Legislation floating around the New York state Capitol would task a “community led coalition” to study the harms of slavery, and thereafter, to determine the reparations needed.
Jabari Brisport, a Brooklyn Democrat, who sponsors the legislation in the state Senate told Capital Tonight that “reparations are extremely late” and adds it’s “better late than never.”
The bill would give a reparations commission one year to research the effects and conduct outreach to affected communities. After a year, the commission will submit their findings to the Legislature.
The bill has been introduced in previous legislatures in the Assembly by Michaelle Solages and former Assemblymember Charles Barron. The legislation has never passed the upper chamber despite passing twice in the Assembly. Brisport said the bill has “never been closer” to passage in the Senate with more senators signing on to be co-sponsors. The bill currently has 15 co-sponsors, all of which are Democrats.
The bill is currently in the Senate Finance Committee and hasn’t moved. Brisport attributes the slow movement to the Senate Finance Committee holding budget hearings after the release of the governor’s budget proposal. Brisport says he has not had conversations with the governor’s office about the bill yet.