Legislature: Bill Requiring Legislative Involvement In Public Health Orders, Emergencies Advances In Senate


The Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee today advanced a bill to require legislative involvement in the renewing or amending of public health orders and emergency declarations. After amending the measure, the committee voted to move Senate Bill 74 (SB 74) to its next committee “without recommendation.”

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Leader, Senator Greg Baca (District 29-Bernalillo and Valencia), released the following statement applauding the committee’s work:

“I want to thank the Chairman, Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, and my colleagues for their willingness to build consensus on this important legislation,” said Senator Baca. “This bill is not a Democrat versus Republican issue. Rather, it is an opportunity for the Legislature to recover and share some of the rightful authority given to us by the Constitution and our voters.”

Under existing law, the Governor can unilaterally and indefinitely extend public health orders and emergency declarations. If enacted, the committee-amended version of SB 74 would require Legislative approval for an extension after 45 days. This approval would be done by Joint Resolution of the Legislature, or if the Legislature is not in Session, by a majority vote of the interim Legislative Council committee. The Legislative Council meets monthly when the Legislature is not in Session and is comprised of Republican and Democratic members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

SB 74 will now advance to the Senate Judiciary Committee.