Emergency Suspension Powers

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws granting broad powers to governors to manage emergencies. Emergencies might involve dangers to public health, such as an outbreak of the flu; natural disasters, such as floods or earthquakes; or threats to security, such as acts of terror. In 41 states and the District of Columbia, governors are explicitly permitted to suspend laws that would interfere with an efficient, effective response to an emergency. Some states also permit governors to amend laws or create new ones during emergencies.

Use this page to learn more about state laws that explicitly grant governors the power to suspend, amend, or create laws during emergencies. Read more.

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