A GOP effort in the Assembly to end Governor Gavin Newsom’s two year COVID-19 state of emergency fell short of votes on Thursday, with the Assembly voting 48-15 to keep the order in place until at least the current end date of March 31st.
California has been under the COVID-19 state of emergency since March 4, 2020. Newsom has extended the order multiple times in the past two years, citing continual high COVID-19 rates, large numbers of daily new cases, and continued surges such as those with the Delta and Omicron variants.
However, with Omicron and COVID rates now falling dramatically in California and large events like the Super Bowl being held at full capacity despite the state of emergency staying in place making some question why it’s still even there, many called for the end of it this week. While the GOP effort, led by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), ultimately failed on Thursday, Kiley continued to push for an end of it. In particular, he highlighted the fact that this was a legal matter and that the end date of the current emergency order would likely be extended past March.
California Democrats just voted to continue the State of Emergency even as we host the Super Bowl. pic.twitter.com/egFMTi1TeA
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) February 10, 2022
“The emergency continues until the Governor or Legislature ends it,” stated Assemblyman Kiley on Thursday. “California is hosting the Super Bowl this weekend during a state of emergency. It might be the greatest absurdity in this state’s history. You see other countries, and other states in this country, have ended their emergencies and ended their mandates and restrictions and it’s well past time that we do that in California and let citizens get on with lives.
“A state of emergency is a legal term. It does not mean that there is some threat out there or there is a reason to be concerned. What a state of emergency requires is conditions of extreme peril that are beyond the capacity of local jurisdictions to deal with. We have been at that point for a long, long time now. There is absolutely no reason we need to have statewide orders and mandates that affect our state of almost 40 million people. It is well past time that we return decision making to local communities and their citizens.
“The law says that the Governor shall terminate the state of emergency at the earliest possible date that conditions warrant. And I do have to add, when you look at the Governors own behavior, when he went to a football game with 70,000 fans this past weekend and declined to wear a mask on many occasions, I’m not really sure what message that sends.”
The Governor’s response to the attempt
Governor Newsom responded to the attempt on Thursday saying that “Elected officials should focus on what best serves their constituents and stop with the political theatre. Apparently Assemblyman Kiley and Assemblyman [James] Gallagher [R-Yuba City] believe it would have been better to let Californians die and be turned away from care when hospitals reached capacity during the Omicron surge.”
Political insiders said on Thursday that the effort may be renewed with the support of some outside of the part if the order is extended again and COVID rates continue to go down.
“If we still are under the state of emergency this summer and new cases are nil, you’re going to start seeing a lot of lawmakers trying to get rid of it in the legislature just like the Republicans tried today” said Erin Wright, a pollster who covers several Northern California counties to the Globe. “But right now, COVID is still very visible, people are still worried, and there is enough support for the state of emergency.”
This was killed in the Senate Thursday as well.
Senate leadership refused to even allow a vote of Sen. Melissa Melendez’s resolution to end the state of emergency, and cut off the microphones of Sen. Jones and Melendez when they tried to speak on it.
Dissent is not permitted by democrats in the state Senate.
“You don’t get to make any points” pic.twitter.com/Lv2tobFaQm
— Senator Melissa Melendez (@senatormelendez) February 10, 2022
It is currently unknown if the state of emergency order will be renewed next month.
- San Francisco Board of Supervisors Approve Police Robots For Deadly Force Situations - November 30, 2022
- CA GOP Candidate Josh Hoover Defeats Assemblyman Ken Cooley in Assembly 7th District Election - November 29, 2022
- UC Strike Partially Ends Following Agreement With One UAW Bargaining Groups - November 29, 2022