State laws setting the scope and limits of emergency authority are crucial to an effective public health response. Since January 1, 2021, most states have enacted laws addressing authority to respond to public health emergencies. These laws include: limits on the authority of a governor, state health official, or local health official regarding emergency orders; reallocation of authority from a governor, state health official, or local health official regarding emergency responses; limits on the application of federal law related to a public health emergency; expansions or limitations on the use of specific pandemic-related public health measures (e.g., vaccine measures, mask measures); preemption of local public health emergency measures; and laws aimed at strengthening public health authority.
This longitudinal dataset captures laws addressing authority to respond to public health emergencies that were enacted between May 21, 2022, and October 6, 2023, in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. This dataset will be updated monthly through the end of the 2023 legislative session.