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CA lawmakers push to resume in-person dining

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — A group of bipartisan California state senators are urging the governor to reconsider stay-at-home order rules for restaurants to allow them to resume in person dining.

This comes as the governor faces several lawsuits over California’s regional stay-at-home order rules that shut down restaurants in most of the state.

As the ban on in person dining continues across most of California, some state lawmakers are stepping in.

“So vital to our communities, to our families, to our economy,” State Senator Patricia Bates said. “So why not give them a path that they can meet on safety protocols? So they are in conversation with the governor apparently.”

State Senator Patricia Bates wrote a letter to Governor Newsom’s administration, requesting it reclassify restaurants as critical infrastructure to allow them to once again provide in person dining.

A bipartisan group of 11 senators signed on to support the effort, including Democratic Senator Melissa Hurtado.

“We want to be science and data driven and we want to see the data,” Hurtado said. “Until we see the data, then we’ll do otherwise but for now we have to be focused on being solution driven.”

This effort comes as Governor Newsom faces lawsuits up and down the state over his regional stay-at-home order rules which shut down many businesses in areas with less than 15% of its ICU capacity available. But a judge’s decision in San Diego this week prompted county leaders there to stop enforcing the rule for restaurants.

“I believe this is just the beginning of something that will perhaps sweep through the courts, I know it’s on appeal,” Bates said.

“We need to find a balance,” Hurtado said. “We need to stop making it political from one side or the other.”

State health leaders have defended the orders as California continues to see a record amount of daily reported COVID-19 cases and deaths.

California’s overall available ICU capacity dwindled to just 3% as of Thursday.

State leaders say they’re reviewing the senator’s request.

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