FRESNO – Following the release of Governor Newsom’s four-staged plan of phased reopening, Senator Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) requested that he include restaurants in the next phase of reopening. Outlined in the letter sent to the Governor are the following:
- Provide local restaurants and leaders with a detailed, data-based timeline on phased reopening;
- Allow local health departments to tailor guidelines and requirements, consistent with state health protocols, to protect the public;
- Grant legal immunity against COVID-19 related litigation to restaurants under the Emergency Services Act; and
- Place the annual minimum wage increases on pause until restaurants mitigate the economic damage.
“Local restaurants and food service workers are an essential part of our economy,” said Senator Borgeas. “We must acknowledge the truly remarkable and selfless ways businesses and their employees have stepped up to serve our communities during this crisis. Businesses should not be penalized as they attempt to assist and serve Californians.”
“As a restaurant owner, I can attest to the struggles restaurants are going through during this time,” said Mike Shirinian, owner of The Elbow Room Bar & Grill in Fresno. “I appreciate Senator Borgeas advocating on behalf of the food service industry. Without these protections, many restaurants most certainly will have to close their doors.”
The letter, sent to Governor Newsom on Wednesday, also stated, “Legal and regulatory impediments must be alleviated as California businesses and our economy should avoid further damage. This guidance will build upon already established practices of the restaurant industry and can serve as a template for other industries.”
The letter was signed by Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) and Senators Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), Brian Jones (R-Santee), John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), and Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga).