The Amendment

Baltimore has an incredible opportunity to be the first city in the United States to invest directly in the future of our youngest residents. The Maryland Child Alliance is excited to announce our proposed Charter Amendment that would create the Baltimore Baby Bonus Fund, a program that responds to the overwhelming evidence of the positive impact of direct financial support for new parents. By investing in our families and their newborns, we are investing in the future of our city.

If the Charter Amendment is passed, eligible Baltimore City residents will receive a one-time payment of at least $1,000 upon the birth or adoption of a child. The Baby Bonus will be funded by a mandatory annual appropriation of at least $0.03 on every $100 of assessed or assessable value of all property in the City of Baltimore (excluding exempted properties), as well as through grants and donations made to the Fund. This funding structure is modeled after the Children and Youth Fund, which was established through a similar Charter Amendment in 2016.

While the minimum payment is $1,000, the City Council or designated regulatory authority will determine the Baby Bonus amount each year using all relevant data, including surplus monies in the fund, historical birth rates, and estimated future property values. Using historical data, the Maryland Child Alliance estimates that the Baby Bonus could increase to more than $2,000 after just one year. While we recognize that these payments are not sufficient to cover the cost of raising a newborn child, evidence shows that payments made at such a crucial time in a child’s development will have a substantial impact on our children and our future.