FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2023
Contact: Joaquín Romero
Senator Greg Baca Reintroduces Bipartisan Legislation Requiring Legislative Involvement for Governor’s Emergency Orders
SANTA FE — Today Senate Republican Leader, Senator Greg Baca (District 29-Belen), reintroduced a bill (Senate Bill 65) to require legislative approval to renew or amend public health orders and emergency declarations. An identical bill received bipartisan support in 2021.
“This bill is not about one governor, but this issue was brought to light by this governor,” said Senator Baca. “We experienced almost three years of a governor with self-given emergency powers. Whether or not you agree with how she used them, her extra-constitutional powers went unchecked by the legislature and our constituents.”
The National Council of State Legislatures notes that “...legislatures have an important role in making sure these powers are not abused and that they do not undermine the separation of powers vital to our democratic system of government.” A full list of similar statues in other states can be found here.
“Senate Bill 65 will restore some balance and accountability in Santa Fe,” added Senator Baca. “Democrats and Republicans agree the time has come for the legislative branch to have a seat at the table when considering and issuing such weighty decisions.”
Under the proposed Senate Bill 65, legislative approval would be required for orders and declarations after 45 days. This approval would be done by Joint Resolution of the Legislature, or if the Legislature is not in Session, by a majority vote of the interim Legislative Council committee. The Legislative Council is comprised of Democratic and Republican members of the Senate and House of Representatives, and meets monthly when the Legislature is not in Session.
Senate Bill 65 was referred to the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.