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50-state survey COVID-19Legal Protections for Public Health OfficialsPublic Health Authority

50 State Survey: Summary of Enacted Laws and Pending Bills Limiting Public Health Authority: The Second Wave

Overview

In their regular 2021 legislative session, many states introduced or passed laws that restricted the ability of state and local public health officials, governors, and others to respond to the immediate threat of COVID-19, as well as future public health threats. A second wave of similar legislation began in regular and special sessions in the fall of 2021 and has continued into the 2022 regular session. The table below details COVID-19-related laws and pending legislation, and broader enacted and proposed limitations on public health authority in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia) from January, 2021 through mid-April, 2022 for enacted laws and from September, 2021 through mid-April, 2022 for pending legislation.