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Slavery Reparations Bill Passed by New York State Lawmakers

A commission to consider reparations to address the effects of slavery will proceed in New York under a bill passed Thursday by the state Legislature.

“We want to make sure we are looking at slavery and its legacies,” said state Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages before the floor debate, AP reports.

“This is about beginning the process of healing our communities. There still is generational trauma that people are experiencing. This is just one step forward.”

The state Assembly passed the bill about three hours after spirited debate on Thursday. The state Senate passed the measure hours later, and the bill is now on its way to the desk of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul for consideration.

It progresses just days after a Howard University law professor petitioned a United Nations (U.N.) tribunal to pay every black American $5 million in reparations — a proposal that would not need taxpayer approval.

Reparations are also on the political agenda elsewhere in America.

As Breitbart News reported, a panel set up by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in 2020 approved recommendations last month in Oakland for reparations for slavery and an apology, even though the state entered the Union as a free state in 1850.

The panel calculated that each black resident of the state is potentially owed $1.2 million in compensation, based on disparities in life expectancy, and estimates of the cost of over-policing and housing discrimination.

The New York legislation will create a similar commission that would examine the extent to which the federal and state government supported the institution of slavery.

“I’m concerned we’re opening a door that was closed in New York State almost 200 years ago,” said Republican state Assembly member Andy Gooddell during floor debates on the bill.

The AP report sets out Gooddell, who voted against the bill, said he supports existing efforts to bring equal opportunity to all and would like to “continue on that path rather than focus on reparations.”

Other state legislatures that have considered studying reparations include New Jersey and Vermont, but none have yet passed legislation.

A Chicago suburb in Evanston, Illinois, became the first city to make reparations available to Black residents through a $10 million housing project in 2021.


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