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Governors Spotlight: Emergency Powers, Special Election for Cannabis, Anti-Domestic Violence Bills & More

October 21, 2022 (3 min read)

MI Gov Vetoes Suite of GOP Bills to Limit Emergency Powers

Saying the measures do not “grapple with the real threats that sometimes necessitate swift action,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) vetoed eight GOP-sponsored bills intended to limit the governor’s emergency powers.

The vetoed measures were part of 30 bills the GOP-controlled legislature endorsed to give lawmakers ultimate authority over future emergency declarations.

“By restricting executive branch authority in times of crisis, they would limit the state’s ability to protect the people we represent,” Whitmer said in her veto message.

The bills the governor vetoed include HB 6184, HB 6194 and HB 6195, which collectively would have limited actions taken by the state Department of Health to 28 days, and HB 6185 and HB 6189, which together would have repealed statutes that regulate insurance corporations during emergencies.

The bills return now to the House. The remaining 22 bills are still under consideration in the Senate. (MLIVE.COM, MICHIGAN ADVANCE)

OK Gov Sets Cannabis Special Election

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) set March 7, 2023 as the date for a statewide special election on whether the Sooner State will legalize recreational marijuana use for those 21 and over.

Under State Question 820, some drug offenders would also be able to petition to have their cannabis convictions reversed and criminal records expunged. Voters approved medical marijuana use in 2018.

Supporters had hoped to get the question on the November ballot, believing it would benefit from expected higher voter turnout for a mid-term election. Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws gathered enough signatures to qualify the question for a statewide vote, but delays in getting the signatures verified and ensuring court challenges to be resolved ended up causing the measure to be pushed to next year. (NBC NEWS, JOURNAL RECORD [OKLAHOMA CITY])

NY Gov Signs Anti-Domestic Violence Bills

Saying her administration “is committed to eradicating domestic violence and supporting survivors - a mission that has been a lifelong journey for generations of women in my family,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed a package of five bills addressing domestic violence in the Empire State. The measures include:

SB 6363, which would ensure the removal of guns from people subject to a protective order.

SB 6443, which requires judges to inquire about a gun possession by someone subject to a protection order.

AB 7748, which allows survivors of sexual assault to apply to the state board of elections to seal voter registration information from the public.

SB 7157, which allows survivors of domestic violence get out of shared utility contracts without a penalty.

SB 7263, which requires health insurance companies to give survivors of domestic violence the option to provide alternative contact information to access claims and benefits information.

Hochul said the bills give victims of domestic violence “the flexibility they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.” October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The governor also signed SB 78, a bill that expands access to physical and mental health care, free or discounted meal deliveries, caregivers and other forms of support for LGBTQ people age 60 or over. The measure requires the state’s Office for the Aging to consider gender identity and expression, sexual orientation and HIV status when it calculates which seniors need the most help. (NBC NEWS, NEW YORK GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, WGRZ [BUFFALO])

VA Gov Wants to Recruit Police from Other States

Calling a surge in violent crime “a crisis everywhere,” Virginia Gov. Glen Youngkin (R) said he plans to ask Old Dominion lawmakers for $30 million to pay for recruiting police officers from other states.

Youngkin said the money for what he has dubbed Operation Bold Blue Line would also go toward boosting officer pay, providing better training and equipment, hiring more prosecutors, and increasing support for crime victims and witnesses. He is also looking to accelerate the disbursement of $75 million that has already been budgeted for one-time training and equipment to law enforcement officers. (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, WASHINGTON POST)

--Compiled By RICH EHISEN


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