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Act for Public Health: Public Health Preemption

We're currently migrating this dataset. To explore these data, visit our Legacy Site.

You can also visit Laws Addressing Public Health Authority to Respond to Emergencies to see states that have enacted laws addressing authority to respond to public health emergencies between May 21, 2022, and December 21, 2023. 

In the United States, preemption is a legal doctrine that allows upper levels of government to restrict or even prevent a lower-level government from self-regulating. Throughout COVID-19, state legislators introduced bills aiming to block local authorities from implementing public health measures like vaccine requirements, mask mandates, or closures at schools, businesses or places of worship.

This longitudinal dataset captures details of legislation preempting public health measures introduced between January 1, 2021, and May 20, 2022, in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Each individual bill is coded as a separate instance and labeled by its bill number. When querying the map below, states with multiple bills will appear as purple; click the state to learn more information about the different bills within that state.

This dataset is one of six that were created in collaboration with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Network for Public Health Law as part of the Act for Public Health initiative.


Dataset Details Supporting Documents
Created by Center for Public Health Law Research Data
Date range: January 1, 2021 – May 20, 2022 Codebook
Jurisdictions: 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia Protocol