Oklahoma Legislature Extends Governor's Emergency Powers

May 6, 2020

The state legislature has extended Governor Kevin Stitt’s emergency powers for another 30 days. But, lawmakers are now requiring information from the governor’s office on how he used those powers in the past 30 days.

The governor has two days to show which actions stem from powers granted through the Emergency Act and which ones Stitt took outside of those extraordinary powers.

The leader of the Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat says if the governor doesn’t respond in the given time, he stands ready to terminate the emergency resolution.

Several lawmakers voted against granting Stitt emergency powers again. House Minority Leader Emily Virgin said she thinks those votes come from a place of frustration and dissatisfaction with the governor's lack of transparency.

"If the governor made legitimate attempts to be transparent with the Legislature, I think you would have seen close to a unanimous vote, but until we see transparency, many of us feel we cannot vote to extend his emergency powers," Virgin said.

The House and Senate initially passed a 30-day resolution on April 6 to grant Stitt additional power during the COVID-19 crisis.