Executive Orders and Proclamations

Executive Orders

The West Virginia Constitution gives the Governor executive power, which is implemented in certain situations through executive orders. Those orders have the force of law. However, the Governor may not use this authority to overturn or substitute for the legislative process. Also, the courts may review executive orders to determine whether they are constitutional. This is the provision of the West Virginia Constitution which creates this authority.

Article VII. Section 5 "The chief executive power shall be vested in the governor, who shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

The text of older executive orders, or in some early cases a summary of the orders, are published in the Executive Journal book from that year. More recently, the orders are indexed in the on-line database, imaged and available to view on this site.

Go to Executive Journal Search to find documents.


Although the distinction is not made in the West Virginia Constitution or laws, proclamations fall into two major categories; Official Proclamations and Ceremonial Proclamations.

The term "Official Proclamations" is used to describe proclamations that put an official action into effect or announce something as official. These proclamations may formally announce the official results of an election, call a special session of the Legislature, declare a state of emergency, approve a judicial retirement, or other official notice. The recent official proclamations are included in the executive orders database.

The term "Ceremonial Proclamations" is used to describe proclamations issued to bring attention or recognition to a person, group or cause. Through a proclamation, the Governor may designate a day, week or month for commemoration. These documents are also indexed and available to view on this site in a database. Please use the Executive Journal Search link above.

For more information about these historical documents, please see Historical Perspective.


If we may be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us:  304.558.6000   toll free 866.767.8683  email:   AdLaw@wvsos.gov