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Newsom Backtracks On His Reparations Proposal After Task Force Proposes Payments Totaling $640 Billion

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif) is backtracking on slavery reparations proposed by his task force after months of silence on the issue. 

Earlier this week, Newsom argued that the legacy of slavery “is about more than cash payments” and refused to endorse recommendations made by the task force, which include handing out up to $1.2 million in reparations to the state’s black residents.


According to Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher, no matter what the Democrat governor chooses, he will end up in a lose-lose situation. He is facing a significant predicament of supporting budget-breaking checks or angering a key Democratic constituency. 

“It will take an absurd mental gymnastics to require California taxpayers, including new immigrants, low-income workers, and even some African Americans, to pay for a wrong committed by other states more than 150 years ago, but that’s the position Newsom put himself in,” Gallagher told Fox News Digital. 

He criticized Newsom for continually making promises he doesn’t fall through on, making it apparent that the governor is all talk and no action. 

In 2020, California became the first state to consider slavery reparation options for black residents after Newsom signed a bill commissioning a governor-appointed task force following the George Floyd protests. 

The proposal will cost more than double the state’s overall budget— $640 billion—putting California at risk of bankruptcy. 

Newsom failed to endorse recommendations by the group, which voted to cut eligible black Californians a check for at least $360,000. 


The task force also recommended the state create a new agency that would determine how much each black resident should be owed regarding factors such as their ancestors being enslaved or being targeted by racist policies, despite slavery being banned in the blue state before it even became a part of the U.S.

“Many of the recommendations put forward by the Task Force are critical action items we’ve already been hard at work addressing,” Newsom said. “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 improving equity in housing, education, healthcare, and well beyond.” 

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