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Legislative initiative to limit governor’s emergency powers  

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SENATE Floor Leader Justo Quitugua will introduce Senate Legislative Initiative 21-11, which proposes to restrict the governor’s emergency powers within the executive branch only.

It will exclude the legislative branch, the judiciary and autonomous agencies when the governor mobilizes available resources in responding to emergencies.

S.L.I. 21-11 states that the legislative branch, the judiciary and autonomous agencies “do not have emergency powers or access to mobilize available resources for their respective branch or agency.”

“During a state of emergency,” it stated, “all other branches and agencies are required to operate within the resources available as determined by the executive branch, which may not be enough to provide basic public services to the people.”

Under S.L.L. 21-11, “the governor may declare a state of emergency in the case of invasion, civil disturbance, natural disaster, or other calamity as provided by law, and may mobilize available resources to respond to that emergency, within the executive branch, but not including the legislative branch, the judicial branch and autonomous agencies.”

A proposal to amend the CNMI Constitution, a legislative initiative must be passed by the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the members of each house present and voting. A legislative initiative may not be vetoed by the governor, but voters must approve it.

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