Bill to limit Governor’s powers advances in Senate
em070920f/a/Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham shows her face mask with "Governor" and St. Michael's High School emblem on it. This was before giving her weekly update on the COVID-19 outbreak in New Mexico and the state effort to control it. The news conference is being held at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, Thursday July 9, 2020. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Bill to limit Governor’s powers advances in Senate

  • Post published:February 16, 2021
  • Post category:News

Senate Bill 74, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Greg Baca, seeks to limit the Governor’s authority to issue public health emergencies and the lockdowns or business closures that have become closely associated with such orders. The bill, if passed, would place a 45-day limit on any emergency health order and would require legislative approval to extend it past 45 days. Baca, who wrote the bill said that New Mexico is one of only 12 states that does not have any kind of legislative oversight for executive emergency powers. 

“This is not an opinion or a position statement on the health order itself,” Baca told the Senate Judiciary committee. “If you believe in the health order, that is great. If you do not, that is great. All this does is provide a wider balance of power between the health orders and the representatives of the people.”

The bill passed the Senate Judiciary committee Monday on a 7-1 vote and now advances to the Senate floor for what should be a short debate, and then a final vote before it’s sent to the House. “We would look at what the health order entailed and whether it should be continued. There could be discussion on either amending it or changing it in some ways or stopping it all together and those are all negotiated,” said Baca. This bill is long overdue and has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, but our elected officials will have the final say on reigning in the Governors largely unchecked power. Click HERE for more.