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Task Force To Vote On Compensation For Sterilization Victims Next Week

A task force trying to determine how to compensate victims of North Carolina's sterilization program expects to vote on recommendations next week. They're considering asking the state to pay victims anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000. Victims and family members of those who were forced into sterilization by the state's eugenics board haven't liked any of the figures the task force has come up with. But Demetrius Worley Berry, an attorney and task force member, says, "What each task force member understands is that no dollar amount will in any way fully compensate or fully repair what happened to an individual." But the governor has asked them to come up with an amount. Some members have suggested compensation at $50,000. Berry has proposed paying $20,000 to living victims or to family members of those that were alive at the time their records were verified in the archives. Since past attempts at compensating victims have failed, she says she doesn't want that to happen again. "I think in order for something to happen that we need to have a realistic amount of compensation," says Berry. The Governor's Compensation Task Force plans to decide on an amount at the meeting next Tuesday. The group also expects to decide who should get that money, just living victims or family members of those who have passed away. They'll send their final recommendations to the governor next month. House Speaker Thom Tillis has pledged to have lawmakers take up the compensation proposal in May.