California Democrats this week voted against ending Governor Gavin Newsom’s Covid emergency powers.
Newsom originally gave himself emergency powers on March 4, 2020 and efforts to strip him of the powers failed on Tuesday.
The resolution was introduced by California Senator Melissa Melendez R-Elsinore.
“As infection and hospitalization rates continue to drop, it’s time for the state to allow local governments to take the lead and address emergencies locally without the shotgun approach of a statewide emergency,” Melendez said, according to KPVI.
“It is time for the legislature to reassert its constitutional authority as the legislative body of this state and end this endless emergency,” she said.
Newsom issued more than 70 executive orders – with 561 provisions since March 2020 and gave no timeline for ending his statewide powers when he lifted 95% of his Covid orders on February 25.
“[Newsom] will continue to wield broad authority to change or suspend state laws in response to the pandemic.” AP reported last month.
The Democrats on Tuesday voted against a common sense resolution to strip Newsom of his powers.
The Sacramento Bee reported:
California lawmakers won’t end Gov. Gavin Newsom’s two-year-old COVID-19 state of emergency, despite the objections of Republicans who say it gives him too much power.
The Senate Governmental Organization Committee on Tuesday rejected a resolution by Sen. Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, that would have terminated Newsom’s emergency declaration from March 2020.
Eight Democrats on the committee voted against the resolution while four Republicans voted for it. A number of senators abstained from the vote.
Melendez introduced the resolution in December 2020, but Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins didn’t grant it a hearing until Feb. 17. That was the same day Newsom introduced his latest COVID-19 response, which treats the virus as if it is here to stay in some form.
The COVID emergency declaration allows Newsom to access federal funding and to override state laws while carrying out the state’s pandemic response. However, Melendez and other Republican say continuing the emergency over a long period of time is unnecessary and gives the governor too much power.