State lawmakers in both the House and Senate have groused for months about how Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has employed the power of the executive branch during the COVID-19 crisis, vowing to take up the issue during this year’s 60-day session.

The debate began in earnest this week, with legislators considering bills that proponents say will establish a system of checks and balances to ensure they play a role in any emergency actions.

Members of the House State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee on Wednesday voted 7-2 to approve House Bill 139, which would limit a state of emergency to 90 days — unless the governor convened a special session of the Legislature, which would then have the power to restrict, suspend or end the state of emergency.

General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

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