Today is the deadline for victims of North Carolina’s decades-long eugenics program to submit applications to receive compensation from the state. 

The state of North Carolina has received 442 applications for compensation from people who say they’re victims of the state’s decades-long eugenics program.

Last year, state lawmakers agreed to set aside 10 million dollars to be divided out among living, verified victims of the program which ended in the 1970s.

North Carolina has received plenty of negative attention nationally for things happening in the legislature. But we're also making news for another reason. North Carolina will spend $10 million to compensate victims of a state-sponsored sterilization program, making it the first state in the country to do so. It's an effort to make reparations for what was one of the most extensive and longest-running eugenics programs. Between 1929 and 1974, the state sterilized 7,600 people because they were considered "feeble minded," promiscuous or otherwise socially or mentally unfit, even some single women on welfare. It's a feat that only happened because of something rather uncommon these days - bi-partisanship. We'll talk with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle about the process and hear from a recipient of that compensation - a sterilization victim, when Charlotte Talks.

More than 30 states once had eugenics laws, but North Carolina's were particularly aggressive. Some 7,600 men, women and children were sterilized by the state's eugenics board. After the 1960s, the victims were mostly black. Often they were mentally ill or disabled. In many cases they were ordered sterilized simply because they were poor and on welfare.

Now North Carolina has gone further than any other state in attempting to make amends.

  The North Carolina Eugenics program that ended in 1974 has been the subject of efforts by state officials to compensate victims for the forced sterilization that occurred here from 1929-1974. Former Governor Mike Easley formally apologized for the actions of state leaders from that time several years ago, but reparations efforts have so far failed. Some of the arguments in the reparations debate were that paying the victims will not right the wrong that had been done to them. Today, we'll discuss the ethics of reparation, and whether today's generation has an obligation to right the wrongs of previous generations.

Julie Rose

An effort to compensate living victims of North Carolina's now-defunct eugenics program is facing early opposition as lawmakers prepare to meet. Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger Wednesday said he doesn't support the plan as it was proposed last year and hasn't brought it up with his Republican colleagues.