UPDATED with latest: A trio of California state legislators called out Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday for refusing to end the state of emergency he declared due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They cited a section of the California Emergency Services Act which requires that the “Governor shall proclaim the termination of a state of emergency at the earliest possible date that conditions warrant.”
Rep. James Gallagher, a Republican who represents much of the northern Sacramento Valley, including Chico, wrote on Twitter:
The Governor loves to get BIG headlines, but then fails to deliver on his promises. The latest example of his bait & switch is when he said CA would open on June 15th. Meanwhile, his Cal/OSHA is saying something different and he refuses to call off the State of Emergency.
The Governor loves to get BIG headlines, but then fails to deliver on his promises. The latest example of his bait & switch is when he said CA would open on June 15th. Meanwhile, his Cal/OSHA is saying something different and he refuses to call off the State of Emergency. https://t.co/5WLZjtPBH1
— James Gallagher (@J_GallagherAD3) June 7, 2021
On Friday Newsom was asked if he would lift the state of emergency that has given him the extraordinary powers to mandate Covid restrictions. The governor answered, “The emergency remains in effect after June 15.” That date is Newsom’s own self-declared deadline to lift most Covid restrictions.
That prompted Gallagher and fellow Republicans Kevin Kiley and Melissa Melendez to send the governor a letter on Monday telling him that, if he would not lift the state of emergency, “the legislator is considering exercising its power to do so with Assembly Concurrent Resolution 46 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 5.”
The Republican legislators point out, among other things, that California now has extremely low Covid numbers — in fact, Newsom himself points out that the state has the lowest test positivity rate in the nation on a near-daily basis.
The trio then asked Newsom to specify what metrics he is using to decide that the state of emergency should not be lifted so that they could consider that evidence.
Asked to explain the reasoning behind the decision Newsom said on Friday, “Because we’re still in a state of emergency. This disease is still in effect. It is not taking the summer off.”
The governor on Friday also indicated he may need emergency powers in the near future. “Some modifications may need to be in order on the basis of changing conditions,” he said.
You can read the legislators letter here.
PREVIOUSLY on Friday: “The one thing I am certain of is: There’s uncertainty in the future,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday at an event to pick winners in the state’s lottery-style Covid-19 vaccination incentive program.
Asked if he would, on June 15, lift the state of emergency that has given him the extraordinary powers to mandate such restrictions, the governor said, “The emergency remains in effect after June 15.” That date is Newsom’s own self-declared deadline to lift most Covid restrictions.
Asked to explain the reasoning behind the decision, Newsom said, “Because we’re still in a state of emergency. This disease is still in effect. It is not taking the summer off.”
The governor indicated he may need those emergency powers in the near future. “Some modifications may need to be in order on the basis of changing conditions,” he said.
Newsom acknowledges that some capacity restrictions may remain in effect after June 15, even though he’s been saying they will end.
Also: he’s not ending the state of emergency declared at beginning of the pandemic.
So…. June 15 sounding like not totally back to normal in CA https://t.co/Ppw02Zu9by
— Laurel Rosenhall (@LaurelRosenhall) June 4, 2021
Newsom was also pressed repeatedly at the event to clarify what some called the “confusing” recommendation of a CalOSHA board the night before. After a seven-hour public meeting, the board seemed to approve recommending masks be required in the workplace if everyone is not vaccinated. That would leave mask requirements in place past Newsom’s stated deadline to lift most Covid restrictions. It would also seem to penalize unvaccinated workers. The board set up a subcommittee to further study the issue.
The governor today said he was unable to be definitive about the meaning of the board’s recommendations.
“The dust is settling. They’ve got a subcommittee that’s meeting to follow up on some of the work. They’re moving in the right direction,” he said.
To Californians who thought they were getting the summer off from Covid-19 restrictions but now feel whiplashed by the prospect of continued masking in workplaces, Newsom said, “We’re working through this. This is the sausage-making process. We’ve already had a number of conversations earlier this morning about people’s feelings about what happened last night. I think it’s helpful that the governor is not dictating and mandating those decisions in advance…We are in an iterative process of engagement…We hope to let folks know more about our next steps very shortly.”
“Face coverings remain an important part of our arsenal to fight this disease,” reminded Newsom.
Watch the governor’s presentation below.
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