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Problem Solvers Coronavirus Hotline: Can a Mayor Overrule a Governor?

Posted at 6:18 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 19:18:37-04

Many people are torn about businesses reopening, specifically when it comes to state regulations versus local regulations. Can a mayor overrule a governor?

One viewer emailed the problem solvers and said, “I would like to know if a mayor can blatantly disregard the orders of the governor of their state? It appears as though Gov. Stitt has issued an order to begin a phased opening of our economy, but Mayor Bynum's response was that he would make an announcement as to when Tulsa would start to open this Friday. Tulsa is in the state of Oklahoma, right? If the governor orders the first phase of businesses to open on April 24, can the mayor say that Tulsa is waiting until April 30? ... I always thought the governor was the chief executive of our state. Am I wrong?”

According to Oklahoma law (21 O.S. §1321.5(B)), where the restrictions in state law or city ordinances are more restrictive than the restrictions in the executive order, the more restrictive laws govern. So, if your municipality has imposed restrictions that are more restrictive than the governor’s, then your local municipality's restrictions would control.

If there is a coronavirus question you would like our problem solvers to look into, call our coronavirus hotline at 918-748-1502 and leave a message.

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