Online Program

Using gubernatorial executive orders to advance public health

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 1:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Max Gakh, JD, MPH, School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Jon S. Vernick, JD, MPH, Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Lainie Rutkow, JD, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
A gubernatorial executive order (GEO) is a non-legislative legal mechanism that governors increasingly are using to set and implement policy. This trend has significant public health implications because GEOs provide a potent alternative to state-level legislation, regulation, and litigation in the health policy context. Public health professionals should understand the GEO and its potential implications in order to advocate most effectively for policies that improve the public's health. After examining the place of the GEO in the state-level legal landscape, this presentation will explore the ways in which governors have used GEOs to improve the public's health. These include tackling public health emergencies, establishing new programs and entities, directing agencies, reorganizing agencies, raising the profile of an issue, and controlling state operations. These categories will be explored through specific examples of GEOs. The presentation will then discuss issues that public health practitioners should appreciate when determining whether to advocate for a GEO or for an alternative legal mechanism, such as limitations on the scope of GEOs and the speed with which they may be implemented. This presentation should appeal to those with or without legal expertise.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe a framework to understand how gubernatorial executive orders (GEOs) are used in public health law. Identify examples of GEOs used in public health law. Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of using a GEO instead of an alternative public health law mechanism. Differentiate GEOs from other public health law tools.

Keyword(s): Law, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Max Gakh, JD, MPH, is currently a Visiting Attorney with the Partnership for Public Health Law. Previously, he served as a Staff Attorney for the Ohio legislature, performing legal research and analysis and drafting and analyzing legislation. He also worked at the University of Maryland analyzing preparedness issues for state governments, conducting legal trainings, and building public-private partnerships. He has conducted public health law research with faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.