Table 4.5

Gubernatorial Executive Orders: Authorization, Provisions, Procedures

  Provisions Procedures
FIPS State or other
Authorization for
executive orders
Civil defense disasters,
public emergencies
Energy emergencies
and conservation
Other emergencies Executive branch
reorganization plans and
agency creation
Create advisory,
coordinating, study or
Respond to federal
programs and requirements
State personnel
Other administration Filing and publication
Subject to adminstrative
procedures act
Subject to legislative review
01AlabamaS, I, Case Law
04ArizonaI✓ (a)✓ (a)✓(a)✓(a)✓(a)✓(a)✓(a)✓(a)✓ (b)
05ArkansasS, I, Common Law
06CaliforniaI (c)
09Connecticut*C, S(b)
13GeorgiaS, I (d)
15HawaiiC, S, Common Practice
18Indiana*C,S, Case Law
22Louisiana*C,S (l)
24MarylandC,S✓ (m)✓(n)
25Massachusetts*C, S
27Minnesota*S(p)(q)✓ (b)✓(n)
28Mississippi*C, S(r)(r)
29MissouriC, S,Common Law✓(n)✓(n)(s)
30MontanaS, I, Common Law✕(nn)
32Nevada*S,I✓ (t)
33New HampshireC,S✓ (a)✓ (j)
34New JerseyC,S,I✓(u)
35New MexicoC,S
36New York*C,S
37North Carolina*C,S✓(v)
38North Dakota*S,I(k)(p)(u)(w)(x)(y)
39OhioC,S,I (z)(aa)
42Pennsylvania*C,S✓ (m)(cc)(dd)(ee)✓ (dd)(ee)✓(b)(cc)
44Rhode Island*S, I, Case Law✓(b)
45South CarolinaS
46South Dakota*C
47Tennessee*C,S✓ (b)
49UtahS, I
50Vermont*S,I✓ (ff)✓(gg)
54West VirginiaC,S
56WyomingS, (kk)
60American Samoa*C,S✓(ll)✓(ll)
69CNMI* **C
72Puerto Rico*C, S, I, Case Law(i)
78U.S. Virgin Islands*S


The Council of State Governments' survey of governors' offices, 2022.


* Information from The Council of State Governments’ survey of governors’ offices and review of state websites, 2021.
** Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands
C — Constitutional
S — Statutory
I — Implied
✓ — Formal provision.
✕ — No formal provision.


(a) Broad interpretation of gubernatorial authority. In Arizona, the governor is authorized to make executive orders in all of these areas and situations so long as there is not a conflicting statute in place.
(b) Executive orders must be filed with secretary of state or other designated officer.
(c) Authorization implied from constitution and statute as recognized by 63 ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 583
(d) Implied from Constitution.
(e) Constitution, statute, implied, case law, common law
(f) Executive clemency.
(g) Only for EROs. When an ERO is submitted the legislature has 30 days to veto the ERO or it becomes law.
(h) Can reorganize, but not create.
(i) Executive Orders are filed in the Department of State.
(j) To impound or freeze certain state matching funds.
(k) To reduce state expenditures in revenue shortfall.
(l) Inherent.
(m) To control procedures for dealing with public
(n) Reorganization plans and agency creation.
(o) Executive reorganizations not effective if rejected by both houses of legislature within 60 calendar days. Executive orders reducing appropriations not effective unless approved by appropriations committees of both houses of legislature.
(p) To assign duties to lieutenant governor, issue writ of special election.
(q) Filing.
(r) Governor is exempt from the Administrative Procedures Act and filing and administrative procedures Miss. Code Ann. § 25-43-102 (1972).
(s) Reorganization plans and agency creation and for meeting federal program requirements. To administer and govern the armed forces of the state.
(t) In addition to filing and publication procedures - Executive Orders are countersigned by and filed with the Secretary of State and published.
(u) To administer and govern the armed forces of the state.
(v) Must submit to the Secretary of State who must compile, index and publish Executive Orders. Copies must also be sent to President of the Senate, Speaker of House and Principal Clerk of each chamber
(w) To suspend certain officials and/or other civil actions.
(x) To designate game and wildlife areas or other public areas.
(y) Appointive powers.
(z) Executive authority implied by constitution except for emergencies which are established by statute.
(aa) General power to issue executive orders to execute the authority of the Governor as provided in the Constitution and state statute.
(bb) The governor has the authority, through state statute , to enact executive orders that: create agencies, boards and commissions; and reassigns agencies, boards and commissions to different cabinet secretaries. However, in order for the continued operation of any agency created by executive order the state legislature must approve legislation that allows the agency to continue to operate, if not, the agency cannot continue operation beyond sine die adjournment of the legislature for the session.
(dd) For fire emergencies
(ee) To transfer funds in an emergency.
(ff) Subject to legislative approval when inconsistent with statute.
(gg) Only if reorganization order filed with the legislature.
(hh) Some statutes set forward requirements for executive orders, but few established procedures.
(jj) The governor has power to direct the Department of Administration to conduct investigations of any executive or administrative agency in order to determine feasibility of consolidating , creating or rearranging agencies for the purpose of affecting the elimination of unnecessary state functions, avoiding duplication, reducing the cost of administration and increasing efficiency. Wis. Stat. 16.004(3)(a). The governor has power to coordinate services of personnel across state agencies. Wis. Stat. 14.03.
(kk) General authority unless explicity authorized by statute
(ll) If executive order fits definition of rule
(mm) In 2021, the Kentucky General Assembly passed multiple laws to limit executives orders declaring a state of emergency to 30 days without the legislature's approval or a local government's approval, to limit the Governor's authority to issue emergency orders related to certain entities, and to require the Attorney General's written approval before issuing any emergency order that suspends a statute.
(nn) l executive orders must be registered with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State attests to and keeps a registry of the Governor's official acts