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California has banned affirmative action since 1996, when 55% of voters approved a constitutional amendment that made it illegal to give preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.
Wednesday, the state Senate voted 30-10 to repeal that amendment, although voters must approve in November before it can become law.
Seven other states eventually followed California’s lead on banning affirmative action policies: Washington, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, New Hampshire and Oklahoma.
But critics say disparities still exist in government contracting and college admissions, arguing the ban allows racial biases to continue without programs and policies designed to correct it.
Some Asian American groups are already preparing a campaign against lifting the ban on affirmative action.

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