Nationally, governors issued 14 executive orders from April 3-9. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) led the field with three each, followed by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) with two. Governors in 41 states issued the fewest orders with zero.
Governors use executive orders to manage executive branch operations. Last week’s executive orders account for 3% of the year-to-date total of 425. Governor Kemp leads with 123 orders issued since Jan. 1, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) with 64 and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) with 39.
Georgia and Florida lead in the number of executive orders issued for two reasons: unlike most states, in Georgia, the governor uses executive orders to appoint and reappoint members of state boards and judges. In Florida, also unlike most states, the governor uses executive orders for state attorney executive assignments.
Governors in 19 states have issued fewer than five orders since the start of the year, and those in 13 states have yet to issue any orders so far. In states with a Republican trifecta, governors issued 266 orders, while governors in states with a Democratic trifecta issued 113. A trifecta is when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. In states where neither party holds trifecta control, governors issued 46 orders.