California Governor Newsom enacted the bill entitled “AB-262 Local health officers: communicable diseases” on October 12, 2019, only a few weeks before Covid-19 cases appeared in China. This bill gives the governor the ability to require local health officers to issue orders, bypassing local officials.
Below is a excerpt from the bill stating that the bill would create a state-mandated local program than imposes requirements on local health officials. My understanding is that this bill allows the Governor to dictate health orders via local health officers with no possibility of local officials overruling the requirements. In turn the health officers are required to give orders to local agencies, such as law enforcement.
The bill would authorize the local health ofﬁcer to issue orders to other governmental entities within the local health ofﬁcer’s jurisdiction to take any action the local health ofﬁcer deems necessary to control the spread of the communicable disease. By imposing new requirements on local health ofﬁcers, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.
You can read the text of the bill below.
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