MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – An Eastern Panhandle lawmaker questions what he calls the governor’s “unfettered authority” to issue executive orders during the pandemic.
Del. Larry Kump, R-Berkeley, said the state legislature should act quickly to limit those powers.
“Under state law, which goes back before Governor Justice, the governor has unfettered authority to issue an executive order without a time limit. I think one of the things the legislature needs to do as soon as possible is set some guidelines and parameters, because one person shouldn’t have all that authority, particularly if we’re closing down businesses and closing up the livelihoods of people,” Kump said during an appearance on Panhandle Spotlight on WEPM and WCST – The Panhandle News Network.
The outgoing delegate, who represents parts of Berkeley and Morgan counties, said some of his constituents who are business owners are ‘in despair’ about how the restrictions are impacting them.
“I want to give the governor the benefit of the doubt. I think he was doing and is continuing to do the best he can under the circumstances, but for the governor to say, ‘this business has to close and this business can stay open,’ I think that’s a big can of worms and that’s really dangerous to our economy,” said Delegate Kump.
Some other lawmakers have spoken out during the past seven months urging Justice to involve the legislature in decision making especially when it comes to spending CARES Act funding. Lawmakers could call themselves into session but they’ve opted not to do that.