Economists Drop Estimates For California’s Reparations Program. The Cost Would Be Staggering

(Photo by Samuel Corum / AFP) (Photo by SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images)

Font Size:

The state of California finally has a tally for how much a hypothetical reparations program would cost, according to a recent report.

A program to repay American slavery descendants could cost the state of California upwards of $800 billion, according to the Associated Press. For context, California’s annual budget is $300 billion.

“We’ve got to go in with an open mind and come up with some creative ways to deal with this,” Reggie Jones-Sawyer of the California Assembly said, AP News reported.

As staggering as the cost might seem to some, the committee may have even more ambitious plans on reparations. The figure does not account for repaying those who lost land or whose businesses were negatively affected by racially-motivated government actions. (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Know’: Reparations Activist Says She Has Zero Clue How San Fran Can Dole Out $5 Million Payments)

The committee assigned to work on reparations has a July 1 deadline to come up with a final cost estimate to present to state lawmakers, the outlet noted. However, many opponents of the plan point out that California was never a slave state, so it makes little sense for the state government to push forward this plan.

The Berkeley Unified School District is also weighing a proposal to give Black students reparations for slavery, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The school district will assemble a committee to recommend a course of action to the school board. The committee will likely recommend cash payments.

“We believe this is a critical conversation for school districts to have at this moment as educators look to better address the opportunity gap of Black students,” Berkeley school district spokeswoman Trish McDermott told the San Francisco Chronicle.