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California withholds virus money from 2 defiant cities

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Posted at 8:13 AM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 11:13:32-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom for the first time is using his new powers to withhold money from two cities in California's Central Valley that are defying state health orders by allowing all businesses to open.

The state is withholding nearly $65,000 from Atwater and more than $35,000 from Coalinga. It's just the first part of $2.5 billion that cities and counties risk losing if they don't toe the line on coronavirus safeguards.

Atwater's mayor says the governor is abandoning the small city even as he devotes more resources and federal money to combat a virus surge in the Central Valley.