State Legislatures Across the Country Attempting to Reign in Gubernatorial Power
A year after the COVID-19 pandemic’s first appearance in the U.S., state legislatures across the country are contemplating legislation to limit the scope and breadth of gubernatorial emergency powers. The extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic resulted in governors in both red and blue states flexing an unprecedented amount of power in the form of mitigation and closure orders. Some state legislatures have argued that the balance of power between the branches of government has been allowed to tilt too heavily and that restrictions are needed to prevent the executive branch from having unilateral control. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, proposals to limit a governor’s emergency authority have been introduced in nearly every state. Pennsylvania is no exception. After the governor vetoed a bill last session that would have ended his COVID-19 emergency declaration, legislators moved forward with a proposed change to the state’s constitution. On the May Primary ballot, voters will have the chance to amend the constitution to limit state emergency declarations to a maximum of 21 days, unless an extension is approved by the legislature. The PA Chamber is urging voters to vote “yes” on these proposed constitutional amendments. For a more detailed analysis on how other state legislatures are attempting to limit their executive branch’s emergency powers, click here.
Pennsylvania Expected to Lose One Congressional Seat in Redistricting Process
The state’s Congressional map will look a bit different going into the 2022 election cycle. Based on preliminary census data – which is supposed to be finalized at the end of the month – Pennsylvania has again seen a drop in population, which is expected to result in the state’s loss of one Congressional seat – going from its current 18-member congressional delegation to 17. Unless a member of the delegation decides to retire, there will likely be a scenario in which two districts are collapsed into one; leaving the two incumbent representatives to face off against each other (either in the Primary or General Election). The newly drawn congressional map must be approved by the General Assembly and the Governor. You can read more about the issue here.
Republicans Feel Trump Effect in Critical Pennsylvania Senate Race
Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat on the 2022 election ballot is widely viewed as a key swing seat that both political parties are desperate to control. While several candidates are currently vying for the Democratic nod, many political strategists are viewing the battle for the Republican nomination as a potential predictor of the level of impact former President Donald will have on the party going forward. This Politico analysis delves into how the state GOP will have to contend with uniting Republican voters who fall on the spectrum between those who continue to strongly identify with the former President’s “Make America Great Again” mantra, and the more moderate factions of the party.