Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law on Wednesday that opens the door to the state paying reparations of some kind to Black Californians, especially those who are descendants of slaves.
The law does not commit to any specific kind of payment. It calls for a nine-member task force that will be asked to make recommendations for how reparations could be provided, such as through compensation or restitution.
The task force can also make recommendations on eliminating state laws and policies that perpetuate discrimination and on issuing a formal apology “for the perpetration of gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity on African slaves and their descendants,” according to the bill.
The task force will be asked to compile a report on the effects of slavery and systemic discrimination — historic and current — on Black Californians and recommend appropriate ways to educate the public of those effects, by no later than June 2022.