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N.H. House Passes Bill Limiting Governor's Emergency Powers

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The New Hampshire House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to give lawmakers more say in future states of emergency.

Under the bill, governors would retain a free hand to declare a 30-day state of emergency. But the Legislature would have to approve any extension of those orders. If circumstances didn't allow lawmakers to meet, a governor's emergency acts would renew in 14 day increments until lawmakers could weigh in.

Deerfield Republican Rep. Terry Roy said this bill profited from bipartisan input and is informed by the state's experience during the pandemic.

"We learned a lot we didn't know when the emergency orders law was passed previously, and we are now better prepared if this happens again, we know what we do not want,” Roy said.

Gov. Chris Sununu has criticized - and indicated he would veto - this and several other bills lawmakers have passed to limit the authority of a governor during an emergency.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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