California refuses coronavirus aid to 2 cities defying health orders

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is withholding the first installments of federal coronavirus relief aid from two small cities that did not comply with public health orders to shut down certain businesses during the pandemic, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. 

All in all, Atwater was eligible to receive $387,428 in aid and Coalinga was up for $212,358. The director of the California Office of Emergency Services informed the cities last week that the state would not provide the first allocation of that money until they rescinded their resolutions defying the business closures.

That means Atwater stands to lose out on nearly $65,000 and Coalinga more than $35,000 in first installments, according to a breakdown from Associated Press/ABC

The cities of Atwater and Coalinga are the first to face the governor's penalties for defying pandemic public health orders. 

The mayor of Atwater led an effort in May to declare it a "sanctuary city for all businesses," while Coalinga has tried to circumvent state closure orders by declaring every business in the city "essential," the Chronicle reports. 

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