California budget includes millions for reparations

However, details regarding reparations to the state’s Black residents are light.

California has allocated up to $12 million for reparations legislation in the state’s budget. 

The budget signed by Governor Gavin Newsom does not specify the exact programs the funding will support, and there are no plans for widespread direct payments to Black Californians this year.


The big picture: Lawmakers are considering proposals to issue a formal apology for California’s past discrimination, establish an agency for reparations programs, and identify families whose property was unfairly seized through eminent domain.

  • No state has progressed as far as California in considering reparations for Black residents, although Illinois and New York have studied similar proposals, and Florida created a college scholarship fund for descendants of a racially motivated massacre.
  • Some opponents of California’s reparations proposals argue that taxpayers should not be responsible for addressing historical injustices, citing concerns about burdening current generations for past wrongs.

Go deeper: Estimated costs for running the reparations agency range from $3 million to $5 million annually, with additional costs for investigating claims related to eminent domain and providing property tax and housing assistance to descendants of enslaved Black people.

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