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An Assessment of State Laws Providing Gubernatorial Authority to Remove Legal Barriers to Emergency Response
  • Published Date:
    2019 Mar/Apr
  • Source:
    Health Secur. 17(2):156-161
  • Language:
    English


Public Access Version Available on: April 03, 2020, 12:00 AM information icon
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Details:
  • Alternative Title:
    Health Secur
  • Description:
    Governors play a fundamental role in emergency preparedness and can help facilitate rapid responses to emergencies. However, laws that operate successfully under normal circumstances can inadvertently create barriers during emergencies, delaying a timely response. State laws could thus limit, or even prohibit, necessary response efforts. To combat this risk, legislatures have passed emergency powers laws in each state granting governors the authority to declare a state of emergency and to exercise certain emergency powers to meet the needs of the emergency. Researchers conducted a 50-state legal assessment, which identified and examined state laws that give governors the discretion to modify existing laws or create new laws to respond effectively to any type of declared emergency. This article outlines the findings of that assessment, which identified 35 states that explicitly permit governors to suspend or amend both statutes and regulations; 7 states in which governors are permitted to amend regulations during a declared emergency but are not explicitly authorized to modify or remove statutes; and 8 states and the District of Columbia that provide no explicit authority to governors to change statutes or regulations during a declared emergency. The article also provides examples of how this power has been used in the past to demonstrate the utility and scope of this authority in a variety of public health threats.

  • Subject:
  • Pubmed ID:
    30942620
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6476686
  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
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  • Supporting Files:
    No Additional Files
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