Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #258: June 2, 2021

Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery. Today we look at:

  • Vaccine incentive initiatives in Kansas and New Mexico
  • The end of federal pandemic unemployment programs in Texas and Maryland
  • COVID-19 policy changes from this time last year 

We are committed to keeping you updated on everything from mask requirements to vaccine-related policies. We will keep you abreast of major developments—especially those affecting your daily life. Want to know what we covered yesterday? Click here.

Since our last edition

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

Illinois (Democratic trifecta): On June 1, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said the state was scheduled to move to Phase 5 coronavirus restrictions on June 11. Phase 5 would allow for large gatherings of all sizes to resume and remove capacity restrictions for businesses, schools, and recreation.

Kansas (divided government): On June 1, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced a vaccination incentive program called The Race to End COVID-19. Individuals who receive a COVID-19 test or vaccination from the University of Kansas Health System or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are entered into a raffle to win tickets to the NASCAR Cup Series Race, gift cards for the NASCAR Racing Experience Ride Along, and the opportunity to drive two laps around the Kansas Speedway. The event will be held on June 4 and 5.

Kentucky (divided government): On June 1, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced that senior centers in the state would reopen at full capacity on June 11 due to increased vaccinations.

Maryland (divided government): On Tuesday, June 1, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced that Maryland would end its participation in federal pandemic unemployment programs on July 3. Hogan also said he would reinstate weekly work-search requirements starting July 4. 

New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): On June 1, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced a vaccination incentive program, Vax 2 the Max, that would allow vaccinated New Mexico residents to enter into a lottery for cash prizes. Four participants will win $250,000 in each of the five weekly drawings and one participant will win $5,000,000 in the final statewide drawing.

Ohio (Republican trifecta): Effective Wednesday, June 2, most of the statewide COVID-19 restrictions ended, including restrictions on capacity limits and the mask mandate. Gov. Mike DeWine (R) made the announcement on May 12.

Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): On June 1, Gov. Dan McKee (D) announced that the state would be lifting its outdoor mask requirement for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals on Wednesday, June 2. In his press release, he recommended that unvaccinated individuals continue wearing masks in crowded outdoor settings or when in close proximity to other unvaccinated individuals.

Texas (Republican trifecta): On Monday, May 31, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that Texas will end its participation in federal pandemic unemployment programs on June 26. 

This time last year: Wednesday, June 3, 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.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020:

  • Election changes:
    • Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) issued an executive order extending the voter pre-registration deadline in the July 14, 2020, election to July 7.