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“California tries to lead the way in terms of civil rights, and we have a responsibility to do that,” said the bill’s author, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber.

California on Wednesday became the first state to adopt a law paving the way for Black residents and descendants of slaves to receive reparation payments.

The legislation, which was authored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a Democrat representing San Diego who is chair of California’s Legislative Black Caucus, does not commit to any specific payment. Instead, it establishes a nine-person task force that will study the impact of slavery on Black people in California and recommend to the Legislature what kind of compensation should be provided, who should receive it and what form it will take.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law Wednesday afternoon.

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