Coronavirus daily update: March 31, 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 31, 2020.
Federal responses
  1. President Donald Trump (R) said on Twitter that he supported a $2 trillion infrastructure bill as the next phase of coronavirus relief.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  1. Sixteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  2. Seven states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  3. Eighteen states implemented changes to their voting procedures. In 17 of those states, the changes involve absentee voting.
  4. Political parties in 10 states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  1. Iowa – On March 31, Secretary of State Paul Pate (R) announced his office would send absentee ballot applications to all registered voters in the state in advance of the June 2 primary election.
  2. Kansas – On March 30, the Kansas Democratic Party announced its party-administered presidential primary election, scheduled for May 2, would be conducted entirely by mail.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  1. Ballotpedia tracked 13 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  2. Three states changed ballot measure procedures.
Details:
  1. There were no major changes to ballot measures within the last 24 hours.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  1. To date, 276 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  2. Forty-eight significant bills have been enacted into law, about 17 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
Overview to date:
  1. Twenty-three state legislatures suspended their sessions. Two of those (New York and Vermont) have since reconvened.
  2. Nineteen legislatures either adjourned or are not scheduled to be in regular session this year.
  3. Seven state legislatures are in regular session.
  4. One state (Minnesota) partially suspended legislative activity.
Details:
  1. Arkansas – The special legislative session convened on March 26 and adjourned on March 28.
  2. Colorado – The state legislature extended its suspension to April 2. The suspension was originally set to extend through March 30.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  1. Thirty-four states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  2. Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
Details:
  1. There were no major changes to State Courts within the last 24 hours.
State stay-at-home orders
Overview to date:
  1. So far, 30 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 24 announced end dates.
Details:
  1. Arizona – Gov. Doug Ducey (R) issued a stay home, stay healthy, stay connected order, effective March 31 to April 30. This order does not affect schools, which were closed for the school year on March 30.
  2. Massachusetts – Gov. Charlie Baker (R) extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 4. It was initially set to expire on April 7.
  3. Tennessee – Gov. Bill Lee (R) issued a safer at home order, effective March 31 to April 14. This order does not affect schools, which are currently closed through April 24.
School closures
Overview to date:
  1. 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.
  2. Seven states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Virginia.
Details:
  1. Florida – The Florida Department of Education announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end April 14, was extended through May 1.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Federal politicians who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. U.S. House New York District 12 candidate Suraj Patel (D)
Federal politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. Rep. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D-TX)
State politicians who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  1. Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell (R-OK)
State politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV)
Local politicians who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. Buffalo City Council President Darius Pridgen (D-NY)
  2. Chula Vista City Council District 4 candidate Andrea Cardenas (CA)
Local politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (FL)
Notable influencers who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. CNN anchor Chris Cuomo



About the author

Kelly Caldwell

Kelly Caldwell is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at kelly.caldwell@ballotpedia.org.

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