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California reparations panel sends report to Gov. Newsom, legislature

California joined the Union as a free state, though proponents of reparations argue that it went on to enact discriminatory practices in its civil administration and housing nonetheless.

Published: June 29, 2023 7:47pm

California's Reparations Task Force on Thursday sent its report to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state legislature, recommending that the state approve a large swath of benefits and payments to the state's eligible residents.

"The job of the task force was not to implement anything. It was simply to recommend and to advise. It’s now up to the state legislature, which I’m part of, and the governor to implement, but you guys have to stay engaged," said Democrat state Sen. Steven Bradford, a member of the panel, according to the Washington Times.

The panel's report issues more than 100 recommendations, among them a formal state apology, up to $1.2 million in cash payments for eligible residents, the overturn of a state ban on public affirmative action programs, and a litany of others. Black residents who descended from slaves or free blacks who lived before 1900 would be eligible.

California joined the Union as a free state, though proponents of reparations argue that it went on to enact discriminatory practices in its civil administration and housing nonetheless.

"People often say, why California? California was a free state, but in name only, not in practice," Bradford added. "The first governor of this state owned slaves and was proud of it. If you were brought here as a slave, you were treated as a slave. If you gave birth here as a slave, that child was born a slave."

The panel is slated to disband Friday and it remains unclear whether the legislature will adopt some, all, or none of its proposals.

Below the state level, the city of San Francisco has mulled reparations, floating a bevy of costly proposals such as giving eligible residents $5 million each or guaranteeing yearly income of at least $97,000.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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