Rick Bowmer

In the absence of paternity leave laws, Utahns are subject to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act which affords qualifying employees up to 12 weeks unpaid leave without threat of job loss.

Each state’s contrasting decisions regarding legislative action during COVID-19 highlights the power of the legislature in each state. Their actions also acknowledge the existence of a more fundamental question about the balancing of power between the state legislature and the governor during a state of emergency.

Lawmakers passed measures Friday to help those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and last month’s 5.7 earthquake during day two of the Utah Legislature’s historic virtual session.

Two new bills presented in the online Special Legislative Session would require the governor to converse with the legislative branch as well as a newly created Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission.