California reparations bills one step closer to passage after Assembly Judiciary vote

Sacramento, California - California state Senator Steven Bradford has announced on Tuesday that three reparations bills he authored had passed out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Three reparations bills authored by state Senator Steven Bradford have passed out of California's Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Three reparations bills authored by state Senator Steven Bradford have passed out of California's Assembly Judiciary Committee.  © Arturo Holmes / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Senate Bill 1403 would create the California American Freedmen Affairs Agency, tasked with helping administer reparations. The government agency would have its own Genealogy Office and Office of Legal Affairs to support reparations claims. It would also have the power to oversee and monitor existing state agencies and departments' implementation of reparations measures that fall within their scope of authority.

Senate Bill 1050 would establish a means of restoring property seized in race-based uses of eminent domain to the original owners or their descendants, or of providing them with financial compensation.

Senate Bill 1331 would set up the Fund for Reparations and Reparative Justice in the state treasury to finance reparations initiatives approved by the legislature and governor.

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Bradford introduced all three bills following the release of the California Reparations Task Force's groundbreaking final report. The senator served on the nine-member body, which was tasked with crafting a plan to address generations of harms against Black people in the Golden State.

"Many people, again, will say California wasn't a slave state. Yes, we were, and it's about time that people open their eyes and understand the harms that are still in existence here in California and across this nation because of slavery," Bradford told his colleagues in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

All three of Bradford's bills have been approved in the state Senate. Tuesday's vote brings them one step closer to final passage.

Cover photo: Arturo Holmes / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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