Newsom falls silent after urging him to take executive action over reparations

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is silent as his state considers potentially handing out hundreds of billions of dollars in reparations to black residents to end slavery and the discrimination it causes.

Newsom, a Democrat, has yet to comment or publicly comment on the prospect of his state potentially issuing a series of new reparations proposals that are gaining momentum in California. The governor’s office did not respond to Fox News Digital’s repeated requests for comment on his views on the issue and whether he is considering taking executive action to implement the plans under discussion if the California Legislature does not act.

The California Reparations Task Force, created by state law Newsom signed into law in 2020, is considering a proposal to pay nearly $360,000 per person to about 1.8 million black Californians who had an ancestor enslaved in the United States , bringing the total cost of the program to about $640 billion.

The final recommendations of the reparations task force are submitted to the California Legislature, which then decides whether to implement the measures and sends them to Newsom’s desk for signature.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference following a meeting with students at James Denman Middle School October 1, 2021 in San Francisco, California.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference following a meeting with students at James Denman Middle School October 1, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NEWSOM UNDER PRESSURE TO TAKE EXECUTIVE ACTION ON REPAIRS IF CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION FAILS TO ACT

Newsom’s silence on reparations comes amid growing calls for him to use his power to unilaterally implement the task force’s proposals for the state’s black residents when lawmakers fail to do so.

“The task force is doing the grunt work of drafting final recommendations, but ultimately these recommendations are non-binding and still require uncompromising political will to take remedial action that will begin to address centuries of the compound damage,” said Dreisen Heath, an expert and leading reparations activist, recently told Fox News Digital. “Governor Newsom has the authority to make these recommendations after the July 1 release of the final report if they are in fact consistent with the wishes of all progeny, and should do so if state legislatures fail to act.”

Last year, the state working group made several preliminary recommendations in an interim report. A final report with the official recommendations of the committee is due to the state parliament by July 1st.

The committee was formed amid the unrest following the 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. None of the panel’s nine members, most of whom were appointed by Newsom, are white.

This image, taken from video released by the governor's office, shows California Gov. Gavin Newsom signing legislation in Sacramento on September 30, 2020 creating a task force to draft recommendations to compensate black Americans.  Calif.

This image, taken from video released by the governor’s office, shows California Gov. Gavin Newsom signing legislation in Sacramento on September 30, 2020 creating a task force to draft recommendations to compensate black Americans. Calif. (Governor’s Office via AP)

MEET SOME OF THE CONTROVERSIAL PEOPLE BEHIND SAN FRANCISCO’S 5M REPAIRS PRINT IN SAN FRANCISCO: “AMERICA, YOU OWE US”

The task force originally proposed $220,000 per person for black Californians last year, but recently increased that number by more than 60% to $360,000 as one of many ideas being considered about paying reparations.

Economists and scholars who have consulted with the task force came to the latest proposal by using a model that assessed California’s racial wealth gap and calculated damages related to injustices such as housing discrimination, mass incarceration and adverse health effects.

It’s unclear how California would pay the extensive reparations. Newsom announced in January that the state faces a projected budget deficit of $22.5 billion for the coming fiscal year. Weeks later, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, a government agency that analyzes the budget for the state legislature, estimated in a later report that Newsom’s forecast fell about $7 billion short of the mark.

Still, Lisa Holder, a member of the task force and president of the far-left Equal Justice Society, vowed in a recent opinion piece that the “committee’s recommendations will be stunning”.

As California considers nationwide reparations, the city of San Francisco is considering its own reparations proposals at the local level.

Supervisor Shamann Walton, member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, speaks on February 15, 2022 in San Francisco, California.

Supervisor Shamann Walton, member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, speaks on February 15, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

NEWSOM CALIFORNIA PUSHES BILLIONS IN REPARATIONS AS THE STATE CONTROLS A BUDGET DEFICIT DISASTER

Last week, San Francisco’s board of directors expressed “unanimous” support for a draft plan with more than 100 reparations recommendations for the city, including a proposal to distribute $5 million each to qualified black residents. The proposed $5 million lump sum payment would cost non-black families in the city at least $600,000, according to Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

The city government also expressed interest in other forms of redress for San Francisco’s roughly 50,000 black residents, such as a guaranteed annual income of at least $97,000 for 250 years and a home in the area for just $1 per family.

Another idea under consideration is a “comprehensive debt relief” program that would pay off all personal, educational, and credit card debt of low-income black households.

Like California, San Francisco is facing a massive deficit estimated at $728 million, making it unclear how the city would pay for such a reparations plan.

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According to Heath, local efforts in San Francisco or other cities to pay reparations should not exempt any state, including California, or the federal government from also paying their own reparations.

“San Francisco’s work at the local level must serve to address localized harms and does not behold the U.S. government or the state of California to make amends for their crimes,” she recently told Fox News Digital. “It’s not the job of any city to fix federal or state fabricated damage.”

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