HB 275 (2021)
Restrict governor's emergency powers to 84 days
Revises the governor's emergency management powers to require the Legislature or executive council to renew a state of emergency. If the executive council votes twice to extend a state of emergency, all tax collection must pause. The bill also states, "the governor shall not suspend existing laws or create rules by emergency order that have the force and effect of law during a state of emergency." Lastly, this bill allows the Legislature to create a "nominal state of emergency" solely for financial reasons, such as federal funding eligibility.
The House amended the bill to instead permit the Governor to declare a state of emergency for up to 21 days without involving the legislature. He can then renew that state of emergency up to three times for up to 21 days each. This permits the Governor to maintain his emergency powers for up to 84 days. The legislature could continue to renew the state of emergency beyond 84 days. This bill then repeals the requirement for the governor to address the legislature every 90 days of a state of emergency.