Author

Kelly Caldwell

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

New York City Council Member Barry Grodenchik tests positive for coronavirus

On April 2, 2020, New York City Council Member Barry Grodenchik announced he tested positive for coronavirus. Grodenchik’s is the fourth New York City council member to be diagnosed. Two other members, Mark Levine and Costa Constantinides, are experiencing symptoms but have declined testing to preserve supplies for others.

Ballotpedia tracks politicians and government officials who have been diagnosed or tested for coronavirus, or become quarantined.

As of April 3, we have tracked:
• Six federal politicians diagnosed with coronavirus and 40 federal politicians self-quarantined
• Twenty-nine state politicians diagnosed with coronavirus and 71 state politicians self-quarantined

Yesterday, we reported three politicians tested positive for the virus and one politician announced a self-quarantine.

To see a history of these announcements, click here.



Coroanvirus daily update: April 2, 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 2, 2020.
Federal responses
  1. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-N.Y.) announced she was creating a special House committee to oversee implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package. She tapped Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) to chair the committee. At the time of the announcement, no other committee members were announced.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  1. Seventeen states and one territory postponed state-level elections. Another five states postponed or authorized postponements of municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  2. Eight states modified candidate filing requirements.
  3. Eighteen states implemented changes to their absentee voting procedures.
  4. Political parties in 10 states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  1. Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico’s Democratic Party announced a further postponement of its primary election to an unspecified future date. The primary had originally been scheduled for March 29 before being postponed to April 26.
  2. West Virginia – On April 1, Gov. Jim Justice (R) issued an executive order postponing West Virginia’s statewide primary, including its presidential preference primary, to June 9. The primary was originally scheduled to take place on May 12. Details on adjustments to related dates are pending.
  3. Wisconsin – Judge William Conley, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, issued an order extending absentee voting deadlines in Wisconsin’s April 7 election. Under Conley’s order, the absentee ballot request deadline was extended to 5:00 p.m. April 3. The ballot return deadline was extended to 4:00 p.m. April 13. The primary date itself was unchanged.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  1. Ballotpedia tracked 15 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  2. Three states changed ballot measure procedures.
Details:
  1. Idaho – The Idaho Cannabis Coalition, which is the sponsor of a medical marijuana ballot initiative, announced that the campaign was suspending in-person signature gathering.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  1. To date, 309 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  2. Fifty-one 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-five state legislatures suspended their sessions. Three of those (Louisiana, New York, and Vermont) have since reconvened.
  2. Nineteen legislatures either adjourned or are not scheduled to be in regular session this year.
  3. Five state legislatures are in regular session.
  4. One state (Minnesota) partially suspended legislative activity.
Details:
  1. Colorado – According to an article in the The Denver Post on April 1, 2020, “House Majority Leader Alec Garnett said lawmakers will presume they are adjourned day to day based on legal advice and for everyone’s safety as the Senate had called for earlier this week.” The suspension of legislative activity was originally set to expire March 30; it was then extended to April 2.
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. Connecticut– The Judicial Branch announced the closure of three courthouses, Stamford, Middletown, and Milford, until further notice. Stamford and Milford’s business was transferred to the courthouse in Bridgeport. Middletown’s business was transferred to the New Britain courthouse.
  2. Pennsylvania– The Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended its original order closing all Pennsylvania courts to the public through April 30.
  3. Missouri- The Missouri Supreme Court extended their previous order suspending in-person proceedings through May 1.
  4. Wyoming – The Wyoming Supreme Court extended their previous orders suspending in-person and jury trials through May 31.
Prison inmate responses
Overview to date:
  1. 11 states ordered the release of inmates at the state level.
  2. 21 states ordered the release of inmates on the local level.
  3. 17 states have not released inmates due to coronavirus.
  4. One state prohibited the release of certain inmate populations.
Details:
  1. New York– On March 27, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) ordered the release of 1,100 people who violated parole from jails and prisons across the state.
State stay-at-home orders
Overview to date:
  1. So far, 39 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 32 announced end dates.
Details:
  1. Mississippi – Gov. Tate Reeves (R) issued a shelter-in-place order effective April 3 through April 20.
  2. Oklahoma – Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) issued a stay-at-home order effective April 1 through April 30.
School closures
Overview to date:
  1. Forty-nine states ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 49 states served 50.1 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 99% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
  2. Ten states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Virginia.
Details:
  1. California – Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced that schools would remain physically closed for the rest of the academic year. Schools had been closed statewide since March 20 as a result of Newsom’s shelter-in-place order.
  2. Colorado – Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end April 17, was extended through April 30.
  3. Georgia – Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the school year. Prior to the order, the state’s school closure was scheduled to end April 24.
  4. Indiana – Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) announced that schools in the state would remain closed through the end of the academic year. Prior to this order, schools were scheduled to be closed through May 1.
  5. Kentucky – Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced that the statewide school closure, originally scheduled to end on April 20, would extend until May 1.
  6. Nebraska – Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) directed schools to operate without students through May 31.
  7. West Virginia – Gov. Jim Justice (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
State politicians who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. State Rep. Vivian Flowers (D-AR)
Local politicians who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. New York City council member Paul Vallone (D)
  2. Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones (D)
Local politicians who self-quarantined for coronavirus
New York City council member Mark Levine (D)


Coronavirus daily update: April 1, 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 1, 2020.
Federal responses
  1. No updates today.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  1. Sixteen states and one territory altered state-level primary or general election dates. Six states postponed 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. Idaho – On March 30, Gov. Brad Little (R) and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney (R) announced that Idaho’s May 19 primary election would be conducted entirely by mail.
  2. Vermont – On March 30, Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed H0681 into law, making a series of temporary changes to the state’s election laws in response to the coronavirus outbreak: suspending candidate petition signature gathering requirements for both the August primary and the November general elections; authorizing local legislative bodies to transition upcoming local elections from floor meetings to Australian ballot (i.e., secret ballot) elections; and authorizing the secretary of state, with the consent of the governor, to enact temporary changes to election procedures (e.g., expanding voting by mail).
  3. Wisconsin – On March 31, in a brief filed in response to a federal lawsuit seeking postponement of the April 7 election, Assistant Attorney General Hannah Jurss indicated that Gov. Tony Evers (D) would deploy members of the National Guard as poll workers.
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. No updates today.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  1. To date, 279 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  2. Fifty significant bills have been enacted into law, about 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
Overview to date:
  1. Twenty-five state legislatures suspended their sessions. Three of those (Louisiana, New York, and Vermont) have since reconvened.
  2. Nineteen legislatures either adjourned or are not scheduled to be in regular session this year.
  3. Five state legislatures are in regular session.
  4. One state (Minnesota) partially suspended legislative activity.
Details:
  1. Alabama – The Alabama legislature suspended all legislative activity through April 28.
  2. Arkansas – The Arkansas legislature, after adjourning a special session on March 28, suspended its session through April 8.
  3. Louisiana – The suspension implemented by the Louisiana legislature concluded on March 31.
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. No updates today. 
Prison inmate responses
Overview to date:
  1. Ten states ordered the release of inmates at the state level.
  2. Twenty-two states ordered the release of inmates on the local level.
  3. Seventeen states have not released inmates due to coronavirus.
  4. One state prohibited the release of certain inmate populations.
Details:
  1. California – According to court filings from California state lawyers, the state plans to release 3,500 inmates early within a few weeks. The inmates considered for early release are serving terms for nonviolent crimes and were due to be released within 60 days.
  2. Missouri – On March 30, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice George Draper issued a letter to trial court judges clarifying statutes for pre-trial, post-conviction release, and the court’s authority to release an offender sentenced to a term in county jail or on parole.
  3. New York – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on March 31 that 900 inmates have been released to slow the spread of coronavirus in the city’s jails.
  4. Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed an executive order on March 29 prohibiting the release of inmates accused or previously convicted of violent crimes without paying bail.
State stay-at-home orders
Overview to date:
  1. So far, 37 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 30 announced end dates.
Details:
  1. Florida – Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued a stay-at-home order effective from April 2 to April 30. This does not impact schools in the state, which are closed until May 1. DeSantis previously announced a similar order for four counties in southeast Florida.
  2. Illinois – Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced that the statewide stay-at-home order, initially scheduled to end April 7, was extended through April 30.
  3. Maine – Gov. Janet Mills (D) issued a stay-at-home order, effective April 2 through April 30. The order extended the statewide school closure, which was scheduled to end on April 27.
  4. Nevada – Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) issued a stay-at-home order, effective immediately and lasting until April 30. The order extended the statewide school closure, which was scheduled to end on April 16.
  5. Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) issued a stay-at-home order statewide. Previously, he issued orders on a county-by-county basis. The order is effective from April 1 through April 30. The order does not affect schools, which were already closed indefinitely.
  6. Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a stay-at-home order, effective April 2 through April 30. As part of the order, Abbott extended the statewide school closure through May 4.
School closures
Overview to date:
  1. Forty-eight states ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 47 states served 49.8 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. Maine – Gov. Janet Mills (D) issued a stay-at-home order effective from April 2 to April 30. Although schools in Maine had handled closures at a local level, this order extended closures statewide through April 30.
  2. Nevada – Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) issued a stay-at-home order effective from April 1 to April 30. This extended the statewide school closure, scheduled to end on April 16, through April 30.
  3. Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end April 3, was extended through May 4.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Federal politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. Rep. Ronald Wright (R-TX)
State politicians who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. State Rep. Reggie Bagala (R-LA)
  2. State Rep. Reginald Murdock (D-AR)
State politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR)


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


Miami Mayor announces second negative COVID-19 result

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced on March 30 that he tested negative for COVID-19 for a second time. Suarez previously tested positive for the virus and has been self-quarantined since March 12.

Ballotpedia is tracking politicians and government officials who have been diagnosed or tested for coronavirus or become quarantined. Suarez is one of at least two Florida officials diagnosed with COVID-19. U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R) announced that he tested positive on March 18.

As of March 31, we have identified:
• Five federal officials diagnosed with coronavirus and 40 federal officials quarantined
• Twenty-six state officials diagnosed with coronavirus and 70 state officials quarantined

Yesterday, March 30, we reported seven politicians who tested positive for the virus, one politician who announced a self-quarantine, and four politicians who tested negative.

To see a history of these announcements, click here.



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)


Daily coronavirus update: March 27, 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 27, 2020.
Federal responses
  • President Donald Trump (R) signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. The U.S. House approved the relief package earlier in the day by a voice vote. The legislation includes $2 trillion in relief funds, and a $1,200 payment to individuals making less than $75,000 per year.
  • Trump announced that he would use the Defense Production Act to compel General Motors to produce ventilators.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  • Fifteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Six states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Twelve states implemented changes to their voting procedures.
  • Political parties in nine states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  • Montana – Gov. Steve Bullock (D) issued a directive authorizing counties to conduct upcoming elections entirely by mail.
  • Ohio – Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed HB 197 into law, rescheduling the state’s primary election for April 28.
  • Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed a bill into law postponing the state’s primary election to June 2. It was originally scheduled for April 28.
  • Utah – Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed an executive order authorizing candidates and/or their campaigns to send petition sheets to voters electronically. The order also authorized voters to return signed petition sheets electronically or by mail.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  • Ballotpedia has tracked 14 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  • Three states changed ballot measure procedures.
Details:
  • Arizona – The campaign for an initiative to establish a right to know the original source of campaign media spending suspended its signature drive. At least two other previously active Arizona initiative petition drives have suspended signature gathering as well: one concerning voting and campaign finance policies, and one to enact hospital worker minimum wage and insurance regulations.
  • Oklahoma – The Oklahoma Secretary of State officially paused the signature gathering window for initiative petitions until the governor lifts the state’s emergency declaration.
  • Oregon –  The campaign for an initiative to decriminalize drugs and establish an addiction treatment program suspended in-person signature gathering efforts.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  • To date, 261 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Thirty-one significant bills have been enacted into law, about 12 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:
  • Twenty-three state legislatures suspended their sessions. Two of those (New York and Vermont) have since reopened.
  • Thirteen 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) is in a special session.
  • One state (Minnesota) has partially suspended legislative activity.
Details:
  • Arkansas – Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) issued a proclamation convening a special session of the state legislature to begin March 26 and continuing indefinitely.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  • Thirty-four states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
Details:
  • Wyoming – Effective March 23, the Wyoming Supreme Court suspended in-person proceedings through at least April 10, except in certain specified instances. The court encouraged judges to use video or telephone when possible, and to reschedule civil trials and criminal trials “subject to the requirement that defendants be provided speedy trials as required by law.”
  • Idaho  – The Idaho Supreme Court ordered only emergency hearings and proceedings be conducted, suspended civil trials, and delayed criminal trials at least 30 days from their original start date.
  • Kentucky – The Kentucky Supreme Court extended their original order limiting in-person court proceedings through April 24.
  • Michigan – In a joint statement by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and the Executive Director of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, judges, law enforcement, and prosecutors are encouraged to coordinate the expanded use of appearance citations and summons, when appropriate and legally permissible, rather than custodial arrests and arrest warrants to proactively reduce the risk posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Maine – The Maine Supreme Court has suspended all grand and petit jury proceedings for the months of April and May.
  • Mississippi – The Mississippi Supreme Court ordered the suspension of a criminal procedure rule that prohibited the use of interactive equipment for probation violation hearings and felony sentencing.
State stay-at-home orders
Overview to date:
  • So far, 23 states issued statewide stay-at-home orders. Five of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 18 announced end dates.
Details:
  • Oklahoma – Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) issued a safer at home order, effective March 25 to April 15. Schools were already closed through the end of the academic year so they were not impacted by this order.
School closures
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.
  • Five states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Virginia.
Details:
  • Alabama – Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced that schools statewide would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools were scheduled to reopen on April 6.
  • New Mexico – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced that schools would be closed for the remainder of the academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools were scheduled to reopen on April 6.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Federal officials who tested positive for coronavirus
  • Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC)
Federal officials who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  • Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)
  • Rep. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher (D-TX)
Federal officials who tested negative for coronavirus
  • Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA)
State officials who tested positive for coronavirus
  • State Rep. Matthew Gambill (R-GA)
  • State Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-MI)
  • State Sen. Bruce Thompson (R-GA)
State officials who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  • All 56 members of the Georgia State Senate.


Daily coronavirus update: March 26, 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 26, 2020.
Federal responses
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the House would move to approve the third coronavirus relief package on Friday. The U.S. Senate passed the legislation by a 96-0 vote on Wednesday night. The legislation includes $1,200 in direct payments to individuals making up to $75,000 annually.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  • Fourteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Five states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Eleven states implemented changes to their voting procedures.
  • Political parties in nine states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  • The Indiana Election Commission authorized the temporary suspension of the state’s statutory absentee voting eligibility requirements, allowing all voters to cast their ballots by mail in the June 2 primary election.
  • On Wednesday, Ohio lawmakers unanimously approved legislation extending mail-in voting in the state’s primary election to April 28 and canceling in-person voting entirely. The governor indicated he intends to sign the bill into law. Ohio’s primary was originally scheduled for March 17.
  • Also on Wednesday, Pennsylvania lawmakers unanimously approved a bill postponing the state’s primary election, originally scheduled for April 28, to June 2. The governor said he intends to sign the bill.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  • Ballotpedia tracked 10 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  • Three states changed ballot measure procedures.
Details:
  • Oregon – Henry Wessinger, who filed an initiative petition on behalf of State of Safety Action, announced that the campaign would not circulate its initiative petition targeting the 2020 ballot due to the coronavirus pandemic. The initiative would have provided regulations regarding firearms and firearm storage.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  • To date, 253 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Twenty-nine significant bills have been enacted into law, about 11 percent of the total number that has been introduced. This total omits ceremonial resolutions and legislation providing for procedural changes to legislative business. For a complete list of enacted legislation, see here.
State legislative session changes
Overview to date:
  • Twenty-three state legislatures suspended their sessions.
  • Two states (Maine and Maryland) adjourned early.
  • Four states implemented partial suspensions.
Details:
  • The Connecticut State Legislature extended its suspension, originally set to expire at the end of this month, to April 13.
  • The Minnesota State Legislature reconvened its session on March 26. The session was previously suspended through April 14.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  • Thirty-three states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
  • One state had no change to their court schedule.
Details:
  • The Maryland Court of Appeals extended its previous March 13 order restricting in-person proceedings and jury trials through May 1.
  • The Tennessee Supreme Court extended its original March 14 order through April 30. They further ordered local presiding judges to develop a written plan to address issues regarding the incarceration of nonviolent offenders to reduce the jail population by March 30.
  • The Vermont Supreme Court extended restrictions for public access to court proceedings.
State shutdowns
Overview to date:
  • So far, 22 of the 50 states issued statewide shutdown orders. Six of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 16 announced end dates.
Details:
  • Colorado – Gov. Jared Polis (D) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 26 to April 11. This does not affect the statewide school closure, which lasts through April 17.
  • Minnesota – Gov. Tim Walz (D) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 27 to April 10. The statewide school closure, initially scheduled to end March 27, was extended.
  • New Hampshire – Gov. Chris Sununu (R) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 27 to May 4. The statewide school closure, initially scheduled to end April 3, was extended.
School closures
Overview to date
  • 46 of 50 states ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 46 states served 48.7 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 96.2% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
Details:
  • Georgia – Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 31, was extended through April 24.
  • Massachusetts – Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end April 6, was extended through May 4.
  • Minnesota – Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 27, was extended through May 1.
  • New Hampshire – Gov. Chris Sununu (R) issued a stay-at-home order, extending the statewide school closure through May 1. Prior to the order, schools were scheduled to reopen on April 6.
  • The Oklahoma Department of Education announced that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. It became the third state to close schools for the rest of the year.
  • West Virginia – Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced that all schools would remain closed through April 20. The school closure was initially announced to be indefinite.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Federal officials who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)
  • Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)
  • Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY)
State officials who tested positive for coronavirus
  • State Rep. Michael Day (D-MA)
  • State Rep. Clinton Calabrese (D-NJ)
  • State Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R-GA)
State officials who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  • State Sen. William Ligon (R-GA)
  • State Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-GA)
  • State Sen. Frank Ginn (R-GA)
  • State Sen. Carden Summers (R-GA)
Local officials who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn (D-CA)


Daily coronavirus update: March 25, 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 25, 2020.
Federal responses
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said they reached an agreement on the third coronavirus relief bill, though no vote took place.
  • “At last we have a deal. … The Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement,” McConnell said on the Senate floor at 1:30 a.m.
  • “This bill is far from perfect, but we believe the legislation has been improved significantly to warrant its quick consideration and passage,” Schumer said.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  • Fourteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Six states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Five states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Ten states implemented changes to their voting procedures.
  • Political parties in nine states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  • The Democratic Party of Alaska canceled in-person voting in its presidential preference primary, originally scheduled for April 4, opting instead to conduct all voting by mail. The vote-by-mail deadline was extended to April 10.
  • Delaware postponed its presidential preference primary election, originally scheduled for April 28, to June 2. Delaware also postponed several local-level elections and expanded its definition of sick or physically disabled for the purposes of determining absentee voter eligibility.
  • Iowa’s secretary of state announced absentee voting in the June 2 primary election would open on April 23, 40 days before the primary election, an extension over the period required by state statutes. The secretary of state also announced the postponement of three special municipal elections to July 7.
  • Michigan’s secretary of state announced that the state would mail absentee ballot applications to all voters in municipal elections scheduled for May 5.
  • Nevada’s secretary of state announced plans to conduct all voting in the June 9 primary election by mail.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  • Ballotpedia tracked ten statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  • Two states changed ballot measure procedures.
Details:
  • Michigan – Fair Tax Michigan announced it was suspending efforts to place an initiative to establish graduated income tax rates on the ballot for November 3, 2020. Instead, Fair Tax Michigan will aim to place the initiative on the ballot for 2022.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  • To date, 242 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Twenty-eight significant bills have been enacted into law, roughly 12 percent of the total number that have been introduced. This total omits ceremonial resolutions and legislation providing for procedural changes to legislative business. For a complete list of enacted legislation, see here.
State legislative session changes
Overview to date:
  • Twenty-three state legislatures suspended their sessions.
  • Two states (Maine and Maryland) adjourned early.
  • Three states implemented partial suspensions.
Details:
  • The Arizona State Legislature suspended its session, effective March 24 through April 13.
  • The Oklahoma State Legislature suspended its session, effective March 23 through March 27.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  • Thirty-three states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
  • One state had no change to their court schedule.
Details:
  • The Alaska Supreme Court suspended all trial court proceedings and civil marriage ceremonies through May 1, except priority hearings. The court further ordered that all civil and criminal proceedings be held via telephone or video conference.
  • The California Supreme Court suspended all jury trials for the next 60 days. The court stated that trials could be conducted earlier if good cause is shown or through video or teleconference.
  • The Florida Supreme Court extended their March 13 order suspending all face-to-face legal proceedings in the state through April 17.
  • The Idaho Supreme Court suspended civil trials until further notice and criminal trials through April 30.
State shutdowns
Overview to date:
  • So far, 19 of the 50 states issued statewide shutdown orders. Six of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 13 announced end dates.
Details:
  • Vermont – Gov. Phil Scott (R) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 25 to April 15. The order did not explicitly mention schools, which are closed statewide until April 6.
  • Idaho – Gov. Brad Little (R) issued a stay-at-home order, effective from March 25 to April 15. Schools in the state were already scheduled to remain closed until April 20.
School closures
Overview to date
  • 46 of 50 states ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 46 states served 48.7 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 96.2% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
Details:
  • Maryland – State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 27, was extended through April 24.
  • Montana – Gov. Steve Bullock (D) announced the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 27, was extended through April 10.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians
Federal officials who entered quarantine
  • Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Federal officials who tested negative
  • White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham
  • Rep. Andrew Kim (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX)
State officials who tested positive
  • State Sen. Paul Rosino (R-OK)
  • State Rep. Jason Lowe (D-OK)
  • State Sen. Lester Jackson (D-GA)
State officials who entered quarantine
  • State Rep. Angelika Kausche (D-GA)
State officials who tested negative
  • State Rep. Holly Schepisi (R-NJ)


Coronavirus daily update: March 24, 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 24, 2020.
Federal responses
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced it would officially use the Defense Production Act to acquire 60,000 coronavirus testing kits.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  • Thirteen states and one territory changed state-level primary or general election dates. Four states changed municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  • Five states adjusted their candidate filing procedures.
  • Six states implemented changes to their voting procedures.
  • Political parties in seven states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  • Georgia’s secretary of state announced that election officials would mail absentee ballot request forms to all active voters for the May 19 primary election.
  • Illinois exempted candidates for state-level office from filing statements of economic interests for the duration of the governor’s disaster proclamation period and for 30 days thereafter.
  • Massachusetts postponed four special state legislative elections, originally scheduled for March 31: Senate 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District and Senate Plymouth and Barnstable District were postponed to May 19; House 3rd Bristol District and House 37th Middlesex District were postponed to June 2.
  • Texas’ secretary of state extended the petition deadline for independent candidates for non-presidential office to August 13.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  • Ballotpedia tracked nine statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  • To date, 222 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Twenty-seven significant bills have been enacted into law, 12 percent of the total number that have been introduced. This total omits ceremonial resolutions and legislation providing for procedural changes to legislative business. For a complete list of enacted legislation, see here.
State legislative session changes
Overview to date:
  • Twenty-one state legislatures suspended sessions in at least one chamber.
  • Two states (Maine and Maryland) adjourned early.
  • Five states implemented partial suspensions.
Details:
  • Alabama’s House of Representatives announced a partial suspension of legislative activity, canceling all meetings scheduled for March 25. The House was scheduled to meet on March 26, but a quorum was not expected.
  • Minnesota’s state legislature suspended legislative business until April 14.
  • South Carolina’s state legislature suspended its session, effective this week and continuing indefinitely.
  • Tennessee’s state legislature suspended its session until June 1.
State court changes
Overview to date:
  • Thirty-three states suspended in-person proceedings statewide.
  • Sixteen states suspended in-person proceedings on the local level.
  • One state had no change to their court schedule.
Details:
  • The Louisiana State Supreme Court instructed all courts to limit access to courtrooms and other spaces to the maximum number of people allowed per guidelines set by the CDC, President Donald Trump, and Gov. John Bel Edwards. They further ordered that all essential court functions be conducted through video or telephone whenever possible.
  • The New Jersey Supreme Court issued an order that will suspend or commute county jail sentences for low-risk inmates due to the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The New Mexico Supreme Court ordered all judges to conduct civil and criminal proceedings by video and teleconference, except in cases where an emergency in-person appearance is required.
State shutdowns
Overview to date:
  • So far, 17 of the 50 states have issued statewide shutdown orders. Six of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 11 have announced end dates.
Details:
  • Hawaii – Gov. David Ige (D) issued a stay-at-home order from March 25 through April 30. Local news reports said that no decision had been made yet on schools, although they are scheduled to open April 7, and the governor sees education as essential according to reports.
  • Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) issued a stay-at-home order for seven counties, which includes some of the states largest. Residents of Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Monroe, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties were ordered to stay home from March 23 to April 6.
School closures
Overview to date
  • 46 of 50 states have ordered a statewide school closure. The remaining states are leaving school closures up to local officials. Those 46 states served 48.7 million students during the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 96.2% of the 50.6 million public school students in the United States.
Details:
  • Idaho – The Idaho State Department of Education ordered schools statewide to close to students from March 24 to April 20. This made Idaho the 46th state to order a statewide school closure.
  • Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 31, was extended to April 10.
  • South Carolina – Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 30, was extended to April 30.
  • Utah – Gov. Gary Herbert (R) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end March 31, was extended to May 1.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians
Federal officials and noteworthy figures who tested negative
  • First lady Melania Trump
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT)
State officials who have tested positive for coronavirus
  • State Sen. Jim Smallwood (R-CO)
Here is a list of political figures not detailed in this project, due to the scope of our coverage, that did self-quarantine or test for the virus:
  • Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Mayor John Cruikshank tested positive.
  • Snoqualmie, Washington, Mayor Matt Larson tested positive.
  • Grovetown, Georgia, Mayor Gary Jones entered a self-quarantine.


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