We are creeping up on a year since the Coronavirus pandemic basically shut down the world. While North Dakota's executive orders have not been as strict as other states' orders, our way of life has definitely been altered. In response to many executive orders in 2020, some North Dakota lawmakers want to limit emergency declaration powers of the governor.

Before the election, Governor Doug Burgum stressed the importance of "individual responsibility" when it came to "slowing the spread" of COVID-19. But as the virus continued to infect, the governor's pleas to the public shifted from suggestion to command. And we had several executive orders put in place in 2020.

According to Bismarck Tribune, Governor Doug Burgum filed around 45 executive orders last year. So, a bill was drafted and a hearing for it is set for Monday, January 11. The Bismarck Tribune reports that the proposed bill would:

  • Limit emergency or disaster declarations to 30 days
    • Declarations may be extended another 30 days "if the governor calls a special session of the Legislature."
  • Forbid the governor to declare "more than one disaster or emergency 'for the same conditions'."
  • Amend existing legislation that allows the state health officer to petition a district court to cancel public events or close businesses. The amendment would "limit the duration to the same as the governor's proposed time frame"

The representatives are speaking out for people who have been negatively impacted as a direct result of the pandemic-related executive orders. If the bill passes, a single person will no longer have the power to make such decisions for the masses. Do you feel that the governor should have sole power in implementing statewide mandates?

LOOK: Just some of the photos that capture the historic year that was 2020



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