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Memorandum: Governor's Constitutional and Statutory Emergency Powers

Published
08/11/2020

TO: Executive Committee of the Legislative Council
FROM: Office of Legislative Legal Services
DATE: March 10, 2020
SUBJECT: Governor's Constitutional and Statutory Emergency Powers

Legal Question
What are the governor's constitutional and statutory powers in case of a declared emergency?

Short Answer
The governor's emergency powers under the constitution are limited, but he may cite to some of his general constitutional authority to support actions taken during an emergency. The governor's statutory emergency powers are significantly more extensive and include the ability to procure supplies of medicines and vaccines, quarantine persons and property, and transfer to the disaster emergency fund money appropriated for other purposes.