Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom made contradictory comments on the recommendation of a task force to implement billions of dollars in reparations for black residents.
Newsom formed the California Reparations Task Force (California’s Reparations Task Force) in 2020. However, when the group came up with an expensive reparations plan, Newsom responded with a short statement that did not endorse the idea.
The board estimated that reparations could include cash payouts of up to $360k for each eligible person. The board’s economists estimated that cash payments could total more than $800 billion. Critics noted that this amount is far greater than the $300 billion annual state budget.
In their first statement, a Newsom spokesperson said that “many of the Task Force’s recommendations are critical actions items we have already been working hard to address.”
Newsom’s first statement also stated that reparations “would need to include much more than just cash payments.”
Newsom’s Office claimed that it was incorrect to report that Newsom had refused cash payments. They then issued a second, more accurate statement.
In the second statement, his spokesperson stated that Newsom is “not backing away from cash payment but wants to await the report to be delivered to him in its entirety before making any decisions.”
Steven Bradford, State Senator and member of the reparations committee stated that Newsom set lower expectations for the eventual form the reparations program might take.
Bradford said, “I think that he is setting realistic expectations. There probably won’t even be check payments for the amount we have advertised.”
He added, “I have tried to temper expectations of people that it may not be a cheque.” “There are a lot of things we can do. I want people to accept that reparations may take different forms.”
KCRA-TV reported that budgetary obstacles will also hinder any progress toward large-scale repair plans.
Here is a local report on the incident.