A new study confirms that WA state is one of the worst when it comes to oversight of a governor's emergency powers.

  New study ranks us 45th

A new study, whose information was also reported on by Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center, shows that WA State is near the bottom when it comes to the ability to modify, control or oversee emergency powers.

The Maine Institute is a "nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to expand individual liberty and economic freedom in Maine."  Kind of similar to the WA Policy Center.

The study took a hard look at every state's emergency powers capabilities and ranked them 1-50. Rather than look at how each state's Governor utilized these during COVID and other emergencies, the study examines how much oversight the state, including the people and legislature have, over their Governor.

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We all know WA state had the longest state of emergency in the U.S. about COVID, well over two years. According to the Main Study, here's how the results were tabulated:

"To develop each state’s score, Maine Policy examined each state’s emergency powers statutes to determine the extent of legislative oversight, powers delegated to the chief executive, and the process for initiating or terminating a state of emergency declaration.

Every state received a numerical score between 1 and 20 across five categories for a total score of up to 100 points."

For WA:

  • State of Emergency--can only be declared by Governor
  • State of Emergency Terminated--can only be declared by Governor
  • Time Limit on State of Emergency Declarations--none. certain Executive Orders come with a 30-day limit which suspend statute
  • Authority to alter statutes or regulations--Governor can suspend any law or regulation related to the emergency which does not interfere with First Amendment Rights to Speech or Assembly, or prerequisite conditions for Federal Funds.

WA State tied for 45th worst with a score of 41, the same as Hawaii. Since late 2020, there have been numerous legislative efforts, by Republicans, to reign in these powers, but to no avail, due to the majority party choosing not to take up the issue.

The highest, or best score? South Carolina is #1, with a set of restrictions imposed by the legislature, and requirements that state of emergencies must be continually re-evaluated and voted on regularly by the legislature and other state entities.

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