Tracking emergency power reform efforts across the nation


Maine Policy Institute is tracking the status of legislation across the country to reform the scope of emergency executive authority, or the process by which an emergency is declared, renewed or terminated in each state.

At least 31 states (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia) have pending legislation to reform emergency executive power.

Elected officials in other states, including North Carolina, have signaled that they will submit legislation on the issue in the current session. Pennsylvania and Kentucky are the only states where lawmakers have approved some version of emergency powers reform legislation this session.

In both states, lawmakers proceeded to enact these measures against a gubernatorial veto. The bill enacted in Pennsylvania amends the state constitution and requires an affirmative vote at the ballot box for final passage. The bill in Kentucky has officially been enacted despite Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto, though the governor is now suing the legislature in an attempt to stop the body from limiting his emergency powers.

In Washington, a bill to reform Gov. Jay Inslee’s emergency powers has already received a public hearing. The measure was not recommended for passage and is considered dead, along with similar measures in New Jersey and Virginia.

The map below will be updated as these bills maneuver the legislative process in their respective states.