Fury Spreads as Gavin Newsom Extends Emergency Powers for 4 More Months After Being Sued

California Governor Gavin Newsom's decision to extend emergency powers through March has sparked public criticism.

Newsom issued an executive order on Wednesday to extend the state of emergency in California that was first applied in March 2020, citing COVID threats.

The order provides access to emergency resources for state and health authorities, according to the Deadline.

California legislator Kevin Kiley said on Friday on Twitter that the continuous state of emergency "is completely lawless."

His decision to extend emergency powers also sparked criticism on social media.

"There is no data to back this extension. California has one of the lowest infection rates in the country at 0.22 per 100,000. These Emergency powers must be reined in!" one person wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

In a blog post published recently, Kiley accused the governor of "claiming sole authority to control people's lives through a 'state of emergency.'"

A governor's absence is always a matter of public concern. That’s especially true for a governor claiming sole authority to control people's lives through a "State of Emergency."https://t.co/3C8l7J1yG9

— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) November 8, 2021

"That State of Emergency, by the way, just passed the 20-month mark," Kiley wrote in his blog post. "[The] one-man rule continues, and nobody knows where that one man is."

In March, Kiley suggested a resolution to terminate Newsom's emergency powers by using part of the California Emergency Services Act which authorizes the State Legislature to end it. Kiley also sent a letter to the governor in June asking him to justify his decision.

Newsom said in a tweet on Tuesday that COVID cases are rising ahead of the winter months in California.

"COVID cases are beginning to rise -- winter months means people indoors & more possibilities for spread," he said. "The unvaccinated are now almost 7x more likely to get COVID, 10x times more likely to be hospitalized -- and 18x more likely to die."

The governor has been sued multiple times for extending the state of emergency with some critics arguing that he is overusing his authority in this decision.

In August, the Orange County Board of Education said they want to sue Newsom for requiring children to wear face masks in classrooms.

"The Governor and his state-level executive agencies do not have the power to continue the state of emergency indefinitely, and to continue to suspend the Administrative Procedure Act to circumvent normal agency rule-making requirements," the board said in a statement.

In May, California appellate judges upheld Newsom's use of emergency powers after a lower court said that the governor is making pandemic-related decisions solely.

"We conclude the issuance of such orders did not constitute an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power," they said in the ruling, according to CBS 13.

Over 74 percent of California's population have been vaccinated against COVID as of Friday, according to data by the state's health department. The state is also seeing a daily average of 49 COVID deaths and a 2.4 percent test positivity.

Newsweek reached out to Governor Newsom's office for comment.

Fury As Gavin Newsom Extends Emergency Powers
California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an order this week to extend the state of emergency in California, citing COVID threats, sparking public criticism. Above, Newsom speaks during a news conference at Kingston 11 Cuisine on October 8 in Oakland, California. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images