Daily coronavirus update: March 25, 2020

As part of Ballotpedia’s coverage on the coronavirus pandemic, we are compiling a daily summary of major changes in the world of politics, government, and elections happening each day. Here is the summary of changes for March 25, 2020.
Federal responses
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said they reached an agreement on the third coronavirus relief bill, though no vote took place.
  • “At last we have a deal. … The Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement,” McConnell said on the Senate floor at 1:30 a.m.
  • “This bill is far from perfect, but we believe the legislation has been improved significantly to warrant its quick consideration and passage,” Schumer said.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  • Fourteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Five states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Ten states implemented changes to their voting procedures.
  • Political parties in nine states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  • The Democratic Party of Alaska canceled in-person voting in its presidential preference primary, originally scheduled for April 4, opting instead to conduct all voting by mail. The vote-by-mail deadline was extended to April 10.
  • Delaware postponed its presidential preference primary election, originally scheduled for April 28, to June 2. Delaware also postponed several local-level elections and expanded its definition of sick or physically disabled for the purposes of determining absentee voter eligibility.
  • Iowa’s secretary of state announced absentee voting in the June 2 primary election would open on April 23, 40 days before the primary election, an extension over the period required by state statutes. The secretary of state also announced the postponement of three special municipal elections to July 7.
  • Michigan’s secretary of state announced that the state would mail absentee ballot applications to all voters in municipal elections scheduled for May 5.
  • Nevada’s secretary of state announced plans to conduct all voting in the June 9 primary election by mail.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  • Ballotpedia tracked ten statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  • Two states changed ballot measure procedures.
Details:
  • Michigan – Fair Tax Michigan announced it was suspending efforts to place an initiative to establish graduated income tax rates on the ballot for November 3, 2020. Instead, Fair Tax Michigan will aim to place the initiative on the ballot for 2022.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  • To date, 242 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Twenty-eight significant bills have been enacted into law, roughly 12 percent of the total number that have been introduced. This total omits ceremonial resolutions and legislation providing for procedural changes to legislative business. For a complete list of enacted legislation, see here.
State legislative session changes
Overview to date:
  • Twenty-three state legislatures suspended their sessions.
  • Two states (Maine and Maryland) adjourned early.
  • Three states implemented partial suspensions.
Details:
  • The Arizona State Legislature suspended its session, effective March 24 through April 13.
  • The Oklahoma State Legislature suspended its session, effective March 23 through March 27.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  • Thirty-three states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
  • One state had no change to their court schedule.
Details:
  • The Alaska Supreme Court suspended all trial court proceedings and civil marriage ceremonies through May 1, except priority hearings. The court further ordered that all civil and criminal proceedings be held via telephone or video conference.
  • The California Supreme Court suspended all jury trials for the next 60 days. The court stated that trials could be conducted earlier if good cause is shown or through video or teleconference.
  • The Florida Supreme Court extended their March 13 order suspending all face-to-face legal proceedings in the state through April 17.
  • The Idaho Supreme Court suspended civil trials until further notice and criminal trials through April 30.
State shutdowns
Overview to date:
  • So far, 19 of the 50 states issued statewide shutdown orders. Six of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 13 announced end dates.
Details:
  • Vermont – Gov. Phil Scott (R) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 25 to April 15. The order did not explicitly mention schools, which are closed statewide until April 6.
  • Idaho – Gov. Brad Little (R) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 25 to April 15. Schools in the state were already scheduled to remain closed until April 20.
School closures
Overview to date
  • 46 of 50 states ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 46 states served 48.7 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 96.2% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
Details:
  • Maryland – State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 27, was extended through April 24.
  • Montana – Gov. Steve Bullock (D) announced the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 27, was extended through April 10.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians
Federal officials who entered quarantine
  • Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Federal officials who tested negative
  • White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham
  • Rep. Andrew Kim (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX)
State officials who tested positive
  • State Sen. Paul Rosino (R-OK)
  • State Rep. Jason Lowe (D-OK)
  • State Sen. Lester Jackson (D-GA)
State officials who entered quarantine
  • State Rep. Angelika Kausche (D-GA)
State officials who tested negative
  • State Rep. Holly Schepisi (R-NJ)



About the author

Kelly Caldwell

Kelly Caldwell is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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