California May Give Out $800 Million In “Reparations” 

( California has been throwing around the idea of paying reparations to its Black residents, though until now, no one really knew how much the plan would cost. 

Recent economic analysts have revealed, though, that the plan would ultimately cost the state a whopping $800 billion, a total that is equal to 2.5 times the annual operating budget for California.  

Now, legislators will have to decide whether they want to push forward with their plans, come up with alternative ways to compensate black residents or re-think the plan altogether. 

Proponents of reparations have said that black residents need to be compensated for the generations of over-policing, housing discrimination and many other policies in the state that have been motivated by race. But, it’s unlikely that many of them expected they’d have to figure out a way to set aside $800 billion to do so. 

The shocking part about that estimate is that it doesn’t even include more payments that total $1 million to each elderly black California resident who has struggles with disparities in their health. It also doesn’t account for any individual who had their businesses or properties ultimately devalued by the California state government. 

The state has a reparations task force that has plans to meet next week. The goal of that meeting is to discuss its final budget before they would adopt a final version of it that they’d then send to California’s state legislature.  

The current proposal that’s in front of the task force was devised by a panel of five policy experts and economists. It was originally created by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom back in 2020. 

The governor signed a law that year that created the task force and assigned it with figuring out what the economic damages of the state’s racially-biased policies of the past are. When he did that, it was met with many mixed reactions. Some people naturally supported the idea of reparations while many others pushed back on it, believing that it would be way too costly for the state to do. 

Even if the task force does move forward and make a recommendation to the state legislature, it’s entirely possible that reparations payments will never end up being approved by state lawmakers. A major reason that could be the case is simply because of how costly the plan looks like it will be. 

Members of the task force know this, though, and are already considering different ways that they could sell their proposal to state lawmakers. 

As Reggie Jones-Sawyer, a member of the state Assembly, commented to the Associated Press recently: 

“We’ve got to go in with an open mind and come up with some creative ways to deal with this.” 

The task force has a deadline of July 1 to form a final agreement about the final cost estimate for their plan. After that point, the plan will be before state legislators for final consideration. 

If they were to approve it, Newsom would need to give its final approval.