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.
Citizens may place an initiated law before the legislature if petitions are submitted signed by 8 percent of the votes cast for governor in the last election. Approval by the governor is not required. If the legislature does not approve the measure it is placed on the next general election ballot.