CONCORD, N.H. (CBS/AP) — More than 300 New Hampshire residents have filed a formal request asking the Legislature to repeal the powers granted to the governor during an emergency such as the coronavirus pandemic.

The remonstrance received by the House clerk on Thursday argues that the law granting Gov. Chris Sununu emergency management powers is unconstitutional, though it has been upheld in court.

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“The experience and feeling of your Memorialists too dearly prove that some ruinous exercise of undelegated powers of issuing emergency orders and public policy guidelines enforced as law has been lately adopted in New Hampshire,” the group wrote. “Such acts could have been devised to bring the good people of this State into the deepest distress.”

Several lawmakers have filed bills limiting the governor’s powers. One would require the governor to explain the conditions necessary to extend a state of emergency and would require approval of the Legislature or Executive Council for renewal. Another would allow the Legislature to terminate any emergency order or part of an order, while a third would require legislative approval of any order issued during the renewal of a state of emergency.

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Sununu recently announced an extension of the state’s mask mandate that was originally set to expire last week. The renewed mandate expires March 26.

“Our health care system is still under an immense amount of pressure,” Sununu said in a statement. “To loosen or eliminate the tools we have utilized with success so far is the wrong approach to fighting this pandemic. The light at the end of the tunnel is within sight, but we must remain vigilant and we cannot let up now.”

Sununu had resisted calls for a statewide mandate, even after the rest of the New England states enacted similar measures. His decision to order one has sparked weekly protests near his home.

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