Lawmakers Push Back as Gov. Newsom Expands Executive Orders

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Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced a bleak revised budget reflecting the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. (AGUSTIN PAULLIER/AFP via Getty Images)

Since legislators agreed to give Gov. Gavin Newsom unrestricted access to $1.1 billion from the state’s budget back in mid-March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, some lawmakers have started to question the extent of Newsom’s authority. As the pandemic shows signs of slowing in California, the governor’s recent request for an additional $2.9 billion in emergency COVID-19 funds exempt from normal legislative oversight has led the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office to raise concerns about his use of power. Now, several GOP groups are suing Newsom’s executive order to mail every registered voter in the state a ballot ahead of the November election, claiming it to be an "illegal power grab". In this hour, we talk with experts about the constitutionality of Newsom’s authority during this crisis and how he’s using that authority.


Phil Ting, state assemblymember, 19th Assembly District in San Francisco

Dan Schnur, professor; Annenberg School of Communications at USC and UC Berkeley