SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — Several California representatives, including Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove, have sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom urging him to reclassify restaurants as "critical infrastructure" amid the pandemic.
"Many restaurants have gone out of business," the letter states. "With the approach of winter and new guidelines that restrict indoor dining, many others will be forced to consider a similar choice."
According to the letter, in 2019, more than 1.8 million jobs were attributed to the restaurant and food service industry in California. The letter states that this equates to approximately 11% of employment in the state.
"Restaurants are active participants in local neighborhoods, providing meals to senior citizens and working with food banks to feed families struggling to put food on their tables," the letter states.
The letter continues to say that California's food industry has proposed guidelines that would allow restaurants to operate safely and stay afloat, while at the same time addressing the challenges inherent with indoor restaurant operations.
At least 19 Kern County restaurants claim to be filing a lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom, calling his latest restrictions on the restaurant industry unconstitutional, according to the Law Offices of Thomas Anton and Associates.
"There's no question about it, he has substantial emergency powers but they have to be within reason," said Thomas Anton, the attorney representing the local restaurants.
According to Anton, the constant changes to the state's rules are another reason the restaurants are filing suit.
As of Monday, the lawsuit has not yet been filed.
Below is the Full Letter Sent by Senator Grove: