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Reparations Proposal for Black Californians Moves Forward to State Assembly

The California Senate has advanced several reparations proposals, including the creation of an agency to help Black families trace their lineage and verify eligibility for future restitution. Other bills aim to establish a fund for reparations and compensate Black families for properties unjustly taken by the government using eminent domain. These proposals, inspired by a task force's recommendations on addressing historical racism, will now go to the state Assembly.

Sen. Steven Bradford emphasized the state's responsibility to rectify past injustices, describing reparations as a debt owed to descendants of slavery. The proposals, passing mostly along party lines, do not include widespread payments to descendants of enslaved individuals, frustrating some advocates.

“If you can inherit generational wealth, you can inherit generational debt,” Bradford said. “Reparations is a debt that’s owed to descendants of slavery.”

While a federal bill to study reparations has stalled since the 1980s, California is ahead in considering such measures compared to other states. Some lawmakers, like Republican Sen. Roger Niello, support the eminent domain bill but oppose statewide taxpayer funding for local land seizures. The Assembly has also advanced a bill for a formal apology for California's discriminatory history.

Opponents argue the state, facing a budget deficit, may be overpromising. Setting up the reparations agency could cost up to $1 million annually, with additional costs for investigating claims of racially motivated land seizures. Despite the financial concerns, advocates see these votes as a significant step toward broader reparations legislation.

Link: AP News


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