California Senate Takes Historic Step: Passes Trio of Reparations Bills, Acknowledging ‘Debt Owed’ for Slavery

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The California State Senate approved three bills on reparations Tuesday. This is a part of a larger effort to compensate descendants.

The California State Assembly will vote on these bills.

California introduced a package of reparations bills in January that would provide cash compensation and property compensation for descendants of slavery, as well as Black Californians. ABC7 reported that the assembly had rejected previous bills such as those that would have offered homeownership assistance or property tax relief for descendants of slaves.

SB 1403 was passed this week by the California State Senate. It would create the California Freedmen Affairs Agency. This agency will ensure that all reparations recipients meet the criteria.

SB1050 would require that the California Freedmen Affairs Agency compensate families who have had their property taken away because of “race based eminentdomain”. ABC7 reports that SB1331 allocates funds to support policy for reparations, signed into law by Governor Brown.

The three bills were drafted by Democrat State Sen. Steven Bradford of Southern California. He said: “If generational income can be passed down, so can generational debt.”

He said, “Reparations is a debt due to descendants of slavery. These are not a gift or charity, but what was promised. This is what’s been owed for 160 years.”

These bills are in response to a California Assembly Bill passed last month which accepted responsibility for all “harms and crimes” committed by the state. ”

It’s indisputable that the government was complicit with oppression of African Americans. Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas said that California’s history is marred by subjugation of Blacks and oppression.

California is joining a trend that has been growing in the United States to create a taskforce for recommending reparations.

Boston Massachusetts task force will present reparations to City Hall, based on historical research and other factors that have been compiled by experts. New York Governor Kathy Hochul established a reparations Taskforce in December last year.

Some voters do not support compensating Black residents that meet certain criteria. A majority of Californians voted against cash payments to descendants of slaves in a poll conducted in September.