For almost two years now, we have been communicating about the need to bring a balance to state government and implement sensible emergency powers reforms. Several bills were submitted this year and we are now down to just one option.
SB5909 recently passed the Senate and is now being deliberated in the House of Representatives. While I have been a strong advocate for emergency powers reform, I could not support this bill. It provides no real reform and is simply a façade for reform. As the matter of fact, the governor’s office said “the [emergency powers] vote did not change in any way the governor’s emergency orders.” For this reason, I did not support it. You deserve real reform- not a bill that is simply an illusion.
Senate Republicans submitted an amendment which would have enacted real reform and I invite you to view my speech on that amendment below.
So, what does SB5909 do?
It allows the emergency order or proclamation to continue indefinitely unless 100% of the top four legislative leaders, both Republican and Democratic, act to end the emergency. It allows inaction to maintain the status quo.
What would the Republican alternative have done?
It would have ended the emergency order unless 75% of the top four legislative leaders, both Republican and Democratic, acted to extend the emergency. It requires positive, bipartisan action to extend the emergency.
Why did they pass this bill?
Simply put, they had to do something in light of an incredible amount of public pressure. You have clearly demanded change. It is unfortunate they have simply chosen to try and appease you while maintaining the status quo.
What can you do?
This bill is now being considered in the House of Representatives. You can send an email to these legislators here and let them know you want REAL reform and not just an empty shell for reform.
As always, it’s an honor serving you!
Senator, 25 LD
Deputy Floor Leader