California Governor Gavin Newsom Declines to Back Reparations Checks, Says Slavery’s Legacy is About ‘More Than Cash Payments’

California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom declined to endorse cash payments that could reach as high as $1.2 million per single recipient, as his reparations task force recommended, saying the legacy of slavery “is about much more than cash payments.”

“The Reparations Task Force’s independent findings and recommendations are a milestone in our bipartisan effort to advance justice and promote healing. This has been an important process, and we should continue to work as a nation to reconcile our original sin of slavery and understand how that history has shaped our country,” said Newsom.

While the governor applauded the task force’s work, he held back from endorsing any specific recommendations. However, he 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 in rooting out disparities and improve equity in housing, education, healthcare, and well beyond. This work must continue,” said Newsom.

“Following the Task Force’s submission of its final report this summer, I look forward to a continued partnership with the Legislature to advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians.”

The task force’s recommendation breaks down payments by types of historical discrimination. For example, Black residents affected by redlining of banks would receive $4,466 each year they lived in California between the 1930s and the late 1970s. This would total $148,099.

Black residents could also receive around $2,352 in compensation for mass incarceration and over-policing for each year they lived in California between 1970 and 2020. The payments could amount to around $115,260. For a Black Californian who meets all requirements, the total payout could amount to $1.2 million.

Final recommendations are set to be submitted to the CA Legislature

The final recommendations will be submitted to the California Legislature, which will then determine whether to implement the measures and send them to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“This has been a fool’s errand from the start,” said California GOP Leader James Gallagher.

“Democrats have promised the world with this reparations task force, and now the massive taxpayer bill is coming due. Newsom has painted himself into a corner, and he’ll have to choose between signing off on a ridiculous policy that will bankrupt the state or admitting once and for all that this task force was nothing more than a political stunt,” Gallagher stated.