California Gov. Gavin Newsom praised the work of the state’s Reparations Task Force for doing “important work to advance systemic changes” but stopped short of endorsing its recommendation for cash payouts of up to $1.2 million.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Newsom said that the task force’s “independent findings and recommendations are a milestone in our bipartisan effort to advance justice and promote healing.”
“This has been an important process, and we should continue to work as a nation to reconcile our original sin of slavery and understand how that history has shaped our country,” he said.
The task force, which was appointed by Newsom and has nine members, is set to submit its final report later this summer.
In its recommendation, the task force proposed that payouts to black residents be based on how long they have lived in California and what kind of discriminatory policies may have impacted them during that time.
The proposal suggested payments ranging from several thousand dollars to more than $1 million. For instance, black residents who were impacted by bank red-lining and lived in California between the early 1930s and the late 1970s could receive $3366 per year — up to $148,099. Similarly, black residents who lived in the state between 1970 and 2020 could receive an additional $2,352 per year due to “over-policing and mass incarceration.”
The total reparations bill could reach an estimated $800 billion — more than double California’s annual budget.
Newsom, however, said that dealing with the legacy of slavery is “about much more than cash payments.” He noted that California has already been working to “breaking down barriers to vote, bolster resources to address hate, enact sweeping law enforcement and justice reforms to build trust and safety, strengthen economic mobility” while “investing billions to root out disparities and improve equity in housing, education, healthcare, and well beyond.”
He said that he looks forward to a “continued partnership with the Legislature to advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians.”
The final decision on the task force’s recommendation will be up to the California State Legislature, which will then send it to Newsom for his signature.