Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: April 19, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery

Since our last edition

What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.

  • Idaho (Republican trifecta): Gov. Brad Little (R) vetoed House Bill 135 and Senate Bill 1136, which limit executive emergency powers. The bills would allow governors to issue restrictions through a disaster declaration for up to 60 days. After 60 days, governors would have to get legislative approval to extend disaster emergency restrictions. Governors could still extend emergency declarations beyond 60 days to secure federal government funds, even if the legislature rejects restrictions accompanying an order. Both bills passed the state House and Senate with more than the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto. Every Democrat in both chambers voted against the bills, except for two who abstained from the vote on HB 135. Republicans have a 58-12 majority in the House and a 28-7 majority in the Senate. 
  • New Hampshire (Republican trifecta): 
    • Residents of other states age 16 and older are eligible for a coronavirus vaccine starting April 19.
    • All K-12 public schools must offer full-time, in-person instruction by April 19. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said parents still have the option of requesting remote learning.
    • On Friday, April 16, Sununu ended the statewide mask mandate and extended the statewide coronavirus state of emergency.
  • North Dakota (Republican trifecta): On Friday, April 16, the North Dakota House of Representatives voted 85-3 to pass House Bill 1118. The bill requires the governor to call a special session of the legislature within one week of issuing a state of emergency. If the governor does not call a special session within one week, the state of emergency would automatically end after 30 days. The bill would also allow the legislature to extend or end a state of emergency during a special session. The Senate passed the bill 47-0 on April 12. It now goes to Gov. Doug Burgum (R).
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Erie County Supreme Court Justice Timothy Walker rejected a request from 93 restaurants and bars for a permanent injunction exempting them from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) 11 p.m. curfew order. Walker’s decision upheld a state appellate court order issued April 8 requiring the restaurants and bars suing the state to comply with Cuomo’s 11 p.m. curfew order for food and drink establishments. On Feb. 27, Walker issued a preliminary injunction temporarily allowing the bars and restaurants suing the state to stay open past 11 p.m. every night.
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): 
    • All residents 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination starting April 19.
    • Oregon public schools must open for hybrid or full-time in-person instruction for grades 6-12 by April 19. Gov. Kate Brown (D) issued the requirement on March 12. Previously, elementary schools had to reopen no later than March 29 for hybrid or full-time in-person instruction.
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): Public schools must offer all K-12 students at least 30% in-person instruction every week by April 19. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed the proclamation March 15. Previously, elementary schools had to provide students at least two partial days of in-person instruction by April 5.

This time last year: Monday, April 20, 2020

The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was confirmed on Jan. 21, 2020. But it wasn’t until March when the novel coronavirus upended life for most Americans. Throughout March and April, many states issued stay-at-home orders, closed schools, restricted travel, and changed election dates. Many of those policies remain in place today. Each week, we’ll look back at some of the defining policy responses of the early coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s what happened this time last year. To see a list of all policy changes in each category, click the links below.

Monday, April 20, 2020:

  • School closures:
    • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced that schools would not reopen for in-person instruction for the rest of the academic year. Before the announcement, schools were closed through May 1.
    • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced that schools would not reopen for in-person instruction for the rest of the academic year. Before the announcement, schools were closed through May 1.
  • Election changes:
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Judge Terrence Berg issued an order reducing the petition signature requirements for primary candidates in Michigan to 50 percent of their statutory level. Berg also extended the filing deadline from April 21 to May 8 and directed election officials to develop procedures allowing for the collection and submission of electronic petition signatures.
  • Federal government responses:
    • Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced that travel restrictions with Canada and Mexico would be extended another 30 days. The restrictions, implemented in agreement with Canada and Mexico in late March, prohibited nonessential travel.