Legislative Initiative Petition 1: Repeal one of two state emergency powers laws: Passed 20 to 15 in the Senate
To approve an “initiated law” that would repeal one of the two state laws that authorize a governor to assume extraordinary powers during an emergency, including statewide “lockdowns” like those ordered under the 2020 coronavirus epidemic.
Enacted in 1945, this law places no limit on the duration of a declared emergency, and authorizes the governor to impose a curfew, prohibit or regulate occupancy and use of buildings and more. The state’s other emergency powers law adopted in 1976 puts a 28 day deadline on a governor’s assumption of emergency powers, with legislative approval required for any extensions.
A state Supreme Court ruling in Oct. 2020 held that a law authorizing what amounts to unilateral governance for the duration of a governor’s term violates the constitution’s separation of powers provisions.
Approval by the governor is not required for an initiated law, which is placed before the legislature by petition. If the legislature does not approve the measure it is placed on the next general election ballot.
Senate Bill 27: Epidemic-related supplemental spending: Passed 35 to 0 in the Senate
To appropriate $367 million federal coronavirus relief and "stimulus" dollars to several social welfare-related programs, plus $17 million state taxpayer dollars. Most of the money would go to hospitals, nursing homes and child care facilities to boost front-line workers' pay. Another $12.7 million would go to the State Police, and $7 million state dollars would go into a fund to compensate wrongfully imprisoned individuals.
House Bill 4117: Authorize two-year license plate renewals: Passed 35 to 0 in the Senate
To authorize extending the duration of vehicle registration renewals (license plate tabs) to two years instead of annually. A related bill also extends the state park admission tags available with these to two years.
Senate Bill 529: Spend federal stimulus dollars on bridge repairs: Passed 23 to 12 in the Senate
To appropriate $1.626 federal “stimulus” dollars for bridge repair projects around the state.
House Bill 4980: Permit drag races in the sand at Silver Lake State Park: Passed 28 to 7 in the Senate
To make an exception to the state law banning drag racing for “an activity at Silver Lake State Park authorized by the Department of Natural Resources.” This would apply to a 450-acre section of sand dunes park managers have set aside as a "scramble area" for ORVs.
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