Archive for the ‘State of California’ Category

Newsom, state leaders agree to reopen schools by end of month, offer incentives, penalties

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

Governor, Senate Pro Tem Atkins and Assembly Speaker Rendon highlight new $6.6 billion package to reopen schools and deepen student supports

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon today highlighted an agreement on a $6.6 billion budget package to accelerate the safe return to in-person instruction across California and empower schools to immediately expand academic, mental health and social-emotional supports, including over the summer.

“Since the height of the winter surge, we have successfully shifted the conversation from whether to reopen schools to when,” said Governor Newsom. “Now, our collective charge is to build on that momentum and local leadership, and – just as critically – do whatever it takes to meet the mental health and academic needs of our students, including over the summer.”

The Governor was joined by Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and other legislative leaders at Franklin Elementary School in the Elk Grove Unified School District. The state’s fifth largest public school district was among the first to close for in-person instruction last year. Last week, based on deep partnership between school staff and leaders, the district announced plans to reopen grades K-6 in mid-March and grades 7-12 in early April.

Elk Grove Unified and public schools throughout the state will be allocated $6.6 billion under the proposed budget package. $2 billion would fund safety measures to support in-person instruction, such as personal protective equipment, ventilation upgrades and COVID-19 testing. $4.6 billion would fund expanded learning opportunities, such as summer school, tutoring and mental health services. Together, the funds empower schools to develop and execute comprehensive strategies to both reopen and expand programs to address the social-emotional, mental health and academic needs of students.

All public schools would be required to offer in-person instruction to grades K-2 for all students and for high-needs students in all grades by the end of the month, losing 1 percent of eligible funds every day thereafter if they do not. Schools in the state’s Red Tier or better would be required to offer in-person instruction to all students in all elementary grades and at least one middle or high school grade, or risk the same penalty. Together, these requirements help ensure schools begin to reopen as soon as possible, in order to build trust and confidence to continue phased reopenings.

As students return to in-person instruction, all public schools would also be empowered to meet the needs of the whole child. The Expanded Learning Opportunities Grants allocate $4.6 billion to local educational agencies based on the equity-based Local Control Funding Formula, with an additional $1,000 for each homeless student. These funds would be for supplemental instruction and support for social and emotional well-being. Schools would be able to use the funds for providing more instructional time, such as summer school, and accelerating progress to close learning gaps through tutoring, learning recovery programs, mental health services, access to school meal programs, programs to address pupil trauma and social-emotional learning, supports for credit-deficient students and more.

The package would also codify multiple successful state programs to support safe school reopenings:

  • Vaccine Prioritization for K-12 School Staff. The package codifies the Governor’s commitment to set aside 10 percent of vaccines for education workers. This commitment ensures that the state prioritization of school staff, in place since January, is made real in all 58 counties. Since the Governor’s announcement two weeks ago, the state has collaborated with county health departments, the Biden Administration and providers such as Kaiser Permanente to accelerate vaccine access for K-12 school staff starting March 1.
  • Data Reporting. The package codifies data reporting requirements, including requirements for schools to report reopening status and COVID-19 safety measures. These statutory requirements will help build on efforts to increase transparency, including interactive geospatial maps displayed on the Safe Schools Hub.
  • State Safe Schools Team. The package also allocates $25 million to the State Safe Schools Team, which serves to provide technical assistance, oversight and accountability to the over 10,000 public schools in the state. The capacity will enhance the Team’s reach, and the Team will conduct a safety review of any school with two or more COVID-19 outbreaks.

The budget package is the result of months of work by the Governor’s Office, Senate and Assembly. The Governor, Senate Pro Tem Atkins and Assembly Speaker Rendon also thanked Senators Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) and Connie Leyva (D-Chino), along with Assemblymembers Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) and Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) for their tireless work and leadership on this effort.

The state’s efforts to accelerate safe school reopenings to date include delivery of three months of PPE and safety supplies to all schools at no cost, direct support to over 1,000 schools in 41 counties to implement COVID-19 testing and direct technical assistance to over 300 school districts.

For more information, please visit: https://schools.covid19.ca.gov/.

 

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Contra Costa DA Becton supports California Supreme Court decision to prevent minors from being tried as adults

Friday, February 26th, 2021

By Allen Payton

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton issued a statement regarding Thursday’s California Supreme Court decision to uphold the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1391 (Lara).

Proposition 57, passed in the November 2016 general election, requires prosecutors to commence all cases involving a minor in juvenile court. Senate Bill No. 1391 enacted in 2018, amended Proposition 57 to prohibit minors under the age of 16 from being transferred to adult criminal court.

In the case of O.G. v. The Superior Court of Ventura County, the Court of Appeal held that Senate Bill 1391 is inconsistent with Proposition 57 and thus invalid. The state Supreme Court overruled the lower court’s decision.

“We agree with the majority view that Senate Bill 1391 was a permissible amendment to Proposition 57 and we reverse the judgment in this case,” the decision reads.

“Today’s unanimous decision by the Supreme Court is an important moment for the criminal justice system to give children a chance at rehabilitation for crimes they committed during their youth,” said Becton. “I have always believed this law was constitutional and should be followed. Our local judges in Contra Costa County have also agreed with me.”

“The juvenile justice system currently is not working,” she continued. “I established a task force to examine how to reform our juvenile justice system. We must think differently on how we treat children and ensure we strategically allocate resources to focus on prevention and rehabilitation efforts.”

The full Supreme Court decision is available here.

Scott Alonso, PIO, CCCDA contributed to this report.

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CA Legislative Black Caucus endorses Contra Costa DA Becton as next state Attorney General

Thursday, January 21st, 2021

To replace Xavier Becerra who was nominated as HHS Secretary in Biden Administration

Sacramento – The California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) announced, today that it unanimously endorses and supports Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton to serve as the next Attorney General of California. If appointed by Gov. Newsom, she would replace Attorney General Xavier Becerra who was nominated by President Joe Biden to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he will step down from his position creating the vacancy.

The CLBC issued the following statement about their endorsement:

“District Attorney Becton is a well-respected jurist and litigator with an exceptional statewide and national reputation among her colleagues, California’s law enforcement, and social justice communities. She is an experienced executive leader of large organizations, a strong supporter of progressive policies aligned with CLBC priorities, and has a track record of working with California’s diverse communities. In addition to her demeanor as a fighter for the people, District Attorney Becton has profound and abiding integrity. These unique qualities and experiences make her the best candidate for appointment as our state’s next Attorney General.

Diversity in our leaders is core to who we are in California. District Attorney Becton is the only African American woman serving as district attorney in the state of California, and we would all benefit from her variety in experience and perspective. Given her experiences, education and collegial connections, as well as her track record supporting progressive policies, District Attorney Becton is the transformative candidate for these turbulent times.

Without hesitation and with our highest recommendation, we respectfully urge Governor Gavin Newsom to appoint Diana Becton to serve as the next Attorney General of California.”

In response, Becton wrote, “It is an honor to be endorsed by the California Legislative Black Caucus. The Attorney General is one of the most important leadership positions of our democracy in California. As the leading lawyer for the state, the Attorney General should be experienced with the administration of justice, management of a large administration, and have experience with the implementation of criminal justice reforms. The responsibility also includes protecting the rights of victims, and other fundamental interests, as a champion of justice for the people.”

“Our next Attorney General’s upcoming appointment will be a monumental decision to advance reform and establish trust and transparency in our criminal justice system,” she continued. “We are in a fragile time in our democracy, and we must restore the faith of the people and protect the rights of all communities.”

“As a woman of color, I have broken many barriers during my career as a public servant,” Becton shared. “I have been recognized for my 30 years of experience administering justice, managing large departments, and implementing criminal justice reform that advances transparency and accountability to our criminal justice system.

“I clearly see the opportunities to partner with Governor Newsom to protect the rights of all communities,” she added.

Appointments of statewide officers require approval by vote of the California Legislature.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

 

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Bay Area Stay-At-Home order extended indefinitely

Saturday, January 9th, 2021

From www.cdph.ca.gov.

  • Until a region’s four-week ICU projection shows a capacity of greater than or equal to 15%

  • The extended order, directs residents to stay at home except for work, shopping or other essential activities, such as medical appointments. Gov. recommends no non-essential travel more than 120 miles from home.

  • Latest total numbers for Contra Costa County: 46,618 cases, 389 deaths

In announcing the most recent statistics on COVID-19, including data on intensive care unit (ICU) capacity across the state, today, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) extended the Stay-At-Home order indefinitely. That’s based on the latest ICU data showing 3.0% of current available ICU capacity.

Once a region’s four-week ICU projection shows a capacity of greater than or equal to 15%, the order will be lifted for that area. The state will assess the region’s ICU projections in the coming days and announce a formal decision on whether Bay Area meets criteria to exit the order.

Current Available ICU Capacity by Region

  • Bay Area: 3.0%
  • Greater Sacramento: 6.4%
  • Northern California: 27.5%
  • San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%
  • Southern California: 0.0%

* Today’s current available ICU capacity is based on numbers reported as of January 8, 2021.

Current Status of Regional Stay at Home Order in Affected Regions

  • Bay Area: Remains under order; The region’s four-week ICU projections will be assessed in the coming days.
  • San Joaquin Valley: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.
  • Southern California: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.
  • Greater Sacramento: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.

ICU capacity projections for regions that are eligible to exit the order are calculated daily based on four factors: current estimated regional ICU capacity available, measure of current community transmission, current regional case rates and the proportion of ICU cases being admitted. Decreasing community transmission and increasing the health system capacity can help a region’s projected ICU capacity so they can exit the order. Read the full Regional Stay Home OrderSupplement to the Order, and frequently asked questions.

Due to high rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations impacting the health care system, California is also under a Limited Stay at Home Order. The order applies to all counties that are currently under the Regional Stay at Home Order and those in Tier One (Purple) of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The Limited Stay at Home Order will expire after the Regional Stay At Home Order has been terminated in all regions of the state.

Hospital Surge Order

On January 5, CDPH issued a public health order to reduce pressure on strained hospital systems. To preserve services for the sickest patients, the hospital surge order requires some non-essential and non-life-threatening surgeries to be delayed in counties with 10% or less of ICU capacity under the Regional Stay at Home Order where the regional ICU capacity is at 0%. Examples of procedures that may be delayed include carpal tunnel release and non-urgent spine surgeries. Surgeries for patients who have serious and urgent medical conditions will continue. Examples of procedures that will continue include serious cancer removal and necessary heart surgeries. The order will remain in effect for at least three weeks and will continue until rescinded.

The order requires hospitals statewide to accept patient transfers from facilities that have implemented contingency or crisis care guidelines as long as those transfers can be done capably and safely. On December 28, 2020 CDPH provided guidance to health care facilities on implementing the Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines issued in June 2020.

Counties Currently Impacted by the Hospital Surge Order:

San Joaquin Valley: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus

Southern California: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura

Statewide COVID-19 Data as of Today

  • California has 2,621,277 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
  • There were 52,636 newly recorded confirmed cases Friday.
  • The 7-day positivity rate is 14.0% and the 14-day positivity rate is 14.0%.
  • There have been 35,353,748 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 326,418 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
  • As case numbers continue to rise in California, the total number of individuals who will have serious outcomes will also increase. There have been 29,233 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • As of January 9, a total of 734,405 vaccine doses have been administered statewide. As of January 8, a total of 2,060,800 vaccine doses, which includes the first and second dose, have been shipped to local health departments and health care systems that have facilities in multiple counties.

Tracking COVID-19 in California

State Dashboard – Daily COVID-19 data
County Map – Local data, including tier status and ICU capacity
Data and Tools – Models and dashboards for researchers, scientists and the public
Blueprint for a Safer Economy – Data for establishing tier status

ADDITIONAL DATA & UPDATES

Updated Travel Advisory

CDPH has issued an updated travel advisory. Except in connection with essential travel, Californians should avoid non-essential travel to any part of California more than 120 miles from one’s place of residence, or to other states or countries. Avoiding travel reduces the risk of virus transmission, including by reducing the risk that new sources of infection and, potentially, new virus strains will be introduced to California. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Non-essential travelers from other states or countries are strongly discouraged from entering California and should adhere to the state’s self-quarantine procedures for 10 days

Safe Schools for All Plan

Governor Newsom released his California’s Safe Schools for All plan, California’s framework to support schools to continue operating safely in person and to expand the number of schools safely resuming in-person instruction.

Vaccinate All 58

The COVID-19 vaccination is one of the most important tools to end the pandemic. California will distribute a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine in a fair way to everyone who wants it in all 58 counties. Visit the Vaccinate All 58 webpage.

Health Care Workers

As of January 8, local health departments have reported 74,589 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 281 deaths statewide.

Health Equity

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing inequities in health that are the result of structural racism and poverty, and the disproportionate prevalence of underlying conditions such as asthma and heart disease among Latinos and African Americans. California is committed to understanding these inequities to help ensure the best health outcomes for all Californians. View COVID-19 Race & Ethnicity Data and Cases and Deaths by Age Group. Visit the new Health Equity Dashboard.

Testing Turnaround Time

The testing turnaround time dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. During the week of December 27 to January 2, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.4 days. During this same time period, 60% of patients received test results in one day and 87% received them within two days.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

As of January 4, 161 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) have been reported statewide. MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life threatening.

Your Actions Save Lives

Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), call your health care provider.
  • If you believe you have been exposed, get tested. Free, confidential testing is available statewide.
  • Stay home except for essential activities and follow local public health guidance.
  • Keep interactions to people who live in your household.
  • Wear a cloth face mask when out in public.
  • Avoid non-essential travel and stay close to home; self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival if you leave the state.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work, school or other people if you feel ill.
  • Add your phone to the fight by signing up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.
  • Answer the call if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or local health department tries to connect.
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U.S. Supreme Court sides with California church overturns Newsom’s ban on indoor services, Bible studies

Friday, December 4th, 2020

Pastor Ché Ahn speaks at Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California in 2019 (left) and on Feb. 28, 2020. Photos: Harvest Rock Church Facebook page.

“This order frees up churches in all of California to have indoor services, again.” – Liberty Counsel

By Allen Payton

In the lawsuit by Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry against Governor Gavin Newsom over his ban on all worship services and Bible studies in California, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, yesterday, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, in favor of the church. The decision vacates the September 2 order by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and directs that court to the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 decision in favor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn in their lawsuit against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted cert and vacated the lower court orders involving the emergency petition of Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry. The Court stated in its order:

“The application for injunctive relief, presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court, is treated as a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment, and the petition is granted. The September 2 order of the United States District Court for the Central District of California is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit with instructions to remand to the District Court for further consideration in light of Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, 592 U. S. ___ (2020).”

Tuesday, Liberty Counsel filed the final reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding its request for an injunction pending appeal in the churches’ federal lawsuit against California Governor Gavin Newsom’s unconstitutional worship ban and discriminatory treatment. The emergency petition also requested the extraordinary relief that the Court alternatively consider it as a petition for writ of cert before judgment. Today, the Supreme Court granted the petition, vacated the lower court orders, and remanded the case for further consideration in light of its ruling last week that granted an injunction pending appeal for churches and synagogues in New York.

According to the complaint by the church and ministry, referred to as the plaintiffs, “On July 17, 2020, Plaintiffs filed their complaint against Defendant California Governor Gavin Newsom. (“Complaint,” Dkt. No. 1.) The Complaint alleges six causes of action: (1) Violation of Free Exercise Clause of First Amendment to U.S. Constitution; (2) Violation of First Amendment Freedom of Assembly Clause; (3) Violation of Free Speech Clause of First Amendment to U.S. Constitution; (4) Violation of Establishment Clause of First Amendment to U.S. Constitution; (5) Violation of Equal Protection Clause of Fourteenth Amendment to U.S. Constitution; and (6) Violation of the Guarantee Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”

Then, “On July 18, 2020, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.”

According to Liberty Counsel, the firm representing the church and ministry, they then appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding Governor Gavin Newsom’s unconstitutional orders. The governor’s orders prohibit all indoor worship, including home Bible studies and fellowship with anyone who does not live in the home. Yet, Gov. Newsom continues to encourage mass gatherings of protestors throughout the state.

Following the argument on August 12, Judge Jesus G. Bernal orally denied the request for a preliminary injunction. However, he waited until September 2 to release the written order. The appeal was filed, but it could not be effective until a written order was issued.

Once the order had been issued, the appeal was able to proceed. Liberty Counsel also filed for an injunction pending appeal. That is what the Supreme Court granted.

Background

On August 13, the Pasadena Assistant Prosecutor in the Criminal Division sent Harvest Rock Church and Pastor Che’ Ahn a letter demanding that all, indoor, in-person worship services cease. The letter threatens daily criminal charges and fines to Pastor Ahn, the church, staff, and parishioners. The letter states that each criminal charge is punishable by up to one year in prison.”

The lawsuit challenges both the total ban on indoor, in-person worship (including in private homes) in the counties on the “County Monitoring List,” and the ban on singing and chanting in the remaining counties. In addition to in-person worship at Harvest Rock Church, the church also has many “Life Groups,” which are home Bible studies and fellowship groups. These too are prohibited under Gov. Newsom’s July 6 (no singing and chanting) and July 13 (no worship) orders. Yet while he discriminates against churches, home Bible studies and fellowship meetings, the governor continues to encourage thousands of protestors to gather throughout the state. Like Gov. Newsom, Pasadena has allowed hundreds and thousands of protestors. Neither the Pasadena Public Health Department nor the Pasadena Prosecutor have attempted to stop the protests in which people are crowded together, many of them not wearing masks.

In Governor Newsom’s response to the motion for the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, he argues that churches are not “essential.” Regarding feeding, counseling and housing people in the same building where worship services occur, Newsom argues that only the worship services should be prohibited while the other non-religious services should be allowed.

Concerning home Bible studies, Newsom argues that he has authority to prohibit home fellowship groups. As to protests, Newsom publicly encourages them, saying “God bless you. Keep doing it.”

The restrictions against places of worship in California are more severe than those in New York. Governor Gavin Newsom’s orders ban all indoor, in-person worship for 99.1 percent of Californians.

Harvest Rock Church has multiple campuses in California, including in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Irvine and Corona. Harvest International Ministries (HIM) has 162 member churches throughout the state. Irreparable harm is being suffered every day as the churches remain subject to the unconstitutional restrictions, coupled with daily criminal threats, fines, and closure.

The Code Enforcement Division for the City of Pasadena and the Criminal Prosecutor have threatened criminal charges, fines, and closure for being open for worship against the governor’s orders and local health orders. The letters threaten up to one year in prison, daily criminal charges and $1,000 fines against the pastors, staff, and parishioners.

The discrimination has become more obvious and severe in Gov. Newsom’s new “Blueprint” issued on August 28, 2020, which established a system of four Tiers. The “Blueprint” discriminates against religious meetings in churches and places of worship in every Tier. The chart attached to the petition makes this discrimination very clear. For example, the consequence of the sea of purple in the “color-coded executive edict” is that indoor worship services are completely prohibited for 99.1 percent of Californians, including most of Harvest Rock and HIM churches. However, warehouses, big box centers, shopping malls, liquors stores, family entertainment and destination centers, gyms, fitness centers, and museums receive preferential treatment with either no capacity limits or no numerical limits.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court provides great relief for churches and places of worship. The handwriting is now on the wall. The final days of Governor Gavin Newsom’s ‘color-coded executive edicts’ banning worship are numbered and coming to an end. It is past time to end these unconstitutional restrictions on places of worship.”

This order frees up churches in all of California to have indoor services, again.

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Newsom: more restrictions for Bay Area counties in December based on hospital ICU bed availability

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020

Screenshot of Gov. Newsom’s press conference announcing the Regional Stay-At-Home order on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020.

Hair salons, barber shops, personal services, bars, wineries will be closed temporarily

All non-essential travel temporarily restricted statewide

By Allen Payton

Governor Gavin Newsom announced, during a press conference, Thursday a more restrictive Stay-At-Home order on a regional basis in the state based on hospital intensive care unit (ICU) bed space when it falls below 15 percent. In the nine Bay Area counties, including Contra Costa, the new restrictions are expected in mid-to-late December. The restrictions in the other four regions, Northern California, Greater Sacramento, the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California, are expected to go into effect sooner.

Regions where the ICU capacity falls below 15% will be placed into this Stay-At-Home order for three weeks.

Newsom said “California is pulling an emergency break” and his order directs Californians to “stop gathering with those outside your household” and “Keep it outside and keep your mask on.”

Sectors that will be temporarily closed when a region is placed into the Stay-At-Home include bars, wineries, personal services, hair salons and barber shops. Sectors that will remain open include schools that have received a waiver, critical infrastructure, retail (20% capacity to reduce exposure), and restaurants for take-out and delivery.

All non-essential travel is temporarily restricted statewide, as well, Newsom said.

“The bottom line is if we don’t act now our hospital system will be overwhelmed,” Newsom said. “If we don’t act now, we will continue to see a death rate climb.”

However, the governor encouraged residents to get outdoors and exercise to offset “the mental distress we’re under.”

“This is not a permanent state,” Newsom said to reassure residents. “We had predicted the final surge in the pandemic. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. We are a few months away from truly seeing real progress with the vaccine. We do not anticipate having to do this, once again. But we really all need to step up…and we need to do everything we can to stem the tide, to bend the curve, to give us the time…to get those vaccines in the hands of all Californians across the state.”

 

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Gov. Newsom issues statewide curfew beginning Saturday, Nov. 21 to slow spread of COVID-19

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

For counties in Purple Tier like Contra Costa, non-essential businesses and personal gatherings are prohibited between 10 PM and 5 AM

Unless you’re eating dinner with the governor at a fancy restaurant. Just kidding! – The Herald

SACRAMENTO – In light of an unprecedented, rapid rise in COVID-19 cases across California, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today announced a limited Stay at Home Order requiring generally that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 PM and 5 AM in counties in the purple tier. The order will take effect at 10 PM Saturday, November 21 and remain in effect until 5 AM December 21. This is the same as the March Stay at Home Order, but applied only between 10 PM and 5 AM and only in purple tier counties that are seeing the highest rates of positive cases and hospitalizations.

“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” said Governor Newsom. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”

This limited Stay at Home Order is designed to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. Activities conducted during 10 PM to 5 AM are often non-essential and more likely related to social activities and gatherings that have a higher likelihood of leading to reduced inhibition and reduced likelihood for adherence to safety measures like wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distance.

“We know from our stay at home order this spring, which flattened the curve in California, that reducing the movement and mixing of individuals dramatically decreases COVID-19 spread, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “We may need to take more stringent actions if we are unable to flatten the curve quickly. Taking these hard, temporary actions now could help prevent future shutdowns.”

“We are asking Californians to change their personal behaviors to stop the surge. We must be strong together and make tough decisions to stay socially connected but physically distanced during this critical time. Letting our guard down could put thousands of lives in danger and cripple our health care system,” said Dr. Erica Pan, the state’s acting Public Health Officer. “It is especially important that we band together to protect those most vulnerable around us as well as essential workers who are continuing their critical work amidst this next wave of widespread community transmission across the state. Together we prevented a public health crisis in the spring and together we can do it again.”

COVID-19 case rates increased by approximately 50 percent in California during the first week of November. As a result, Governor Newsom and California’s public health officials have announced a list of measures to protect Californians and the state’s health care system, which could experience an unprecedented surge if cases continue their steep climb.

On Monday, the state pulled an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy putting more than 94 percent of California’s population in the most restrictive tier. The state will reassess data continuously and move more counties back into a more restrictive tier, if necessary. California is also strengthening its face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside their home, with limited exceptions.

Late last week, the state issued a travel advisory, along with Oregon and Washington, urging people entering the state or returning home from travel outside the state to self-quarantine to slow the spread of the virus. The travel advisory urges against non-essential out-of-state travel, asks people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country, and encourages residents to stay local.

 

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Governor Newsom signs bills ending police chokeholds, implementing other reforms

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

Main graphic by Carotid Restraint Training Institute.

Requiring independent investigations of officer-involved shootings; reforming juvenile justice and probation systems to aid in rehabilitation and reentry

SACRAMENTO – In the wake of nationwide demonstrations against structural racism and systemic injustice, Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed a series of bills into law initiating critical criminal justice, juvenile justice and policing reforms in California. Delivering on his promise this summer to sign a bill ending the use of the carotid restraint, Governor Newsom signed AB 1196 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) which bans the practice statewide. The maneuver known as a chokehold, was banned by District Attorney Diana Becton for her Investigative Unit in June. (See related article).

Newsom also signed AB 1506 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) requiring the California Attorney General to conduct investigations into officer-involved shootings of unarmed individuals that result in death. He also took action on legislation that reforms the juvenile justice system to put more emphasis on rehabilitation and education, as well as creating a more just probation system.

“Americans across the country took to the streets this summer rightfully demanding more and better of our criminal justice system – and of ourselves,” said Governor Newsom. “We heard those calls for action loud and clear and today are advancing reforms to improve policing practices by ending the carotid hold and requiring independent investigations in officer-involved shootings. We are also taking important steps to break the school-to-prison pipeline. Still, we can and must do more. Working with our youth, faith and community leaders, law enforcement, the Legislature and countless others demanding change, my Administration remains committed to the important work ahead to make our criminal and juvenile justice systems fairer and safer for all Californians.”

Today’s action builds on Governor Newsom’s record enacting major change on criminal justice reform during his first years in office – from enacting one of the nation’s strongest police use-of-force standards, to putting a moratorium on the death penalty and shutting down California’s execution chamber, to closing prisons. The Administration will continue to work with the Legislature on additional reforms, including efforts to increase transparency in peace officer records and broader decertification measures to create accountability for officers with a history of misconduct.

Governor Newsom also took action today on important juvenile justice reforms. Building on the Governor’s commitment to end juvenile imprisonment as we know it, he signed several bills to support young people coming out of the criminal justice system and to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. SB 823 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review takes the first, formal step of closing the Division of Juvenile Justice, which will help to provide youth rehabilitative services closer to home.

Other bills the Governor signed today that support youth include AB 901 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson), which will end the practice of referring youth who are having problems at school to probation programs. Additionally, SB 203 by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) requires that children under age 17 have an opportunity to consult with legal counsel before interrogation, and SB 1290 by Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) will cancel certain fees assessed on juvenile offenders and their families.

Finally, Governor Newsom signed AB 1950 by Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles), which caps probation terms to a maximum of one year for misdemeanor offenses and two years for felonies.

Governor Newsom also signed:

  • AB 646 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) – Elections: voter eligibility.
  • AB 732 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) – County jails: prisons: incarcerated pregnant persons.
  • AB 846 by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) – Public employment: public officers or employees declared by law to be peace officers.
  • AB 1304 by Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) – California MAT Re-Entry Incentive Program. A signing message can be found here.
  • AB 1775 by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles) – False reports and harassment.
  • AB 2321 by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles) – Juvenile court records: access.
  • AB 2425 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) – Juvenile police records.
  • AB 2512 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) – Death penalty: person with an intellectual disability.
  • AB 2606 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) – Criminal justice: supervised release file.
  • AB 3043 by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles) – Corrections: confidential calls.
  • AB 3234 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Public Safety. A signing message can be found here.
  • SB 480 by Senator Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera) – Law enforcement uniforms.
  • SB 1126 by Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) – Juvenile court records.
  • SB 1196 by Senator Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) – Price gouging.

 

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