LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — City leaders, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, are getting behind an effort to pay people during the pandemic.

The leaders are supporting a universal, basic income pilot program that would provide a monthly cash payment to people with no strings attached.

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It is modeled after an experiment in the city of Stockton which provided 125 people cash payments of $500 per month. Nearly half of that money was spent on groceries.

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The leaders say the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the economic fragility of many households.

“This money is not getting wasted,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland. “It is literally giving people the most basic level of economic security for their families.”

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Of those in Stockton who received the funds, only 2 percent were unemployed.