As California explores reparations for its black residents for slavery, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) has remained largely silent on whether he will support the proposals.
The task force, which was created via a bill that Newsom signed into law in 2020, is set to release its final report on July 1 after nearly three years of research and deliberation.
The current proposal by the state task force calls for $360,000 for the roughly 1.8 million black residents in the Golden State who have at least one ancestor who was a slave. California was admitted in 1850 as a “free state,” which did not permit slavery. Slavery was outlawed nationwide via ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865.
The state legislature will vote on the recommendations once they are made by the task force in the coming months, but Newsom may feel pressure from activists to enact the proposal via executive action. Activists argued he has the power to make good on the reparations, but it comes as the state juggles a nearly $22.5 billion budget deficit for the next fiscal year.
The proposal is estimated to cost the state a reported $640 billion, requiring other programs to be cut to offset the deficit. Read more…