BOSTON (SHNS) – A new report from the Office of Economic Empowerment is providing suggestions that could help close the racial wealth gap.

The treasurer’s office is looking to increase opportunity across financial and racial divides through a statewide Baby Bonds program. In March, Treasurer Deb Goldberg organized The Baby Bonds Task Force.

The task force is recommending that the legislature pass a law to create government-sponsored trust funds. What the program would do is automatically provide children with a financial investment in a government-owned account. The funds would only be allowed to be used in asset-building activities within Massachusetts, according to the recommendations.

“This is really an investment by the state in children who then become adults, so because funding is then used for asset-building opportunities it’s also really something that can benefit the state economically in the long run too.” Alayna Van Tassel, Executive Director of The Office of Economic Empowerment

It also proposes that the children who should be eligible for these funds be automatically enrolled and are children before the age of one in the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children program and the state’s foster care system.

If the report’s suggestions are adopted by the legislature, recipients would be able to access these funds at 18, but they could also choose to leave the money in bonds until they are 35.

Connecticut and Washington, D.C. have already passed laws creating Baby Bonds.