- California’s reparations task force votes to approve a plan for compensating eligible black residents for past discrimination.
- The plan, which faces a $22.5 billion budget deficit, must now be formulated into a report for the state legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom.
- The estimated cost of the reparations is $800 billion, with payments based on various alleged harms caused by the state to black Americans who are descendants of slaves.
The California reparations task force has voted in favor of a plan to provide financial compensation to eligible black residents as a means to address past discrimination. This plan, however, is far from being a certainty, as it must now be formulated into a report that will be submitted to the state legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom for consideration. The deadline for this report is July 1st.
The task force’s recommendation comes at a time when California is grappling with a $22.5 billion budget deficit for fiscal 2024, meaning that existing programs may face cuts, and introducing a reparations program would be a new expenditure for the state. The plan’s estimated cost is $800 billion.
Governor Newsom, who signed the bill to create the task force in 2020, has yet to take a clear stance on the current proposals. His decision will likely be the determining factor in whether the reparations proposals are enacted into law. The current proposal suggests payments based on various alleged harms caused by the state of California to black Americans who are descendants of slaves. Under the draft proposal, lifelong black California residents aged 71 or older could receive up to $1.2 million in payments.
While the reparations plan has its supporters, such as Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who argues that reparations are a long overdue human right for millions of Americans, there are significant hurdles that must be overcome in the state legislature. The 2023 legislative session is scheduled to conclude on September 14th, with Newsom having until October 14th to sign or veto bills passed by the legislature.
I find the recent approval of a reparations plan by California’s task force to be troubling, especially considering the state’s current $22.5 billion budget deficit. The estimated $800 billion cost of this plan is excessive and could strain our state’s already struggling budget.
The reparations plan raises several questions about the fairness and efficacy of such a program. How can we accurately determine the right amount of compensation for each individual when the alleged harms vary significantly? Additionally, I worry about the long-term consequences of using taxpayer money to fund these reparations, particularly when our state is facing severe fiscal challenges.
California faces numerous challenges, including homelessness, infrastructure, and education. Allocating a large sum of money toward reparations could hinder the ability to address these problems effectively.