State Senator Brian Jones reacts to Newsom signing AB 3121, contemplating slavery reparations in CA
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will develop a detailed plan for reparations under a new law signed on Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, making it the first state to mandate a study of how it can make amends for its role in the oppression of Black people.
The law creates a nine-member task force to come up with proposals for how the state could provide reparations to Black Americans, what form those reparations might take and who would be eligible to receive them.
“This is not just about California, this is about making an impact, and a dent, across the rest of the country,” Newsom said moments after signing the bill during a ceremony broadcast on his YouTube channel.
The law does not limit reparations to slavery, although it requires the task force to give special consideration for Black people who are descendants of slaves.
California never had a government-sanctioned system of slavery. It entered the Union in 1850 as a free state after gold was discovered in the Sierra Nevada mountains. But the state did let slave-owning whites bring their slaves to California. The Legislature even passed a law making it legal to arrest runaway slaves and return them to their owners.
“California has come to terms with many of these issues, but it has yet to come to terms with its role in slavery,” said Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a Democrat from San Diego who authored the bill.
State Senator Brian Jones joined KUSI News to discuss Newsom signing the bill and why it is something he will be opposing.