Home>Articles>Sen. Melendez Introduces Bills to Protect Small Biz from Malicious COVID-19 Fines

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (Photo: Melissa Melendez)

Sen. Melendez Introduces Bills to Protect Small Biz from Malicious COVID-19 Fines

Biz owners are tired of being told to shutdown for reasons not based on science

By Katy Grimes, January 4, 2021 3:03 pm

State Senator Melissa Melendez (R -Lake Elsinore) introduced two new bills Monday aiming to protect small businesses from malicious COVID-19 fines.

“Business owners are draining their finances to comply with COVID regulations, and the Governor has continued to change the rules with no data to support his mandates,” Melendez said in a statement. “Now small businesses are facing fines and penalties as they try to stay afloat and keep their lifelong dreams alive.”

Senate Bill 102 prohibits regulatory boards and agencies within the Department of Consumer Affairs, and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, from revoking licenses or penalizing small businesses owners for failure to comply with any COVID-19 emergency orders.

The second bill is a reintroduction of Senate Concurrent Resolution 5, that ends the State of Emergency, restores checks and balances between the Legislative and Executive branches and allows local governments to handle the pandemic locally instead of top-down mandates from the state.

Melendez included in her press release restaurant owner and founder of Slapfish, Andrew Gruel, who has defied the Governor’s latest shutdown orders because Newsom has not provided data to support the closing of outdoor dining areas. The National Restaurant Association predicted 43% of California restaurants would not survive the crisis.

“When it comes to having our licenses revoked, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.” Chef Gruel said. “This is an overreach of authority that only creates more fear and loss in an industry that has been ravaged by the shutdowns. Each community should have the right to make its own local decisions.”

The Globe has heard estimates as high as 60% of California’s restaurants will not be able to reopen ever again after Gov. Newsom’s business shutdown orders.

“Californians are tired of being told they can’t go to work and businesses owners are tired of being told to close their businesses for reasons not based on science,” said Melendez. “The Governor continues to ignore the data illustrating the thousands of businesses closing their doors, the tens of thousands of Californians who are fleeing this state, and the hundreds of thousands of unemployed Californians still seeking assistance. Enough is enough; this unilateral control needs to come to an end!”

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2 thoughts on “Sen. Melendez Introduces Bills to Protect Small Biz from Malicious COVID-19 Fines

  1. We were cited by the Health Dept $100 for leaving chairs out on patio, so people could wait for takeout !
    No service was provided for the customer at the table!
    We are completely CDC social distanced!
    He was very rude to my staff and threatened larger fine next time!
    This is so unfair for small businesses that are trying to stay afloat, we are not criminals, we just want to provide jobs for our employees and pay our bills and taxes!!!

    1. May I see a website of your restaurant please? Where are you located? Does Sean Hannity know about you? He promotes restaurants like yours.

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