California counties move to push back against Newsom’s restrictions

By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square Nov 24, 2020

(The Center Square) – A number of California counties are preparing to fight back against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s extensive restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Collective action at the local level can be a powerful counterweight against Newsom’s one-man rule,” Assemblyman Kevin Kiley argues in his continued fight against Newsom.

The Healthy Communities Resolution came out of the Conference of North State Representatives, which recently convened in Red Bluff. Assemblyman James Gallagher, who along with Kiley successfully sued Newsom, spearheaded the conference. State legislators from 15 Northern Californian counties worked on the resolution to distribute to each of their county’s Board of Supervisors to consider and adapt.

Any county can pass the resolution, they argue, and Californians are encouraged to contact their County Board of Supervisors and city council members to review and consider passing it.

The introductory clause notes that California has the third-highest unemployment rate in the U.S., the largest backlog of unpaid jobless claims, and the fifth-worst excess death rate west of the Mississippi after eight months of lockdown with no end in sight.

It states that California’s “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” proposed by Gov. Newsom provides “a one-size-fits-all approach to reopening communities that fails to allow the flexibility to respond in a data-driven way to what is occurring in our county.”

“The Blueprint largely impacts the operation of businesses and schools without any showing that those environments are responsible for COVID-19 cases observed in our county,” the resolution states, and encourages counties to urge their school districts to safely reopen all schools as soon as possible.

Newsom’s shutdown has negatively impacted counties, the resolution states, which have seen increases in drug abuse, delayed medical care, depression among our youth, and the overall need for mental health services.

The resolution concludes that a collective and unified action is needed from county and regional leaders to push back against the governor’s executive orders. The legislators argue their counties are “best served by an ability to respond locally to the COVID-19 virus in accordance with our local data and circumstances” and are “geographically diverse and ill-suited for the county-wide restrictions imposed by the Blueprint.”

In Kiley’s District 6, which encompasses the outer ring of northern and eastern Sacramento suburbs, all three sheriffs have said they are not enforcing Newsom’s latest order requiring a statewide curfew of 10 p.m. Many other sheriffs across the state are also not enforcing the order, he said.

“In Newsom’s California,” Gallagher said, “the virus is non-existent in swanky Napa restaurants; small businesses are dangerous, but big box stores are fine; expensive private schools can open for the elite, but public schools must remain closed; and the virus comes out at night, between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

“The governor likes to tout that his actions are scientifically driven, but evidence simply does not support such drastic action limiting people’s freedom. This virus does not suddenly come out at night.”

Both Kiley and Gallagher are preparing for a hearing before an appeals court judge after receiving a favorable ruling by a Superior Court judge who issued an injunction against Newsom from issuing executive orders that create laws. The ruling provides the basis for additional litigation the legislators are preparing to challenge other executive orders that they argue create, suspend or amend laws, which only the state legislature has the constitutional authority to do.

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