Coronavirus daily update: March 30, 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 30, 2020.

Federal responses
Read more: Political responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • On Sunday, President Donald Trump (R) extended his social distancing guidelines through April. Those social distancing guidelines are to limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people, avoid eating and drinking in bars and restaurants, and avoid unnecessary travel. They were first announced on March 16.
  • On Monday, Glenn Fine, the acting inspector general of the Department of Defense, was selected to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which will oversee the implementation of the third coronavirus relief package. He was selected as chair by the other eight members of the committee, who are all inspectors general of various federal departments and agencies.

Election changes
Read more: Changes to election dates, procedures, and administration in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • Sixteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Seven states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Eighteen states implemented changes to their voting procedures. In 17 of those states, the changes involve absentee voting.
  • Political parties in nine states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.

Details:

  • Massachusetts – Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed S2608 into law, authorizing municipalities to postpone any elections originally scheduled to take place prior to May 30 to any date on or before June 30. The legislation also extended absentee voting eligibility to “any person taking precaution related to COVID-19” in elections taking place on or before June 30.
  • Nebraska – Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) and Secretary of State Bob Evnen (R) announced that the state’s May 12 primary election would proceed as scheduled, with every eligible voter receiving an absentee ballot application by mail. In-person locations were expected to remain open as planned.
  • North Dakota – Gov. Doug Burgum (R) issued an executive order authorizing counties to conduct the June 9 primary election entirely by mail. The order also directed the secretary of state to send absentee ballot applications to all of the individuals listed in the state’s central voter file.
    North Dakota – The North Dakota Republican Party canceled its in-person state convention, originally scheduled for March 27-28. In lieu of the convention, the party opted to elect delegates to the national nominating convention via mail voting on the part of registered state convention delegates.
  • West Virginia – Secretary of State Mac Warner announced he had directed counties to mail every registered voter in the state an absentee ballot application in advance of the May 12 primary election.
  • New York – Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the postponement of New York’s presidential preference primary to June 23. It was originally scheduled for April 28. The presidential preference primary will now coincide with the primary for state and congressional offices. The postponement also applied to five special elections originally scheduled for April 28: 27th Congressional District, State Senate District 50, State Assembly District 12, State Assembly District 31, State Assembly District 136.

Ballot measure changes
Read more: Changes to ballot measure campaigns, procedures, and policies in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • Ballotpedia tracked 13 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  • Three states changed ballot measure procedures.

Details:

  • No updates today.

State legislative responses
Read more: State legislative responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • To date, 268 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Forty-two significant bills have been enacted into law, about 16 percent of the total number that have been introduced. This total omits ceremonial resolutions and legislation providing for procedural changes to legislative business.

State legislative session changes
Read more: Changes to state legislative session dates in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • Twenty-three state legislatures suspended their sessions. Two of those (New York and Vermont) have since reconvened.
  • Eighteen legislatures have either adjourned or are not scheduled to be in regular session this year.
    Seven state legislatures are in regular session. One state (Arkansas) has convened a special session.
  • One state (Minnesota) has partially suspended legislative activity.

Details:

  • Illinois – The Illinois legislature extended its suspension through April 21, at which time lawmakers are set to return from a scheduled break. The suspension had originally been set to expire the week of March 23. It was then extended through March 30.
  • Mississippi – The Mississippi legislature extended its suspension indefinitely. The suspension had initially been set to expire April 1.
  • Missouri – The state Senate suspended activity through at least April 3. The state House is currently set to reconvene on April 7.
  • Oklahoma – The Oklahoma legislature extended its suspension through April 3. The suspension had originally been set to continue through March 27.

State court changes
Read more: State court closures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • Thirty-four states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.

Details:

  • New Jersey – The New Jersey Supreme Court extended their suspensions of jury trials and other deadlines through April 26.
  • Oregon– The Oregon Supreme Court extended their previous order and suspended non-essential in-person proceedings and most jury trials through June 1.

State stay-at-home orders
Read more: States with shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • So far, 27 states issued statewide stay-at-home orders. Six of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 21 announced end dates.

Details:

  • Maryland – Gov. Larry Hogan (R) issued a stay-at-home order effective immediately and lasting until the end of the declared state of emergency. Schools are currently scheduled to be closed through April 24 and were not addressed as part of the order.
  • North Carolina – On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) issued a stay-at-home order effective from March 30 until April 29. This does not impact the statewide school closure, which is set to continue through May 15.
  • Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) extended any existing county stay-at-home orders and issued orders for four new counties. Twenty-six of the state’s 67 counties are currently under a stay-at-home order.
  • Virginia – Gov. Ralph Northam (D) issued a stay-at-home order effectively immediately and lasting until June 10. Schools were not affected by this order—Northam closed schools for the rest of the year on March 23.

School closures
Read more: School closures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date

  • Forty-seven states ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 47 states served 49.6 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 98% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
  • Seven states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Arizona, Kansas,
  • New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Virginia.

Details:

  • Arizona – Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced that schools would be closed for the remainder of the academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools were scheduled to reopen on April 13.
  • Ohio – Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced that the statewide school closure, initially scheduled to end April 3, was extended through May 1.
  • Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that the statewide school closure would last indefinitely. It was previously scheduled to end on April 8.
  • Vermont – On Friday night, Gov. Phil Scott (R) closed schools for the remainder of the year. Prior to the announcement, schools were scheduled to reopen April 6.

Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Read more: Politicians, candidates, and government officials diagnosed with or quarantined due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Federal officials who tested positive for coronavirus

  • Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)

Federal officials who quarantined for coronavirus

  • Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)

Federal officials who tested negative for coronavirus

  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)
  • Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
  • Sen. John Thune (R-SD)

State officials who tested positive for coronavirus

  • State Rep. Brian Miller (R-NY)
  • State Sen. James Seward (R-NY)

Local officials who tested positive for coronavirus

  • Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz (D-NY)
  • Jersey City Councilman Rolando R. Lavarro Jr. (NJ)
  • Jersey City Councilman Michael Yun (NJ)
  • Louisville City Councilwoman Paula McCraney (D-KY)

Local officials who tested negative for coronavirus

  • Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (CO)



About the author

Kelly Caldwell

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

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