Local legislators recently introduced a resolution in the state Assembly calling for an end to the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, primarily its tiered system under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework, and a return to local control on how best to respond to the ongoing pandemic.
Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) introduced the resolution (Assembly Concurrent Resolution 46) last week that, if approved, would end the statewide emergency pertaining to COVID-19, which was proclaimed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 4, 2020. Ending the state of emergency would also terminate emergency powers granted to the governor under the proclamation.
“The resolution is asking for local control to be restored. We are saying, once and for all, let’s end this emergency, lift the blueprint framework and allow for a restoration of representative government,” Gallagher said. “…Each county could respond to the pandemic and put in place different measures consistent with what they are seeing on the ground.”
Gallagher said the blueprint framework hasn’t been effective, with California ranked in the middle of the pack when it comes to COVID-19 death rates in the United States. Compared to Florida and Texas — two states that had less restrictive measures in place — California only fared slightly better, he said. He also said the state ranked near the bottom in terms of excess death rate — how many deaths contributed to COVID-19 occurred in excess to what was initially anticipated by health officials.
“California doesn’t have a great record on that front and yet we had the most significant shutdowns, which had huge impacts on our economy, our kids being out of school and youth sports, and to public health, especially when we look at mental health and suicides,” Gallagher said.
North state representatives have been urging the state to end its COVID-19 restrictions for months, with more than a dozen counties either passing or expressing support for a “Healthy Communities Resolution,” which advocates for the end of the blueprint framework. ACR-46 was introduced on March 15. Gallagher said it will go before the Assembly Rules Committee before it can be referred to another committee or sent to the floor for a vote.
“We are pushing on all fronts for our local governments,” Gallagher said. “We are doing everything we can to push back against this governor’s misguided policy and one-man rule.”
The governor’s press office did not respond for comment.