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Kelly Caldwell

Kelly Caldwell is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Former Alabama lawmaker joins the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

 

Former Alabama Representative April Weaver was appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on May 18, 2020.

Weaver will serve as a regional director overseeing Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, and North Carolina. She reports to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Weaver was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives on November 3, 2010, to serve District 49. In 2018, she was reelected with 97.2% of the vote. On May 12, 2020, she announced her resignation from the Alabama House of Representatives.

Weaver’s departure represents the only vacancy in Alabama’s lower chamber.

Additional reading:



Federal and state politicians diagnosed with COVID-19

Ballotpedia tracks political incumbents, candidates, and government officials diagnosed with COVID-19, in quarantine or isolation to avoid possible transmission of COVID-19, or confirmed to have been tested and found not to carry COVID-19.

Through April 3, 2020, Ballotpedia had identified 36 federal and state politicians with a positive diagnosis. Here is the full list:

Federal
  • Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL)
  • Sen. Rand Paul (KY)
  • Rep. Mike Kelly (PA)
  • Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC)
  • Rep. Ben McAdams (UT)
  • New York congressional candidate Suraj Patel
State
  • State Rep. Reginald Murdock (AR)
  • State Rep. Vivian Flowers (AR)
  • State Rep. Jane Garibay (CT)
  • State Rep. Matthew Gambill (GA)
  • State Sen. Lester Jackson (GA)
  • State Sen. Nikema Williams (GA)
  • State Sen. Bruce Thompson (GA)
  • State Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (GA)
  • State Sen. Brandon Beach (GA)
  • State Sen. Clarence Nishihara (HI)
  • State Rep. Edward James (LA)
  • State Rep. Reggie Bagala (LA)
  • State Rep. Michael Day (MA)
  • State Rep. Tyrone Carter (MI)
  • State Rep. Joe Runions (MO)
  • North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell
  • State Rep. Clinton Calabrese (NJ)
  • State Sen. James L. Seward (NY)
  • State Rep. Brian Miller (NY)
  • State Rep. Kimberly Jean-Pierre (NY)
  • State Rep. Helene Weinstein (NY)
  • State Rep. Charles Barron (NY)
  • State Rep. Jason Lowe (OK)
  • State Sen. Paul Rosino (OK)
  • State Rep. Bob Glanzer (SD)
  • State Sen. Luz Escamilla (UT)
  • State Rep. David Bowen (WI)
  • California State Assembly candidate Rick Herrick
  • Colorado State Senate candidate Jim Smallwood
  • Colorado House of Representatives candidate Terrence Hughes


Coronavirus daily update: April 3, 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 3, 2020.
Federal responses
  1. The Supreme Court of the United States postponed the oral arguments scheduled for its April sitting. The court was scheduled to hear eight cases from April 20 to April 29.
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. Wisconsin– Gov. Tony Evers (D) signed an executive order calling the Wisconsin State Legislature to meet in a special session on April 4, 2020, to discuss possible changes to the April 7, 2020, election. Evers said the legislature should consider legislation instituting an all-mail election, in which every voter would receive a ballot by May 19 to be returned by May 26.
  2. State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) said the Republican caucus would reject Evers’ request. Vos called Evers’ proposal logistically impossible and described it as a “statewide invitation for voter fraud.”
  3. Evers’ announcement followed an order from Judge William M. Conley on April 2 extending absentee voting deadlines ahead of Tuesday’s election. Today, Conley ordered officials to withhold the results of the April 7 election until absentee balloting is complete on April 13. The order came at the request of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
  4. Kentucky – Kentucky’s legislature passed a bill that would allow the secretary of state and governor to jointly change the “manner” in which elections are held during a state of emergency.  Under the current law, only time and place may be altered.
  5. Idaho – Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney announced that absentee ballots applications will be sent to all registered voters ahead of the state’s May 19 primaries.
  6. South Dakota – Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed new legislation allowing local governments to delay any elections scheduled between April 14 to May 26 to any Tuesday in June.  Omitted from the new law are the state’s upcoming June 2 presidential and downballot primaries.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  1. Ballotpedia tracked 17 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  2. Three states changed ballot measure procedures.
  3. At least four lawsuits were filed seeking court orders suspending or changing requirements and deadlines.
Details:
  1. Colorado – On April 2, Denver District Court Judge Martin Egelhoff granted an emergency stay to allow proponents of the 22-Week Abortion Ban Initiative—Due Date Too Late—to collect additional signatures during a cure period of 15 days after the state’s emergency stay-at-home order expires.
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. 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. Five state legislatures are in regular session.
  4. One state (Minnesota) partially suspended legislative activity.
Details:
  1. Wisconsin – Gov. Tony Evers (D) issued an executive order calling the Wisconsin State Legislature to convene a special session at 4:00 PM on April 4, to discuss changes to the upcoming spring elections.
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. Alabama– The Alabama Supreme Court extended their suspension of in-person proceedings and jury trials through April 30.
Prison inmate responses
Overview to date:
  1. Twelve states ordered the release of inmates at the state level.
  2. Twenty 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. Kentucky– Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced that 186 inmate sentences will be shortened and indicated this would be the first wave of early releases to help slow the spread of coronavirus. A second wave will involve 743 inmates. He stated that all inmates would be screened for symptoms of the disease before their release. Inmates must also have a residence to move into and quarantine for 14 days after their release.
State stay-at-home orders
Overview to date:
  1. So far, 40 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 33 announced end dates.
Details:
  1. Georgia – Gov. Brian Kemp (R) issued a shelter-in-place order effective from April 3 to April 13. Schools, which were already closed for the year, were not impacted by this order.
School closures
Overview to date:
  1. All 50 states ordered a statewide school closure. Eleven states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Virginia.
Details:
  1. Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) ordered schools statewide to remain closed through April 30. Previously, her office issued a recommendation for schools to close that was scheduled to end April 13.
  2. Michigan – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced that schools statewide would remain closed for the rest of the academic year. Prior to this order, schools were scheduled to reopen April 13.
Travel restrictions
Overview to date:
  1. Fifteen governors or state agencies issued an executive order.
Details:
  1. Kentucky – Gov. Andy Beshear (D) issued an order requiring all people traveling to Kentucky to self-quarantine for two weeks. His previous order applied only to residents who recently traveled out of the state.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
State politicians who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell (R)
State politicians who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  1. State Rep. Becky Ruth (R-MO)
  2. State Rep. Mary Coleman (R-MO)
Local politicians who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. New York City council member Barry Grodenchik (D)
Local politicians who self-quarantined for coronavirus
  1. New York City council member Costa Constantinides (D)
Local politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. Jacksonville city council member Randy White (R)
Notable influencers who tested positive for coronavirus
  1. CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin


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 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.


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