LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles could soon see the push to penalize those who refuse to wear face masks in public.
Councilman Paul Koretz filed a motion Monday that would allow fines of $100 for the first violation, $250 for the second and $500 for the third and subsequent violations.
“I’m glad that the mayor has added the requirement to his Safer L.A. order, but it is past time to actually enforce mask-wearing if people will not protect themselves, their families and their neighbors, especially the most vulnerable,” Koretz said.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said he isn’t sold on the idea, saying fines are the last things Angelenos need during the pandemic.
There’s also the issue of enforcement as the Los Angeles Police Department loses $150 million of its budget and has cut 350 positions.
Koretz said the fines are more about taking a stand than issuing fines.
“Hopefully if we can keep the awareness out there that this is serious, that it’s serious enough that we may have to write tickets even though we don’t want to be in that business, but we have to be in the business of keeping our constituents alive,” Koretz said.
More than 500,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in California, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.