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Gavin Newsom fumbles response to billions in reparations recommended by panel he implemented

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom offered contradictory statements on a recommendation by a task force to implement billions in reparations for black residents of the state.

Newsom created the California's Reparations Task Force in 2020, but when they came up with a reparations plan that would cost billions, he responded with a statement that fell short of endorsing the suggestion.

The board calculated that the reparations could include cash payments of as much as $360k to each eligible person. Economists on the board estimated that the cash payments could amount to more than $800 billion, while critics noted that this figure far exceeds the total annual budget of the state, which is about $300 billion.

“Many of the recommendations put forward by the Task Force are critical action items we’ve already been hard at work addressing," said a spokesperson for Newsom in their first statement.

The first statement from Newsom's office also said that reparations would need to be "about much more than cash payments."

When it was reported that the Democrat had refused to endorse cash payments, Newsom's office claimed that the report was inaccurate and offered a second statement.

His spokesperson said that Newsom “is not backing away from cash payments, but wants to wait for the report in its entirety to arrive on his desk before he makes any decision,” in the second statement.

State Senator Steven Bradford, a member of the reparations panel, said that Newsom was setting expectations lower for the final form that the reparations program could take.

"I think he’s setting a realistic expectation there probably won’t be check payments in the amount we’ve bannered around," said Bradford.

"I’ve tried to temper people’s expectations that it might not be a check," he added. "There's a lot of stuff we can do, and I just want people to be open and accepting to the fact that reparations could take many forms."

KCRA-TV also reported that years of budgetary hurdles will hinder any progress towards large-scale reparations plans.

Here's a local news report about the incident:

'Much more than cash': Newsom responds to recommendations from California reparations task forcewww.youtube.com

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