California Governor Gavin Newsom refused to endorse cash payouts of reparations for the state’s black populace while commending the efforts of the state's Reparations Task Force, which recommended $1.2 million in reparations per black resident.
Newsom made his remarks to Fox News, raising eyebrows about his potential bid for office in 2028 by appealing to conservatives and moderates.
The governor praised the work of California's Reparations Task Force, acknowledging the importance of addressing the "legacy" left by the institution of slavery. However, he stopped short of endorsing the cash payout recommendation, emphasizing that the issue is "about much more than cash payments."
Newsom, who appointed five of the nine task force members, acknowledged the importance of continuing to break down barriers, bolster resources, and improve equity across various sectors.
“The Reparations Task Force’s independent findings and recommendations are a milestone in our bipartisan effort to advance justice and promote healing. This has been an important process, and we should continue to work as a nation to reconcile our original sin of slavery and understand how that history has shaped our country,” Newsom said to Fox News.
“Dealing with that legacy is about much more than cash payments. Many of the recommendations put forward by the Task Force are critical action items we’ve already been hard at work addressing: 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 to root out disparities and improve equity in housing, education, healthcare, and well beyond,” Newsom added. “This work must continue.”
“Following the Task Force’s submission of its final report this summer, I look forward to a continued partnership with the Legislature to advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians,” he added, stating that he intends to “advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians.”
The Reparations Task Force's recommendations are based on the duration of residency in California and the discriminatory policies that affected residents during their time in the state.
The payments range from several thousand dollars to more than $1 million, depending on the circumstances. According to a report from The New York Post, the total reparations bill could amount to approximately $800 billion, more than double California's annual budget.