In the months that have followed, lawmakers across the country — from Maine to California, Oregon to Florida — have proposed and, in many cases, passed similar measures to curtail the sweeping powers bestowed on their state executives.
The tug-of-war between legislators and governors has the potential to shape the boundaries of gubernatorial authority for years to come and raises substantive questions of how much leeway the state leaders should have during prolonged crises.
Fiery debates over things like mask mandates and other economic restrictions were frequent last year, particularly in battleground states and those with divided state governments, as public health debates were imbued with election-year considerations. But the conflict over the power of the executive transcends ordinary politics, playing out in states both red and blue, and even where one party controls both branches.
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