California Governor Gavin Newsom has hit reverse on his proposal to create a task force to study reparations for slavery and its lingering effects. The move comes after a backlash from conservatives and some moderate Democrats who argued that the proposal was too divisive and expensive.
Newsome signed California’s Reparations Task Force into existence in 2020 after the George Floyd riots rocked the nation. They recently recommended that the state pay almost $360,000 per person to an estimated 1.8 million black residents of the state who had an ancestor enslaved in the U.S.
The report from the reparations said: “The task force recommends giving just under $360,000 per person to approximately 1.8 million Black Californians who had an ancestor enslaved in the U.S. Other factors would stack additional reparations payments on top of the slavery-specific checks. In total, a Black Californian who is 71 years old and has lived in California his entire life could receive up to $1.2 million, according to an analysis from the New York Times.
The total cost of the program is estimated at about $640 billion, exceeding the nearly $300 billion state budget by more than double, at a time when the state is facing its first deficit in years.”
The problem for Newsom is that he took a $45.7 billion budget surplus and turned it into a $32 billion deficit—in just under one year.
So now that the proposal would cost at least twice the state’s annual budget, Gov. Newsom has put on the brakes. Dealing with the legacy of slavery “is about much more than cash payments,” he demurred.
A spokesperson for Newsom clarified his comments in an email statement to The [Sacramento] Bee.
“The sensationalized framing in pieces published by outlets like Fox News and others is inaccurate. The Governor looks forward to reviewing the final report — and all recommendations — when complete.”
Well, well, well…this is going to be very interesting for Newsom.
Gavin Newsom just shut down the reparations plans after telling all the Black folks they were about to get a cool milly each.
They play us like complete fools every single time.
— Lavern Spicer 🇺🇸 (@lavern_spicer) May 10, 2023
So, let me get this straight. Calif. Gov Newsom signs bill to establish a ridiculous first-in-the-nation task force to study reparations for blacks—then rejects its ridiculous recommendation for reparations for blacks? Demonstrating, yet again, how Dems pimp blacks for votes. pic.twitter.com/DNO9yNruON
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) May 10, 2023