Tamburino Talks Law: Q&A How to Understand the Executive Order

During times of national and state emergencies, the executive of a state, the governor, can issued orders that have the full force and effect as any other law. Normally, laws are made by the legislature passing a bill and the governor signing that bill into law. But during an emergency, the governor can simply issue an executive order and that order is legally treated like any other law.

The governor does not issue these orders alone. Rather, he issues them in conjunction with his executive council which is comprised of 5 members: the governor, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the secretary of state and the state auditor. Executive orders last for 30-day increments and may be terminated anytime by the governor or the legislature.

Also, there are criminal penalties associated with violations of an executive order. Usually, it is considered a misdemeanor crime if you violate an executive order which means that you could receive up to 90 days in jail and/or $1,000.00 in fines.

You may learn more about executive orders by reviewing Chapter 12 of the Minnesota Statutes.

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