State governors issue 43 executive orders from Oct. 2-15

Nationally, state governors issued 43 executive orders from Oct. 2-15. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) led the field with 13 each, followed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) with three each. Governors in 36 states issued the fewest orders with zero.

Governors use executive orders to manage executive branch operations. The 43 executive orders account for 3% of the year-to-date total of 1,286. Kemp leads with 433 orders issued since Jan. 1, followed by DeSantis with 206 and Lujan Grisham with 137.

Governors have been issuing an average of 31 executive orders per week so far this year. This figure is more than the 2022 weekly average of 30.

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 16 states have issued fewer than five orders since the start of the year, and those in two states (Alaska and Mississippi) have yet to issue any orders so far. In states with a Republican trifecta, governors issued 815 orders, while governors in states with a Democratic trifecta issued 346. 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 125 orders.