The California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) has announced 14 reparations bills that it plans to introduce, making California the first state to implement concrete legislative proposals for reparations.
Driving the news: The bills are part of the “2024 Reparations Priority Bill Package” and aim to implement policy recommendations outlined in a report released by the Reparations Task Force last summer.
- The legislative package covers a wide range of issues, including criminal justice reforms, property rights, education, civil rights, and food justice.
- One of the proposed amendments to the California Constitution seeks to allow the state to fund programs that improve the life expectancy, educational outcomes, or lift specific groups out of poverty.
- Another amendment aims to prohibit involuntary servitude for incarcerated persons.
- The package includes measures addressing property takings, restoration of property taken during race-based eminent domain, and proposals for education, civil rights, criminal justice reform, health, and business.
- The bills cover various areas such as creating grants for STEM education, extending the CROWN Act to prohibit discrimination based on certain hairstyles in competitive sports, and implementing community-driven solutions to decrease violence.
What they’re saying: CLBC Chair Lori Wilson emphasized that reparations go beyond direct cash payments and require a comprehensive approach to address the legacy of slavery and systemic racism.
- The California secretary of state expressed optimism and support for the work, emphasizing that California has the opportunity to lead in addressing delayed justice through reparations.
- Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, a member of the task force, stated that the goal is to rectify the wrongs committed against black communities through laws and policies designed to empower African Americans.