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“Reparations are not only morally justifiable, but they have the potential to address long standing racial disparities and inequalities,” Rep. Barbara Lee said during the meeting.
California task force OKs reparations plan that could cost state $800B
May 7, 2023 2:38am
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California’s reparations task force voted in favor of multiple recommendations Saturday that could cut a minimum of $360,000 in checks to its eligible black residents.
The nine-member committee gave final approval at a meeting in Oakland to a hefty list of proposals aimed at rectifying racial inequalities across the state.
“Reparations are not only morally justifiable, but they have the potential to address long standing racial disparities and inequalities,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said during the meeting.
The panel’s first vote approved a detailed account of historical discrimination against Black Californians in areas such as voting, housing, education, disproportionate policing and incarceration and others.
The group recommended that the state create a new agency that could provide services to descendants of enslaved people to calculate what the state owes them.
Though the task force didn’t specify what compensation would look like, it approved a section of the draft report stating reparations should include “cash or its equivalent.”
Bishop Henry C. Williams, of Oakland, testifies during the Reparations Task Force meeting in Sacramento, California on March 29, 2023. AP
Earlier iterations of the reparations package suggested paying out $360,000 to each eligible black Californian.
Some economists estimate that the project could cost the state upwards of $800 billion — more than 2.5 times its annual budget.
The final figure is yet to be determined — that state would calculate the total per individual based on numerous factors, including whether they or a family member was incarcerated, whether they faced housing discrimination and other prejudicial factors
The amount of black Californians who would qualify for the reparations is not yet known.
To be initially eligible, applicants must be a descendant of enslaved or free Black people who were in the country by the end of the 19th century.
There is also no word on how the payments would be funded in the cash-strapped state.
The document will now be sent to state lawmakers, who will consider reparations legislation.