California governor Gavin Newsom (D.) signed a bill on Wednesday creating a government task force to research and develop plans for giving reparations to the descendants of slaves.
Assembly Bill 3121 makes California the first state to form a task force charged with researching the effects of slavery and creating a plan for reparations. The law—which comes after a summer of racial unrest following the death of George Floyd in May—also requires the group to educate the public on California's historical involvement with slavery and segregation.
Additional legislation would be required for the state to give out the reparations, which could come in the form of cash payments or increased funding to black communities. The bill notes that any state-funded payments should not replace reparations from the federal government.
State assemblywoman Shirley Nash Weber (D.) introduced the bill earlier this summer.
Months of unrest over racial injustice have led many colleges, universities, and even some local governments to begin reparations. Regents at the University of California are already required by law to conduct research on slavery and its lasting effects. Asheville, N.C., approved legislation to increase funding for programs promoting black homeownership—one form of reparations—to black residents in July.