CategoryLocal

Coronavirus daily update: April 8, 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 8, 2020.
Federal responses
  1. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House Coronavirus Taskforce, said that the number of deaths in the United States resulting from the coronavirus would be below his original projection of 100,000 to 200,000.
  2. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a $500 million contract with General Motors to produce 30,000 ventilators under the Defense Production Act.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  1. Nineteen states and one territory have postponed upcoming state-level elections. In another five states, officials at the state level have either directly postponed, or authorized the postponement of, municipal elections
  2. Nine states have modified their candidate filing requirements.
  3. Nineteen states have made modifications to their voting procedures.
  4. Political parties in 15 states have made changes to party events.
Details:
  1. New Jersey – New Jersey has postponed its statewide primary, originally scheduled for June 2, to July 7.
  2. New York – Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that he would issue an executive order extending absentee ballot eligibility to all voters in the June 23 primary election.
  3. Virginia – Virginia has postponed its statewide primary, originally scheduled for June 9, to June 23. Governor Ralph Northam (D) is also requesting that the Virginia General Assembly postpone all general and special elections originally scheduled for May to November 3.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  1. Ballotpedia tracked 18 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  2. Five states changed ballot measure procedures.
  3. At least four lawsuits seeking court orders suspending or changing requirements and deadlines.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  1. To date, 369 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  2. Seventy-one significant bills have been enacted into law, 19 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 have suspended their sessions. Five of those have since reconvened.
  2. Eighteen legislatures have either adjourned or are not scheduled to be in regular session this year.
  3. Four state legislatures are in regular session.
  4. Two state legislatures (Oklahoma and Wisconsin) are in special session.
  5. One state (Minnesota) has partially suspended legislative activity.
Details:
  1. Arkansas – Lawmakers reconvened on April 8 after having adjourned a special session on March 26.
  2. Kentucky – The Kentucky legislature suspended its session, effective April 8 through April 13.
  3. Missouri – Lawmakers reconvened on April 8.
  4. South Carolina – Lawmakers reconvened on April 8.
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. Federal Judiciary – The United States Courts announced on April 8 that federal judges nationwide had moved court operations virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. Florida– The Florida Supreme Court extended restrictions on in-person proceedings and suspension of jury trials through May 29.
  3. Illinois – The Illinois Supreme Court extended its April 3 order to allow circuit court chief judges to suspend trials until further notice from the Supreme Court.
  4. Michigan – The Michigan Supreme Court authorized judicial officers to conduct procedures remotely, either in the courtroom or some other location, using technology such as video conferences.
  5. Vermont – The Vermont Supreme Court extended their suspension of jury trials through May 15.
Prison inmate responses
Overview to date:
  1. Fourteen  states ordered the release of inmates at the state level.
  2. Eighteen states ordered the release of inmates on the local level.
  3. Sixteen  states have not released inmates due to coronavirus.
  4. Two states prohibited the release of certain inmate populations.
Details:
  1. Pennsylvania– The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined to release juveniles held in detention, correctional, or other residential facilities. The court directed judges to work with county stakeholders to address the spread of coronavirus where minors are held
State stay-at-home orders
Overview to date:
  1. So far, 43 states issued statewide stay-at-home orders. Seven of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 36 announced end dates.
Details:
  1. Minnesota – Gov. Tim Walz (D) issued an executive order maintaining the stay-at-home order and the temporary closure of bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation.
School closures
Overview to date:
  1. Fifteen states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. Those states account for 34.4% of the 50.6 million public school students in the country.
  2. All 50 states ordered a statewide school closure in some form.
Travel restrictions
Overview to date:
  1. 17 governors or state agencies have issued an executive order.
Details:
  1. Arizona – Gov. Doug Ducey (R) issued an executive order requiring visitors from areas of the country with high rates of COVID-19 community spread to self-quarantine for 14 days unless engaged in essential activities. 
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Federal politicians who tested negative for coronavirus
  1. U.S. House New Jersey District 11 Rep. Mikie Sherrill


Jersey City Councilman Michael Yun dies from coronavirus-related complications

Jersey City Councilman Michael Yun died April 6 at the age of 65 from coronavirus related complications.

Yun tested positive for coronavirus on March 29 after being hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 symptoms at the Jersey City Medical Center on March 24. Yun was serving his second term representing Ward D on the city council.

Jersey City became New Jersey’s first municipal district to report 1,000 cases on April 3. On April 7, Fulop reported 47 confirmed fatalities due to COVID-19 in Jersey City.

Yun was first elected in 2013 and won re-election to office in 2017. He was one of nine councilmembers. Vacancies in the Jersey City Council are filled by appointment by other members of the council.

Additional reading:
Politicians, candidates, and government officials diagnosed with or quarantined due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020
Jersey City, New Jersey



Coronavirus daily update: April 7, 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 7, 2020.
Federal responses
  1. President Donald Trump (R) replaced Glenn Fine as the acting inspector general of the Defense Department, effectively making him ineligible to serve as chair of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee was created to monitor the coronavirus relief money. Fine was selected as chair by the other eight members of the committee, who are all inspectors general of various federal departments and agencies. Trump named Sean O’Donnell, the EPA inspector general, to serve as Fine’s replacement.
Election changes
Overview to date:
  1. Seventeen states and one territory have postponed state-level primary or special elections. Another six states have postponed, or authorized the postponement of, municipal election dates on a statewide basis.
  2. Nine states have adjusted their candidate filing requirements.
  3. Eighteen states have implemented modifications to their voting procedures.
  4. Political parties in 15 states made changes to party events on a statewide basis.
Details:
  1. Arkansas – The Democratic Party of Arkansas has authorized 17 county-level affiliates to conduct their conventions remotely.
  2. Florida – Secretary of State Laurel Lee (R) has signed two orders authorizing candidates to submit qualifying documents, including signed petitions, electronically.
  3. Maine – The Democratic Party of Maine has canceled its state convention, originally scheduled for May 29-30. The party has opted instead to elect delegates to the national convention remotely.
  4. North Carolina – The Republican Party of North Carolina has postponed its state convention, originally scheduled for May 14 to June 4.
  5. Virginia – The Republican congressional committee of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District has voted to postpone its convention, originally scheduled for April 25, indefinitely.
  6. Texas – Governor Greg Abbott (R) has issued an order allowing parties that nominate by convention to postpone such conventions or conduct them remotely.
Ballot measure changes
Overview to date:
  1. Ballotpedia tracked 18 statewide initiative petition drives that suspended signature gathering.
  2. Five states changed ballot measure procedures.
  3. At least four lawsuits seeking court orders suspending or changing requirements and deadlines.
State legislative responses
Overview to date:
  1. To date, 353 bills related to the coronavirus pandemic have been introduced in state legislatures.
  2. Sixty-five significant bills have been enacted into law, 18 percent of the total number that have been introduced. This total omits ceremonial resolutions and legislation providing for procedural changes to legislative business.
State legislative session changes
Overview to date:
  1. Twenty-four state legislatures have suspended their sessions. Two of those (New York and Vermont) have since reconvened.
  2. Eighteen legislatures have either adjourned or are not scheduled to be in regular session this year.
  3. Five state legislatures are in regular session.
  4. Two state legislatures (Oklahoma and Wisconsin) are in special session.
  5. One state (Minnesota) has partially suspended legislative activity.
Details:
  1. California – The California legislature has extended its suspension through May 4. The suspension had originally been scheduled to last through April 13.
  2. Wisconsin – The governor issued an executive order yesterday calling on the Wisconsin legislature to convene a special session on April 7.
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. Arizona– The Arizona Supreme Court extended the suspension of jury trials through May 1.
  2. Louisiana – The Louisiana Supreme Court extended restrictions on in-person proceedings and suspension of jury trials through May 4.
  3. Massachustts – The Massachusetts Supreme Court ordered emergency matters be handled virtually during normal business hours.
  4. New York – The New York Supreme Court ordered that all proceedings, both essential and emergency, must be held virtually statewide.
Prison inmate responses
Overview to date:
  1. Fourteen states ordered the release of inmates at the state level.
  2. Eighteen states ordered the release of inmates on the local level.
  3. Sixteen states have not released inmates due to coronavirus.
  4. Two states prohibited the release of certain inmate populations.
Details:
  1. Connecticut – Officials from the Connecticut Department of Corrections announced that 727 people had been released from state prisons since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early March, the most substantial one-month reduction of the prison population in the state’s history.
State stay-at-home orders
Overview to date:
  1. So far, 43 states issued statewide stay-at-home orders. Seven of those orders are set to last until modified or rescinded by the governor, while the other 36 announced end dates.
Details:
  1. Indiana– Gov. Eric Holcomb issued an executive order on April 6 directing all Indiana residents to limit the number of necessary trips outside of their homes and encouraged people to utilize online shopping and curbside pick up when possible.  The order also allows non-essential businesses to conduct business online with delivery and for curbside pickup.
School closures
Overview to date:
  1. Fifteen states closed schools for the remainder of the academic year: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. Those states account for 34.4% of the 50.6 million public school students in the country.
  2. All 50 states ordered a statewide school closure in some form.
Details:
  1. Arkansas – Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) closed schools for the remainder of the academic year. Prior to this order, schools in the state were closed through April 17.
  2. New York – Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that the statewide school closure, scheduled to end April 15, was extended through April 29.
  3. South Dakota – Gov. Kristi Noem (R) closed schools for the remainder of the academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools were closed through May 1.
  4. Washington – Gov. Jay Inslee (D) closed schools for the remainder of the academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools were closed through April 24.
Travel restrictions
Overview to date:
  1. Fifteen governors or state agencies have issued an executive order.
Details:
  1. Maine – Gov. Janet Mills (D) issued an executive order requiring all out-of-state travelers to self-quarantine for two weeks. Individuals providing essential services are exempt. The order directs state agencies, such as the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority, to post the order at all major points of entry into the state. According to the order, individuals in violation of the quarantine restrictions could be subject to a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia in the last 24 hours
Deaths linked to coronavirus
  1. Jersey City Council Ward member Michael Yun
  2. Judge Kevin Duffy, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York


Two recall elections on the ballot in Elizabeth, Colorado

Recall elections against Mayor Megan Vasquez and trustee Tammy Payne are taking place on April 7 in Elizabeth, Colorado.

Vasquez, Payne, and five other trustees were targeted for recall in August 2019. Trustees June Jurczewsky and Rachel White were removed from their positions as a result of recall elections on December 17, 2019. Recall elections against trustees Loren Einspahr, Steve Gaither, and Angela Ternus could not be scheduled to be held until April 7. Because the terms of Einspahr, Gaither, and Ternus are up in April 2020, those trustees are on the ballot for the regularly scheduled elections only.

The recall efforts were organized by Dwayne Snader, who initiated the process after an August 21 town meeting focused on a proposed plan for the growth in the town. Snader said the meeting was “a one-way conversation. We had no say-so, and there was no public comment period. They presented their ideas for growth, which included subdivisions and a rebuild of the downtown area, and we’re just supposed to watch our land disappear.”

Vasquez commented on the issue surrounding the recall efforts. She said, “I can relate to how they’re upset right now. I also feel like there’s a lot of misinformation out there and that does tend to stir the pot. People believe that the Town is going to come and take their property in essence – which we have no intention.”

Petitions against all seven officials were approved for circulation on August 26, 2019. Recall organizers were given 60 days to submit signatures equal to 25 percent of the votes cast in the last election for the targeted official. Petitioners were required to submit 53 valid signatures for Vasquez and between 33 and 36 signatures for each member of the town board.

In 2019, Ballotpedia covered a total of 151 recall efforts against 230 elected officials. Of the 66 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 34 were recalled for a rate of 52%. That was lower than the 63% rate and 57% rate for 2018 and 2017 recalls, respectively.

Additional reading:
Laws governing recall in Colorado
Political recall efforts, 2020



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.



Milwaukee, Madison to hold county and municipal elections

A general election for municipal and county offices is scheduled for April 7, 2020, in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin’s two most populous cities. Milwaukee is the county seat of Milwaukee County, and Madison is the county seat of Dane County. Primaries were held February 18.

In Milwaukee, the following offices are up for election:
  • Mayor
  • City attorney
  • City comptroller
  • Common council (15 seats)
In Milwaukee County, the following offices are up for election:
  • County executive
  • County comptroller
  • Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors (18 seats)
  • Milwaukee County Circuit Court (branches 2, 5, 7, 16, 27, 29, and 32)
In Madison, the following office is up for election:
  • Special election for Madison Common Council District 8
In Dane County, the following offices are up for election:
  • Dane County Board of Supervisors (37 seats)
  • Dane County Circuit Court (branch 7)

Offices in Dane County and Milwaukee County are officially nonpartisan. The presidential primary in Wisconsin is also scheduled for April 7.

Although many states have postponed or authorized the postponement of municipal elections in reaction to the coronavirus (COVID-19), lawmakers in Wisconsin have declined to do so. On Thursday, April 2, U.S. District Judge William Conley dismissed a request to delay the election but did issue an order extending absentee voting deadlines in the April 7 election. Under Conley’s order, the absentee ballot request deadline was extended to 5:00 p.m. April 3, 2020. The ballot return deadline was extended to 4:00 p.m. April 13, 2020.

In response to concerns that many areas of Wisconsin would not have enough poll workers to open voting locations, Assistant Attorney General Hannah Jurss indicated on March 31 that Governor Tony Evers (D) would deploy members of the National Guard to assist poll workers on April 7.

Additional reading:


Candidate filing period for state and local races to end in Arizona, North Dakota, and Oklahoma

The major-party filing deadlines to run for state elected office in three states are coming up in the next week. Arizona’s and North Dakota’s filing deadlines are on April 6, and Oklahoma’s filing deadline is on April 10.

In Arizona, prospective candidates may file for the following state offices:
  • Corporation Commission (3 seats)
  • State Senate (30 seats)
  • State House (60 seats)
Ballotpedia is also covering Arizona local elections in the following areas, though the filing deadline for these offices is not until July 6:
  • Phoenix
  • Mesa
  • Chandler
  • Glendale
  • Gilbert
  • Scottsdale
  • Maricopa County
  • Pima County
  • 42 school districts
In North Dakota, prospective candidates may file for the following state offices:
  • Governor
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Treasurer
  • State Auditor
  • Commissioner of Insurance
  • Public Service Commissioner
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • State Senate (23 seats)
  • State House (47 seats)
  • Supreme Court (1 seat)
In Oklahoma, prospective candidates may file for the following state offices:
  • Corporation Commissioner
  • State Senate (24 seats)
  • State House (101 seats)
Ballotpedia is also covering Oklahoma local elections in the following areas:
  • Tulsa
  • Oklahoma County
  • Tulsa County
  • Cleveland County
  • Canadian County
  • Osage County
  • 25 school districts (the filing deadline for these elections was December 4, 2019)

Arizona and Oklahoma are also holding retention elections for their state supreme courts and their state intermediate appellate courts on November 3, 2020.

The primary in Arizona is scheduled for August 4, the primary in North Dakota is scheduled for June 9, and the primary in Oklahoma is scheduled for June 30. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (R) has authorized counties to conduct the June 9 primary entirely by mail in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The general elections for all three states are scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Arizona’s, North Dakota’s, and Oklahoma’s statewide filing deadlines are the 32nd, 33rd, and 34th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on April 21 in Michigan.

Arizona, North Dakota, and Oklahoma all have Republican state government trifectas. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.



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)


Ten states have ordered the release of some inmates in response to the coronavirus

Ballotpedia is providing comprehensive coverage on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting America’s political and civic life. Our coverage includes how federal, state, and local governments are responding, and the effects those responses are having on campaigns and elections.

As of April 1, 10 states have ordered the release of inmates at the state level, 23 states have ordered the release of inmates on the local level, and 17 have not released inmates due to coronavirus.

Some state-level changes have been made by courts. On March 24, for example, 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. South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty wrote a memo on March 16 directing local courts to release persons charged with non-capital crimes, so long as they do not pose a danger to the public or are an extreme flight risk.

The governors of Michigan and Illinois issued executive orders allowing local governments to release incarcerated individuals who are vulnerable to the disease and do not pose a risk to the public. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order granting the director of the Colorado Department of Corrections “authority to release people within 180 days of their parole eligibility date, and suspended limits on awarding earned time, to allow for earlier release dates.”

In California, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva released 1,700 people from jail who were convicted of nonviolent misdemeanors and scheduled to be released within 30 days. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the release of at least 650 inmates convicted of nonviolent crimes and serving sentences of less than a year from Rikers Island.

One governor, Texas’ Greg Abbot, has issued an executive order prohibiting inmates accused or previously convicted of violent crimes from being released without paying bail.

Additional Reading:
New Jersey Supreme Court
Donald Beatty
Alex Villanueva (California)
Bill de Blasio
Jared Polis
Greg Abbott
J.B. Pritzker
Gretchen Whitmer



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