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California Lawmakers Introduce Package of Reparations Bills

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Sacramento, CA — The California Legislative Black Caucus is pushing forward a package of over a dozen bills that they say would help atone for the state’s past of allowing slavery.

It comes after the state released its reparations task force report last June.

The bills were introduced at a press conference at the capitol where the lawmakers stressed that there be no widespread payments to descendants of enslaved people.

Democratic Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer of Los Angeles argued, “Slavery is one of the state’s negative marks and we must begin the process to atone for that system.”

Jones-Sawyer is authoring Assembly Bill 3089, which directs the state to issue a formal apology about slavery.

Some of the other bills include giving compensation to families whose property was seized through eminent domain stemming from racism or discrimination, and a proposed ban on requiring prison inmates to do work for wages less than $1 per hour. There would also be new affirmative action efforts related to higher education.