SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham was part of a group of California legislators who attended a bipartisan policy conference in Hawaii, according to a statement released by his office on Wednesday.
Cunningham, along with at least four other California lawmakers, traveled to Hawaii to attend the conference held on Maui.
According to CBS Los Angeles, the conference was organized by a group called the Independent Voters Project.
The lawmakers in attendance have faced criticism for traveling outside of the state during the pandemic to attend the conference, which was held at a luxury hotel. The trip came during rising coronavirus cases across the country. In California specifically, more than 90% of the state's population has been moved into the lowest tier of the state's reopening plan.
But the group said it was following all safety protocols, including Hawaii state guidelines. According to the Maui County website, every tourist visiting Maui county is subject to a 14-day quarantine when they arrive.
But according to one clause, it states that "transpacific travelers who provide written confirmation of a State-approved negative COVID-19 test are excepted from self-quarantine."
Cunningham says he and his family got tested for COVID-19 with the results coming out as negative before getting on the plane.
Cunningham also insisted that he and his family are following all health protocols by wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.
Cunningham gave our newsroom the following statement:
Yes, my family and I are in Hawaii for an annual, bipartisan policy conference. This event promotes intelligent public policy in our state. In fact, we are here discussing ways we can safely reopen our society and save our small businesses, workers, and kids. We paid for my family’s tickets and COVID tests with personal money – no state funds were used.
Before traveling, every attendee followed local public health and safety protocols, including testing negative for COVID-19 before getting on the plane. We wear masks in all public spaces and conference rooms and socially distance ourselves from other visitors, complying with all health protocols. This is a safe environment.
I have been saying since April that Governor Newsom's lockdown policies are draconian and unscientific. Fortunately, thus far, he has stopped short of unconstitutionally attempting to stop interstate travel, close the airports, or make vacations or Thanksgiving illegal. My family and I took all necessary precautions to protect ourselves and those around us while on our trip, and we will continue to do so back on the Central Coast.Jordan Cunningham, California State Assembly member
Gov. Newsom, for his part, has also faced heat for attending a birthday party at a posh Bay Area restaurant. Newsom has since apologized and said that he and his family "should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner.”