO
Br8zen LLC

The Honorable Andres Vargas
State Representative
3rd Essex District

Bahar Akman Imboden, PhD
Managing Director
Hildreth Institute

Brendan McGough
Associate General Counsel
State Board of Retirement, Office of the Treasurer and Receiver General

Brian Harrison
Project Manager
Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Celia Johnston Blue
CEO and President
Mass Women of Color Coalition

Chris Shannon
Lead Consultant
rAsa consulting

Claudia Catalano
Project Director, Pregnancy, Infancy, and Early Childhood Division
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Darien Johnson
Policy and Advocacy Lead
Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA)

Darrick Hamilton, PhD
Founding Director
Institute for the Study of Race, Power, and Political Economy at the New School

Dashima Washington
Senior Program Coordinator
Department of Elder Affairs, City of Springfield, MA

Denise Courtney
Nutrition Education and School Wellness Training Coordinator
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Drew Smith
Treasurer
University of Michigan

Elizabeth Morrocco
Associate General Counsel
Office of the Treasurer and Receiver General

Elizabeth Pierce
Family Resource Liaison, Kid's Net
MSPCC, A Division of Eliot

Elle Tibbitts
Innovation and Policy Manager
Commonwealth

Emilio Dorcely
CEO
Urban Edge

Evander White-Laing
Research Analyst, Portfolio Management Administrator
Risk Paradigm Group

Gail Fortes
Executive Director
YWCA Southeastern MA

Gail Sokoloff
Vice President
United Way Mass Bay

George Kokoros
Sales Leader at Ellume Health
Adjunct Professor of Business and Entrepreneurship
Suffolk University, Fisher College, Outschool

Gisenia Stewart
DEI Coordinator
ServiceNet

Gosia Tomaszewska
Director, Innovation Lab
Commonwealth

Jack Moriarty
Founder and Executive Director
Ownership America

Janet Iraola
Community Field Coordinator, Family Liaison
Boston Public Schools

Jaquelina Dabo
Project Director, Cambridge RISE
Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee

Jason Ewas
Policy Manager
Aspen FSP

Jennifer Hill
Massachusetts State Team Capitan
COVID Survivors for Change

Jennifer L.  Kernan, Esq.
Assistant General Counsel
Massachusetts Department of Children & Families

Joe Diamond
Executive Director
Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP)

John Gijanto
Financial Specialist
Empath

Julie Beckham
Financial Education Development & Strategy
Rockland Trust Bank

Karin Barrett
State Registrar, Registry of Vital Records and Statistics,
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Karin Downs
Director, Pregnancy, Infancy, and Early Childhood Division
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Karley Ausiello
Senior Vice President, Community Impact
United Way Mass Bay

Katherine Von Haefen
Director, Community Impact
Berkshire United Way

Keenen Grooms
Senior Community Development Analyst
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Kimberly Zimmerman Rand
Principal
Dragonfly Financial Solutions LLC

Kristen Florek
Director, Payer Strategic Marketing
Pfizer

Kyra Grenier
COO
Family Health Project

Leimary Llopiz
Advocacy Assistant
YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts

Liz Keating
Finance Manager
Campus Child Care, Inc.

Maria Vu
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics,
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Martha Amaral

Mary Kay Browne

Matt Paradise
CEO
Matt Paradise Consulting LLC

Michelle Wright
Project Engineer
Wt Rich

Molly Goodman
Executive Director
The Midas Collaborative

Nairoby Sanchez
Director of Programs
Mass CultivatED

Ofronama Biu, PhD
Senior Research Associate
Urban Institute

Patricia Jackson
Housing Development Manager
Brockton Redevelopment Authority

Patricia Groves
Attorney
GGR

Patrick Roath
Chair, Advisory Board
Common Cause Massachusetts

The Honorable Paul Feeney
State Senator
Bristol and Norfolk District

Peter Tufano
Professor and former Dean, Said Business School
Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School, Oxford University

R. Kelly Cameron, EdD
Career Development Officer | Lecturer
School of Architecture + Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Robert Dais
Statewide Director
Gear Up MA

Robert Miller
Student Loan Advocate and Financial Literacy Advisor
Esperanza Academy, Budget Buddies, BEU

Sarah Thang
Project Manager
The Policy Lab at Brown University

Sarita Rogers
Deputy Director of Programs
MA Children’s Trust

Shadman Rahman
Student
Harvard Kennedy School

Sharon Pagnano
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics,
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Sherry Riva
Founder and Strategic Advisor
Compass Working Capital

Shira Markoff
Policy Fellow
Prosperity Now

Tim Garvin
Executive Director
United Way Central MA

Tom Shapiro
Pokross Professor of Law and Social Policy
Brandeis University

Yasmin Padamsee Forbes
Commissioner, Cambridge Human Rights Commission
Executive Director, Asian American and Pacific Islanders Commission

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Baby Bonds?

Baby Bonds are significant financial investments made by the government into a collective fund on behalf of newborn children. These investments are managed by the government and grow throughout each child’s life. The funds are accessible to each child when they turn 18 and can be used to support an asset-enhancing activity, like paying for higher education, buying a house, starting a business, etc., that can increase in value over time or generate wealth.

Children born into households with low income (which are disproportionately households of color) are prioritized through eligibility requirements set by the state or through a progressive allocation system, with those with the lowest income receiving the largest investments. This is to provide the most support to children born with the least resources, and to shrink the racial wealth gap.

Read more about this program on Prosperity Now’s website.

Is this different than the BabySteps Savings Plan?

Yes! Baby Bonds is just a proposal right now in Massachusetts, and the BabySteps Savings Plan is a program already available in Massachusetts. The programs have unique goals and utilize different processes for creating impact to uplift Massachusetts families. Read more about the program differences below.

Baby Bonds would automatically provide children born in Massachusetts with a significant financial investment in a government-owned account. The BabySteps Savings Plan is an opt-in program that provides parents with a free $50 deposit when they open a 529 U.Fund savings account for their child within one year of their birth or adoption.

Baby Bonds use a collective fund through which the state invests funds for the benefit of eligible children. Families cannot invest into the Baby Bond account. The BabySteps program makes use of individual 529 U.Fund accounts and encourages families to actively contribute to their child’s savings account.

Baby Bonds funds would become available to each child when they turn 18 and can be used to purchase assets that can increase in value over time or generate wealth (e.g., higher education, buying a house, starting a business, etc.). The BabySteps Savings Plan is focused on funding post-secondary education or qualified job training. Savings can be used to pay for college, vocational school, some apprenticeship costs, student loan repayments, and even tuition expenses for K-12 education.

Are any other states offering Baby Bonds?

Yes!

Connecticut and Washington, D.C. have passed laws creating Baby Bonds. Additionally, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, and Wisconsin are all considering similar Baby Bonds proposals. Senator Cory Booker and Representative Ayana Pressley have submitted a bill to establish a national Baby Bonds program.

Why is the Office of Economic Empowerment interested in Baby Bonds?

Baby Bonds has the potential to massively increase the wealth of all future generations of young people, significantly narrow the racial wealth gap in our state moving forward and invest funds back into the community through homeownership and small businesses.

Baby Bonds would create countless benefits for Massachusetts residents across a range of the Office of Economic Empowerment’s priorities. These priorities include increasing access to financial education, closing the race and gender wage gap, addressing racial equity, expanding college affordability, and promoting STEM education.

How can I get involved?

The Office of Economic Empowerment wants to ensure this program is created with the invaluable input of Massachusetts residents. The development of the Baby Bonds Task Force invites people across different communities, backgrounds, ethnicities, and professions to give their input.

We encourage you to join our mailing list to get updates on how to get involved.

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