Although there’s no concrete action yet, AB 3121 tasks the state to create a commission that will study the possibility of paying reparations for slavery. The task force, which must meet by June, will be appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the speaker of the Assembly and the State Senate leader. Along with studying the issue, they will be asked to create proposals for possible implementation.
SACRAMENTO — With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, California became the first state government in the country on Wednesday to adopt a law to study and develop proposals for potential reparations to descendants of enslaved people and those impacted by slavery.
Newsom said the new law and bipartisan support for its passage are proving “a paradigm that we hope will be resonant all across the United States.”
In a year of national protests against racial injustice, state lawmakers approved Assembly Bill 3121 to force the state to begin to confront its racist history and systemic disparities that persist today. Although California entered the Union as a “free state” in 1850, slavery continued there after the state Constitution outlawed it the previous year. Slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865.