Democrats Decide Not to Strip California Governor of Emergency Powers

Democrats Decide Not to Strip California Governor of Emergency Powers

( – The COVID-19 pandemic caused leaders in every state to take emergency action and empower themselves to better equip their constituents. Many governors have since disbanded their emergency powers as COVID-19 cases continue to decline. Meanwhile, others aren’t letting their powers go. Lawmakers in California just voted to allow the governor to keep his unprecedented power.

Is It Time?

California Governor Gavin Newsom bestowed emergency powers upon himself on March 4, 2020, in response to the ever-growing threat of COVID-19. Admittedly, these emergency powers helped governors across the nation combat the infectious virus. But with cases declining, they don’t really need these anymore, which is the point California State Senator Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) was trying to make during a state Senate committee meeting.

Newsom, just a month before the meeting, detailed the state’s endemic plan preparing for what COVID-19 may have in store for the future. The main focus was attention to surveillance testing and vaccines. During the Senate Committee on Governmental Organization (SCGO) meeting, Sen. Melendez argued that with the number of COVID-19 cases decreasing, there is no longer any need for Newsom to continue to possess emergency powers.

Melendez noted how the governor has already begun disbanding mandates, claiming that should serve as an indication he no longer needs as much authority. The Republican added that if the Golden State were really in a better position to handle future COVID-19 complications, then Governor Newsom should allow local governments and municipalities to take control.

Not Enough

With a small number of residents calling in to support the resolution and no support from Democrats, Melendez’s proposal crashed and burned. The SCGO voted 8-4 in favor of allowing Newsom to keep his emergency powers. The vote landed among party lines, with all four of the committee’s Republican members voting to strip Newsom of his emergency powers.

While some residents did voice their support of Melendez’s proposal, many businesses, organizations, and members of the community asserted their belief that Newsom should keep his power. Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), the committee’s chairman, noted that while cases are declining, it’s important that Newsom keeps his powers to ensure California can quickly and decisively act in response to future COVID-19 problems. The committee chairman also noted that he believes Newsom got his COVID-19 response right and continues to do so.

Melendez expressed her disapproval of her Democrat colleagues failing to stand up to Newsom, claiming they lacked the courage to end the state of emergency. She noted that California will once again lead from behind.

What the Future Could Hold

The authority governors gave themselves through declaring a state of emergency is unprecedented and shouldn’t be in their possession for an unlimited amount of time. Without limits, they could essentially run their states like dictatorships, where everything they say goes. Imagine the future for California if COVID-19 does surge again; there will be mandates, lockdowns, and restrictions, just like when Newsom initially got these powers.

Does the governor really need to be in possession of that kind of power right now? Why won’t Democrats stand up and do what’s right?

~Here’s to Your Prosperity!

Copyright 2022,