On Thursday, state rep. and former speaker of the state House Glen Casada announced that he would be introducing legislation designed to limit the emergency powers granted to the governor during declared states of emergencies.
The bill would particularly address his ability to sign and pass executive orders without approval of the state legislature.
“The United States has suffered through many viral respiratory pandemics, including influenza, over the past 200 years,” Casada said.
“While there’s no doubt we must always work to protect those who are most vulnerable among us, we must also ensure that the response to these situations aren’t more harmful than the pandemics themselves.”
Under Casada’s proposed bill, the emergency power granted to the governor during states of emergencies would be in place for no more than 30 days, after which any executive order would require approval from the Tennessee General Assembly.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Bill Lee has issued nearly 60 executive orders related to the pandemic, executive orders that have seen powers granted to county mayors to impose mask mandates, limits on contact sports and more.
Casada did not specify a date for its introduction, only saying that it would be introduced during the current legislative session.