By SEAN MURPHY and KEN MILLER Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Legislature on Monday granted sweeping new powers to the governor to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
The House and Senate met in special session and approved the resolution under the never-before-used Catastrophic Health Emergency Act, which gives Gov. Kevin Stitt the authority to temporary suspend laws and regulations that interfere with the state’s ability to respond to the pandemic.
It also gives the governor the authority to redirect state employees and other resources, including up to $50 million state funds, from one agency to another, among other things. The powers also authorize the state’s public health authority, in this case the State Department of Health, to take control of any human remains.
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