California Dems Unveil First-Of-Its-Kind Reparations Package

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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California Democrats introduced a reparations package on Wednesday, becoming the first state in the nation to do so following a task force’s recommendations, according to a press release obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom created the California Reparations Task Force in 2020 to look into whether those who experienced alleged harms of racism should receive compensation. After the task force submitted a lengthy report to state lawmakers, the California Legislative Black Caucus introduced 14 measures related to civil rights, education and criminal justice reform aimed at “dismantling the legacy of slavery and systemic racism,” according to the press release.

“While many only associate direct cash payments with reparations the true meaning of the word, to repair, involves much more,” state Rep. Lori Wilson, chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, said in a statement. “This year’s legislative package tackles a wide range of issues; from criminal justice reforms to property rights to education, civil rights and food justice. The Caucus is looking to make strides in the second half of this legislative session as we build towards righting the wrongs of California’s past in future sessions.”

Notably not in the slate of legislation is direct payments to descendants of slaves, according to the press release. However, one proposal seeks to “restore property taken during raced-based uses of eminent domain to its original owners or provide another effective remedy where appropriate, such as restitution or compensation.” (RELATED: California Reparations Task Force Approves $800 Billion Recommendations)

Another proposal sought to safeguard hairstyles that are “natural and protective” in competitive sports, according to the press release. The governor and state legislature would be required to issue an apology for any role California played in alleged crimes or human rights violations against slaves or their descendants.

One measure would seek a constitutional amendment to enable state funding for “increasing the life expectancy of, improving educational outcomes for, or lifting out of poverty specific groups,” the press release reads.

This proposal could face a challenge in court following the Supreme Court’s June ruling that ended race-based admissions, according to Politico, which first reported the reparations package.

Other blue states have created similar reparations task forces, including New York, Colorado and Massachusetts, but none have introduced subsequent legislation, according to the outlet.

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