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SB County seeks local control of COVID-19 regulations

San Bernardino County has asked the state Supreme Court to rule that the state’s stay-at-home orders violate the California Emergency Services Act.

County officials are asking permission to “exercise local control” in dealing with COVID-19, rather than be restrained by the state’s “regional approach” to battling the pandemic, according to a statement posted on the county’s website.

The state is treating San Bernardino County the same as Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego counties, each of which is “significantly different” from San Bernardino County, the statement reads.

“The governor is not permitted to act as both the executive and legislative branch for nine months under the California Emergency Services Act,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman in the statement. “If it is concluded that the act allows him to do so, the act is unconstitutional as it permits the delegation of the legislature’s powers to the executive branch in violation of the California Constitution.”

The county believes its size and diversity should allow for fewer restrictions in communities with fewer instances of COVID-19.

San Bernardino County seeks “to tailor regulations and orders which are specific to its residents based on facts which are unique to their locations, rather than subject its residents to over-broad multi-county, governor-implemented, regionalized lockdowns,” the statement reads.

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