Emergency Powers and the Emergency Services Act

A. Definitions

Section 8558. Degrees of emergency.

Subsection (b) of this section defines Astate of emergency@ to mean conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the state caused by such conditions as air pollution, . . . , sudden and severe energy shortage, . . . , or other conditions, . . . , which conditions, by reason of their magnitude, are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single county or city and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or with respect to regulated energy utilities, a sudden and severe energy shortage requires extraordinary measures beyond the authority vested in the California Public Utilities Commission.

B. General Emergency Authority

Section 8565. Additional powers.

Declares that the Governor has additional powers granted in Article 3 during a state of emergency. Court decisions have given the Governor broad powers to deal with emergency situations.

Section 8566. Expenditures.

Gives the Governor the authority to expend any existing appropriation for the support of the state of emergency.

Section 8645. Expenditures.

From any fund legally available during a state of emergency.

Section 8572. Commandeering private property or personnel.

Authorizes Governor to commandeer or utilize any private property or personnel during a state of emergency if it is deemed necessary to deal with the emergency. The state shall pay the reasonable value for this property or these services.

Section 8629. Termination of state of emergency; proclamation.

States that a state of emergency can be terminated either by the Governor or by concurrent resolution of the Legislature declaring the emergency at an end.

C. Authority to Create, Amend, or Suspend Orders and Regulations

Section 8567. Orders and regulations.

Allows the Governor to make, amend, and rescind orders and regulations during a state of emergency. These orders and regulations should be in writing and shall take effect immediately upon their issuance. However, once the state of emergency is terminated, these orders and regulations will not be in effect. Any orders and regulations relating to the use of funds during a state of emergency shall be prepared in advance of any commitment or expenditures of these funds. This section also exempts these laws from the reviews of regulation regarding necessity, authority, clarity, consistency, reference, and nonduplication (Section 11340).


C. Authority to Create, Amend, or Suspend Orders and Regulations Continued

Section 8571. Suspension of statutes, rules, and regulations.

Allows the Governor to suspend any regulatory statute or statute prescribing the procedure for conduct of state business, or the orders, rules, or regulations of any state agency if it is believed compliance would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the emergency. This includes laws of local governments.

Section 8665. Violations; punishment.

Allows the Governor to establish a fine for not complying with orders during a state of emergency. The fine cannot exceed $1,000 or six months imprisonment.

D. Other Provisions

Section 8614. Assistance to Governor and to Director of Office of Emergency Services (OES); emergency powers subordinate to power of Governor; continuation of ordinances and regulations.

Requires each department, division, bureau, board, commission, officer, and employee of each political subdivision of the state to assist the Governor and the Director of the OES in carrying out all orders during a state of emergency. Any power vested in a local public official shall be subordinate to the Governor during a state of emergency. Ordinances, orders, and regulations of a political subdivision shall continue to be in effect during a state of emergency except for any provision suspended or superseded by an order or regulation issued by the Governor.

Section 8628. Use of state personnel, equipment, and facilities.

Authorizes the Governor to direct all agencies of the state government to utilize and employ state personnel, equipment, and facilities for activities to prevent or alleviate threatened damage due to the emergency. They may also require the state agencies to provide supplemental services and equipment to political subdivisions to restore services which must be restored in order to provide for the health and safety of the citizens of the affected area. Any agency may expend money appropriated to their agency for these purposes regardless of the appropriated purpose.

Section 8649. Use of personnel, property, equipment, and appropriations by state agency with approval of Department of Finance.

Allows any state agency to use its personnel, property, equipment, and appropriations for carrying out actions during a state of emergency subject to approval by the Department of Finance (DOF). The DOF will also determine whether reimbursements shall be made to any state agency for expenditures made from any appropriation available for the OES, except funds that are subject to constitutional restriction which prohibit their use for such purposes. If determined reimbursable by DOF, the expenditures will be reimbursed and the original expenditure shall be considered a temporary loan to the General Fund.

Text of Letter
Appendix B
Appendix C

Appendix D
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