California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) backed off Tuesday from the idea of paying reparations to descendants of slaves, after a state panel he signed into law calculated the state was liable for hundreds of billions of dollars.
Newsom signed a law in 2020 establishing a reparations task force to examine whether California, a free state since its inception in 1850, owed money for slavery.
The committee, composed predominantly of black members, held hearings throughout the state and concluded that California owed black residents who are descendants of slaves $1.2 million each. The committee’s recommendations, approved by a vote last weekend, will now go to the state legislature for consideration.
But Newsom declined to endorse the cash payments, telling Fox News Digital that dealing with the legacy of slavery “is about much more than cash payments.” He declined to endorse any specific recommendations but pledged to continue to “advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians.”
“Dealing with that legacy is about much more than cash payments. Many of the recommendations put forward by the Task Force are critical action items we’ve already been hard at work addressing: breaking down barriers to vote, bolstering resources to address hate, enacting sweeping law enforcement and justice reforms to build trust and safety, strengthening economic mobility — all while investing billions to root out disparities and improve equity in housing, education, healthcare, and well beyond. This work must continue,” he said.
Critics have suggested that Newsom and the Democrats planned all along to ignore some of the committee’s proposals, then to blame Republicans for being the obstacle to implementing them.