Coronavirus daily update: April 6, 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 April 6, 2020.

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

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced he would appoint Bharat Ramamurti to a five-person panel tasked with overseeing the $500 billion in corporate loans distributed as part of the third coronavirus relief package. Ramamurti previously worked as an economic advisor to the Elizabeth Warren presidential campaign and as senior counsel for banking and economic policy in Warren’s Senate office.
  • Each Congressional leader (Mitch McConnell, Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Kevin McCarthy ) will select one member of the panel, with McConnell and Pelosi jointly choosing the fifth member.
    On March 4, President Donald Trump (R) announced the deployment of 1,000 military medical personnel to New York City to assist with tending to patients affected by the coronavirus.

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

Overview to date:

  • Seventeen states and one territory have postponed state-level primary or special elections. Another six states have postponed or authorized the postponement of municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Eight states have adjusted their candidate filing requirements.
  • Eighteen states have implemented modifications to their voting procedures.
  • Political parties in 10 states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.

Details:

    • Wisconsin – Governor Tony Evers (D) issued an executive order postponing in-person voting in the spring election, originally scheduled for April 7, 2020, to June 9, 2020. The order also extended the receipt deadline for absentee ballots to June 9, 2020. Evers called on the legislature to convene in a special session at 2:00 p.m. April 7 “to consider and act upon legislation to set a new in-person voting date for the 2020 spring election.” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) issued a joint statement in which they said they would appeal Evers’ order to the state supreme court.

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 has tracked 18 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
      Five states changed ballot measure procedures.
    • At least four lawsuits or court orders suspending or changing requirements and deadlines for ballot measures.

Details:

    • Missouri – STOPP (Stop Taxing Our Personal Property), the campaign sponsoring an initiative to prohibit the state and local governments from taxing personal property, reported to Ballotpedia that it had suspended its signature drive.
    • North Dakota – LegalizeND, which is behind a marijuana legalization initiative, said, “If something major doesn’t change, we will not be able to make the 2020 ballot. … If Coronavirus continues through May, we will continue collecting signatures, but this will end up placing us on the July 2022 primary ballot.”

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

Overview to date:

    • To date, 336 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
    • Sixty-one significant bills have been enacted into law, 18 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-four state legislatures have 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.
    • Five state legislatures are in regular session.
    • Two state legislatures (Oklahoma and Wisconsin) are in special session.
    • One state (Minnesota) has partially suspended legislative activity.

Details:

  • Iowa – The Iowa legislature extended its session suspension, originally set to expire April 15, to April 30.
  • Missouri – The Missouri legislature is scheduled to reconvene on April 8. The House and Senate had previously been set to reconvene on April 7 and April 3, respectively.
  • Ohio – The House and Senate are scheduled to reconvene on April 28 and April 22, respectively. The legislature’s suspension status had been unclear previously.
  • Oklahoma – Governor Kevin Stitt (R) called the state legislature into a special session scheduled to convene on April 6. The legislature had previously suspended its session, effective March 23 through April 3.
  • South Carolina – The South Carolina legislature is set to reconvene briefly on April 8 to take up spending matters.

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:

  • Arkansas – The Supreme Court of Arkansas suspended summonses for jury duty through June 30.
  • Connecticut – Connecticut’s Judicial Branch announced that all of their courthouses would close on April 7. Beginning April 14, all courthouses will remain closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice.
  • Illinois – The Illinois Supreme Court ordered that Chief Judges in each circuit court may continue trials until further notice.
  • Kansas – The Kansas Supreme Court extended restrictions on in-person proceedings and suspension of jury trials until further notice, or by order of the Chief Justice.
  • Massachusetts – The Massachusetts Supreme Court extended restrictions on in-person proceedings and suspension of jury trials through May 4.
  • North Carolina – The North Carolina Supreme Court extended restrictions on in person proceedings and suspension of jury trials through June 1.
  • South Carolina – The South Carolina Supreme Court extended restrictions on in-person proceedings and suspension of jury trials until further notice or by order from the Supreme Court.

Prison inmate responses
Read more: State and local governments that released prison inmates in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview to date:

  • Thirteen states ordered the release of inmates at the state level.
  • Eighteen states ordered the release of inmates on the local level.
  • Seventeen states have not released inmates due to coronavirus.
  • Two states prohibited the release of certain inmate populations.

Details:

  • Ohio– Gov. Mike DeWine announced on April 3 that his administration is recommending the release of 38 inmates, who have not been convicted of violent offenses, due to coronavirus.
  • Rhode Island: The Rhode Island Supreme Court ordered an expedited hearing for 52 inmates in an effort to reduce the state prison population.
  • Massachusetts – The Massachusetts Supreme Court ordered the release of most people being held in jail pretrial be released on their own recognizance due to coronavirus. The order also prohibited the release of certain inmate populations, including those charged with violent, sex or drug trafficking crimes
  • Pennsylvania – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined to order inmate releases on the state-level, and directed presiding judges in each judicial district to coordinate with county correctional institutions to ensure they are addressing concerns due to coronavirus.

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

Overview to date:

So far, 43 states issued statewide stay-at-home orders. Seven of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 35 announced end dates.

Details:

  • Ohio – The state’s expanded stay-at-home order takes effect tonight. It will last until May 1. Previously, it was scheduled to end today.
  • South Carolina – Gov. Henry McMaster issued a stay-at-home order on April 6, telling residents they must limit their travel during the pandemic. The order also limits the number of shoppers allowed in stores. The stay-at-home order takes effect at 5:00 p.m. on April 7.

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

Overview to date:

  • All 50 states ordered a statewide school closure. Twelve states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Virginia.

Details:

  • Missouri – As part of a stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Mike Parsons (R), the statewide school closure scheduled to end April 3 was extended through April 24.
  • Wyoming – Gov. Mark Gordon (R) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end April 17, was extended through April 30.

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 politicians who self-quarantined for coronavirus

  • New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D)
  • North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R)

State politicians who tested positive for coronavirus

  • State Representative Les Warren (R-AR)
  • State Representative Karen Whitsett (D-MI)

Deaths linked to coronavirus

  • Kings County Supreme Court in the 2nd Judicial District Johnny Lee Baynes



About the author

Stephanie MacGillivary

Stephanie MacGillivary is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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