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A Battle For Independence: Counties Test Limits Of Shelter-In-Place Order

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A battle for independence is brewing as the latest fight on the front lines turns inward.

More and more counties are asking the governor to back off and let the locals come up with their own reopening phases. Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said it's time to open all businesses and let everyone get back to work.

"I think we need to give people hope that things are going to happen and that they're going to happen sooner rather than later," Jones said.

Jones is advocating for local control over how businesses reopen and how they do it safely.

"Frankly, there's no enforcement piece to the state orders, other than the local and county orders, so I really look for guidance from the local county," he said.

READ: Manteca Cracks Down On Social Distancing Orders, Approves $1,000 Fine For Repeat Offenders

Yuba and Sutter counties already made that jump. Health officers allowed businesses to open with social distancing requirements.

Push back from the state came quick, officers with Alcoholic Beverage Control visited several businesses asking them to stop dine-in service. The Yuba County Sheriff wrote a letter to his community that said: "We are working with state and local officials to mediate this issue moving forward."

Placer County leaders have also joined the demand to break loose.

"The governor has no authority," said Kirk Uhler, a Placer County Supervisor. "By definition, we are no longer in a state of emergency anymore. We're in a series of local emergencies."

READ ALSO: Yuba Sutter Mall Reopens; County Not Enforcing Social Distancing

Legal experts say Newsom does have authority and it trumps local orders. The governor is using it to try and guarantee safety measures.

"People are very passionate in terms of what they want they want to see," Newsom said during a press conference on Wednesday. "We want to keep workers healthy and keep them safe."

The city of Sacramento seems to fall in the middle ground. Mayor Darrell Steinberg said reopening is vital but it needs to be paired with extra caution. He wants face masks required in public.

Staying healthy seems to be the priority in every county, but everyone has a different idea of what that looks like.

"We're already past this and we're ready to get back on with our lives," Uhler said.

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