Oregon Reparations Bills
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On Wednesday, Oregon lawmakers discussed two senate bills requiring the state to study paying reparations to African American Oregonians who can trace their ancestry to slavery, reports the Portland Tribune.

Representative Tiffiny K. Mitchell (D-OR) supported the bills, claiming “it’s about making things right.”

“I feel like this is truly the right thing for Oregon to do in order to right the wrongs of the past,” said Mitchell.

The two bills, Senate Bill 618 and 619, will set up a framework to study how exactly reparations will be paid out and who will qualify.

Here is the summary of Senate Bill 618:

The Oregon Department of Administrative Services shall study methods of providing reparations for slavery to Black Oregonians and report to an appropriate committee or interim committee of the Legislative Assembly no later than September 15, 2022.

And here’s Senate Bill 619’s summary, which is a bit lengthier:

(1) The Department of Revenue shall establish a program to pay reparations to Black Oregonians who can demonstrate heritage in slavery and who submit an application to the department no later than December 31, 2022.

(2) A person is eligible for reparations under this section if the person demonstrates that the person:

(a) Is descended from an American slave;

(b) Has identified as African-American on legal documents for at least 10 years before the date of the application;

(c) Is at least 18 years of age, an emancipated minor or a ward, as defined in ORS 419A.004, whose parents are deceased or for whom parental rights have been terminated and have not been reinstated; and

(d) Has resided in Oregon for at least two years before the date of the application.

(3) The department shall pay to each eligible applicant the amount of $123,000 in the form of an annuity payable annually for the life of the applicant.

(4) Reparations paid under this section and the right of a person to an annuity under this section are exempt from garnishment and all state, county and municipal taxation, except as provided under ORS chapter 118, are not subject to execution, garnishment, attachment or any other process or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law and are unassignable.

(5) The department may adopt rules to implement this section.

If approved, the proposed bills would pay Black Oregon residents $123,000 annually for life.

From the Portland Tribune:

A companion measure, Senate Joint Memorial 4, also asks the U.S. Congress to adopt national legislation on reparations for African Americans.

All three measures [were part of a public hearing] before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation.

Image Credit: New York Post

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