Watch: Senator Helming Continues Fight to End Governor’s Emergency Powers

Senator Helming spoke Wednesday on the Senate floor to again urge her colleagues to end the Governor’s emergency powers. 

“On March 5, the Senate Majority passed a so-called bill to end the Governor’s emergency powers. The bill actually did nothing of the sort. The Governor has retained his powers, not until the original deadline of April 30, but now, until the end of the pandemic. Whenever that might be.

The law requires the Governor to provide on his website, in a searchable format, additional information detailing the justification for his emergency directives. It appears the Governor has only posted justification for seven out of the 175 directives he extended on April 6.

One of those directives kept in place the curfew on bars and restaurants. The Health Department needs to share the data they are using to make these decisions. Business owners and the public deserve answers and transparency.

These arbitrary restrictions are hurting our small businesses. We are nearing peak tourism season. We should be doing everything possible to support our tourism and hospitality industry, which includes ending the curfew and other arbitrary restrictions on bars and restaurants.

On school reopening, we should be united in supporting the education of our children, their academic and social development and mental health. After waiting six weeks for updated guidance, the Health Department released the guidance on April 9. While generally following CDC recommendations, the state also left our schools jumping through additional hoops to reopen.

The Senate should be doing everything within our power to support students and families and small business owners. The Senate should be doing everything within our power to stimulate our economic recovery and help people get back to work. Instead, the Senate has given all the power to the Governor. Again I urge my colleagues – for the good of our state, and the communities and people we represent – restore the lawful role of the Legislature. Reinstate our co-equal branches of government and our system of checks and balances. End the Governor’s extraordinary powers, once and for all.”