Gavin Newson’s California Business Closures Are ‘Autocratic, One-Man Rule,’ Argues New Lawsuit
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ability to dictate the conditions of reopening California’s economy is being challenged in a new lawsuit by small business owners who claim that the governor’s pandemic restrictions have endangered their livelihoods—as well as representative government in the state.
“We’ve been shut down since mid-March and that’s been completely devastating,” says Daryn Coleman, owner of Ghost Golf, who is currently suing Newsom. “I have bills racking up. I have balances building on everything.”
Coleman’s business, a ghost-themed miniature golf and family entertainment center in Fresno, California, was forced to close, alongside all other nonessential businesses in mid-March, when Newsom first issued his emergency declaration.
Since then, he’s been at the mercy of reopening conditions set by the governor and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), which has kept Ghost Golf closed but for a few days in early June.
The state’s latest reopening criteria don’t give Coleman much hope of being able to open his doors again soon, let alone turn a profit.
The state’s latest Blueprint for a Safer Economy places counties in one of four color-coded tiers based on their number of new cases (case rate), and percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive (positivity rate). The higher a county’s case and positivity rates are, the fewer businesses and social activities are permitted.
Fresno County is in the second-most-restrictive purple tier. That means Coleman’s Ghost Golf, like all amusement parks in the county, is closed. Gyms, dance studios, and aquariums can open at limited capacity and under certain conditions.
Coleman will have to wait until his county
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