Oregon Democrats introduce legislation that would pay black residents $123k in slavery reparations

Oregon Democrats introduce legislation that would pay black residents $123k in slavery reparations
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
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Democrats in Oregon have introduced legislation that would see $123,000 given in reparations to black people residing in the state over the span of their lives. 

According to the bill, the money will be paid to anyone who can demonstrate that they are a descendant of slaves and are identified as African-American on legal documentation. 

The bill states that the state Department of Revenue is to establish a reparations payment program for African-Americans “who can demonstrate heritage in slavery” and provide legal documentation that identifies them as “African-American” for at least 10 years. Those eligible for the reparations must reside in the state for a minimum of two years.  

The payment would be annual and recipients would be set to receive $123,000 paid out over the course of their life, plus interest. 

Republicans in Oregon estimate that the state could spend as much as $11.8 trillion in total reparations payments. Not only would this cause an increase in taxes, but the legislation is also likely to cause an influx of people moving into the state in hopes of getting a second round of reparations, further burdening Oregonian taxpayers. 

The Biden administration has indicated that it intends to start acting on potential reparations for all black Americans. 

“We have to start breaking down systemic racism and barriers that have held people of color back and especially African-Americans who were enslaved,” White House advisor Cedric Richmond said in an interview with Axios. “We have to do stuff now to improve the plight, status, future, and empowerment of Black people all around the country.”

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