Wildfire Executive Order Extends Price Gouging Ban
Sacramento, CA — Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order to further assist communities in Northern California and across the state recovering from devastating wildfires.
Those fires date back to 2017 and include the Butte, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Ventura counties. The order prohibits price gouging in times of emergency and waives any time limitation. The order states that these areas have indicated that they need the protections to remain in place to enable them to fully recover. Several examples are cited including that many rebuilding permits have not yet been submitted, much less approved, and in some instances, local law enforcement agencies have had to resolve criminal liability relating to price gouging activity.
The last extension was in May of this year. This new order will remain in effect until December 31, 2020. View the entire executive order below:
EXECUTIVE ORDER N-22-19
WHEREAS since 2017, California has faced unprecedented wildfires, causing widespread destruction in numerous counties throughout the state; and
WHEREAS following these wildfires, impacted communities have faced an extremely challenging recovery process that, in many communities, remains ongoing today; and
WHEREAS on November 28, 2018, then Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-59-18, which extended price gouging protections for numerous counties impacted by wildfires in 2017 and 2018; and
WHEREAS on May 31, 2019, I issued Executive Order N-12-19, which extended price gouging protections for certain counties in which recovery from devastating wildfires was still underway; and
WHEREAS communities impacted by these wildfires in Butte, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Ventura counties have indicated the need for price gouging protections to remain in place to enable them to fully recover because, for example, many rebuilding permits have not yet been submitted, much less approved, and in some instances local law enforcement agencies have had to resolve criminal liability relating to price gouging activity; and
WHEREAS under the provisions of Government Code section 8571, I find that strict compliance with the various statutes and regulations specified in this order would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the wildfires.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, and in particular, Government Code sections 8567 and 8571, do hereby issue the following order to become effective immediately:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT the time limitations set forth in Penal Code section 396, subdivisions (b), (c), (e), and (f), prohibiting price gouging in time of emergency, are waived. These price gouging protections will remain in effect through December 31, 2020, in Butte, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Ventura counties.
This Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.
I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this Order.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 23rd day of December 2019.
Governor of California
Secretary of State