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California to pay $2M church legal fees over virus closures

California will pay more than $2 million in legal fees for a settlement with churches that challenged coronavirus restrictions.

Posted: Jun 3, 2021 9:53 AM
Updated: Jun 4, 2021 11:55 AM

Correction - The original picture posted with this story showed the St. John Evangelist Episcopal Church in Chico. To be clear, this specific church has had no involvement with the lawsuits whatsoever. The photo has been removed and updated. 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The state of California has agreed to pay more than $2 million in legal fees in a settlement with churches that challenged coronavirus closure orders.

Church lawyers who successfully took their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court said Wednesday that the state agreed not to impose restrictions on houses of worship that are greater than those on retail businesses.

Several churches challenged Gov. Gavin Newsom's restrictions as violations of their First Amendment right to worship.

Newsom's office says he put the health of Californians first and the settlements provide clarity on how public health standards can be applied to churches.

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Dry conditions, warmer temperatures, and gusty north winds will drive high fire danger and a Red Flag Warning across most of northern California Monday. Winds will diminish and temperatures will warm up on Tuesday. We'll stay dry and heat up later this week. Cooler temperatures then return for your weekend.
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