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Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: May 28, 2020

This is our daily update on how federal, state, and local officials are planning to set America on a path to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas.

Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here. (We mistakenly labeled our May 27 newsletter Edition 23. It was Edition 22.)

The next two days

What is reopening in the next two days? Which stay-at-home orders will expire?

May 29:

  • District of Columbia: Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced on May 27 that the nation’s capital will begin Phase One of its reopening plan on May 29. Phase One will still prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people and require social distancing and face coverings. Retail curbside and delivery will be allowed, along with appointment-only services at barbershops and salons. Restaurants and mixed-use facilities that serve food may open for outdoor dining.
  • Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): Oahu county will be allowed to start reopening some types of businesses starting May 29, including barbershops, salons, and tattoo parlors. Outdoor attractions like waterparks are reopening starting May 28.
  • Illinois (Democratic trifecta): The state’s stay-at-home order will expire on May 29. It will become the 30th state to end a stay-at-home order. Illinois is also expected to start the third phase of its reopening plan, which will allow non-essential retailers and manufacturers to begin reopening. Restaurants will also be able to open for outdoor dining and gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted.
  • Maryland (divided government): Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced on May 27 that the following businesses and activities will be allowed to reopen or resume effective May 29: outdoor dining at restaurants and social clubs; outdoor youth sports and outdoor activities at youth day camps; drive-in movie theaters; and other outdoor activities.
  • Michigan (divided government): The executive order delaying nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures will be lifted effective May 29.
  • Nevada (Democratic trifecta): On May 26, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) announced the state would enter phase two of its reopening plan on May 29. Gyms will be allowed to open at 50% capacity and with social distancing guidelines. Bars that do not serve food will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity, with table service only. Barbershops and salons may reopen with sanitation and social distancing guidelines. Places of worship will be allowed to reopen with an attendance limit of 50 people and social distancing guidelines.
  • Texas (Republican trifecta): On May 26, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that waterparks can reopen at 25% capacity on May 29. Abbott also said food court dining areas in malls could reopen immediately.
  • Vermont (divided government): On May 27, Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced he expects to increase the social gathering limit from 10 to 25 on May 29. Scott said he would provide details on when indoor dining at restaurants can resume and when museums can reopen at a later date.
  • Virginia (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced that beginning on May 29, everyone in the state over the age of 10 will be required to wear a face covering in indoor public areas. The requirement applies in grocery stores, entertainment establishments, train and bus stations, government offices, or any indoor spaces where groups of people cannot remain more than six feet apart. Schools are exempt. Also on May 29, the whole state will fall under Phase One of the reopening plan. Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Accomack County did not enter Phase One with the rest of the state on May 15 because of high rates of infections.

May 30:

  • Idaho (Republican trifecta): Gov. Brad Little (R) announced the state will move into the third phase of reopening starting May 30. Phase Three will allow non-essential travel and gatherings of up to 50 people. Bars will be able to reopen. Movie theaters, which had been scheduled to reopen in Phase 4, will also be permitted to reopen that day.
  • Missouri (Republican trifecta): The state’s first reopening phase is scheduled to expire on May 30. Gov. Mike Parson (R) is expected to release Phase Two details on May 28.

Since our last edition

Have any states opened? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • Iowa (Republican trifecta): Effective May 28, bars and other alcohol-related establishments are permitted to reopen at 50 percent capacity. Earlier this week, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced that the following businesses would be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity effective June 1: outdoor performance venues, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement parks, skating rinks, skate parks, and outdoor playgrounds.
  • Kansas (divided government): On May 26, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced that the state would no longer implement its reopening plan, delegating that authority instead to county-level governments. Kelly said, “The power to administer and regulate the plan will be up to each county. If a county wants to remain [under restrictions], it will need to issue its own emergency order to that effect.”
  • Maine (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Janet Mills (D) announced that restaurant dine-in service in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties would be limited to outdoor seating only, effective June 1. Restaurants in these counties had previously been set to resume indoor and outdoor dine-in service on June 1.
  • Mississippi (Republican trifecta): Gov. Tate Reeves (R) announced that his Safer At Home order will be replaced by a Safe Return order effective June 1. The order will allow all travel to resume. The order will allow for indoor gatherings of up to 20 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people. If social distancing is possible, indoor gatherings of up to 50 and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 will be permitted. Reeves also issued an executive order allowing ballparks, theaters, libraries, and museums to begin opening June 1.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): New York’s statewide stay-at-home order expires at 11:59 p.m. on May 28. New York will be the 29th state to end a stay-at-home order. New York City will remain on PAUSE, which will keep what it deems non-essential businesses closed, limit social gatherings, and require social distancing. All of New York’s other regions have started the process of reopening.
  • North Carolina (divided government): A bill that would allow bars to reopen at 50 percent capacity, outdoors only, passed the Senate. The House has not voted on the bill. Bars are not permitted to reopen until Phase 3 of North Carolina’s reopening plan, scheduled to begin on June 26.
  • Pennsylvania (divided government): Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced additional guidance for counties in the yellow and green phases of reopening. Wolf said that professional sports activities will be able to resume in green-phase counties, while restaurants in yellow-phase counties will be able to open for outdoor dining beginning June 5. Eighteen counties are scheduled to enter the green phase on May 29. State park beaches and pools will begin a phased reopening on June 6.
  • Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): State officials released guidance for gyms, which will begin reopening on June 1.
  • Tennessee (Republican trifecta): Gov. Bill Lee’s (R) Economic Recovery Group released new and updated guidelines for noncontact sports, overnight camps, and higher education that address appropriate safety precautions.
  • Utah (Republican trifecta): Gov. Gary Herbert (R) released updated guidelines for parts of the state that have moved into the low-risk phase (or yellow phase) of the reopening plan. The new order clarifies that businesses in counties moved to the low-risk phase can operate, so long as they adhere to social distancing and sanitation guidelines. The order states that people should avoid non-essential travel to areas with high infection rates. Additionally, the order provides new guidance for K-12 education and higher education.
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced new gathering requirements for houses of worship at a press conference on May 27. In all phases, limits exclude staff. In counties that have entered Phase 1, outdoor services with up to 100 people are permitted. For counties in Phase 2, indoor services with up to 50 people or 25% capacity (whichever is less) are permitted. Religious communities may also hold in-home services in a private residence with up to 5 people. Staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings at all times and keep six feet of distance from other individuals or groups.

Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of May 28, stay-at-home orders have ended in 29 states. Eighteen of those states have Republican governors and 11 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order). Of the 14 states with active stay-at-home orders, one has a Republican governor and 13 have Democratic governors.

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired, and when the rest are scheduled to expire.

Tracking industries: Casinos

All 50 states began to reopen in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: in which states may you go to a casino and gamble? Tribal casinos operate independently of state rules and are not included in the figures below.

This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click a state below to read a previous Featured Plan.

Previous featured plans

Alabama Georgia Massachusetts New Mexico Virginia
Arizona Illinois Michigan Ohio Washington
California Indiana Montana Oklahoma
Colorado Maine Nevada Pennsylvania
Florida Maryland New Hampshire Texas

On April 20, Gov. Bill Lee (R) announced that he would allow Tennessee’s stay-at-home order to expire on April 30. He also announced that the majority of businesses across 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties would be allowed to reopen effective May 1.

The six counties exempted from Lee’s announcement were Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan. Lee said, “While I am not extending the safer-at-home order past the end of April, we are working directly with our major metropolitan areas to ensure they are in a position to reopen as soon and safely as possible. Social distancing works, and as we open our economy it will be more important than ever that we keep social distancing as lives and livelihoods depend on it.”

On April 24, Lee unveiled the first version of the Tennessee Pledge, a set of guidelines from the Tennessee Economic Recovery Group establishing the phased reopening of state businesses. The Tennessee Economic Recovery Group’s members include state legislators, officials from the state’s executive departments, and business leaders. The Group’s chairman is Mark Ezell, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

Context

  • On March 30, Lee signed Executive Order 22, which urged Tennesseeans to remain at home unless carrying out essential tasks and closed non-essential businesses. The order took effect on March 31 and was originally set to expire on April 14. On April 2, Lee signed Executive Order 23, which amended the original stay-at-home order and required residents to stay home. On April 13, Lee issued Executive Order 27, which extended the stay-at-home order through April 30, at which time it was allowed to expire.
  • As of May 27, Tennessee had 21,306 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 353 confirmed fatalities. Tennessee’s estimated population, as of July 2019, was 6.8 million. For every 100,000 residents, the state 312.0 confirmed cases and 5.2 confirmed fatalities.
  • Tennessee is a Republican trifecta, with a Republican governor and Republican majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Plan details

Tennessee Pledge provides the following general guidelines for all businesses

Employers:

  • Allow employees to work from home whenever possible.
  • Screen employees returning to work for COVID-19 symptoms (including temperature screening).
  • Direct employees exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms to leave immediately and seek medical care.
  • Implement workplace disinfection and cleaning practices.
  • Implement social distancing guidelines and modified scheduling.
  • Update employee illness policies.
  • Limit self-service options.
  • Publish extensive signage on health policies.

Employees:

  • Stay at home when feeling ill.
  • Practice social distancing and proper hygiene.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when working with the public.
  • Abide by employer guidelines.

Businesses have reopened as follows. Industry-specific guidance and recommendations can be accessed by clicking on an industry name.

May 1: 

May 6:

  • Close-contact businesses, including barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, spas, tanning salons, body-art facilities, and massage services (50% capacity; appointment only).

May 8: 

  • Small-group, non-contact recreation businesses, including bowling alleys, arcades, and water sports, and others (this category does not include theaters, concert and live performance venues, racetracks, amusement parks, or indoor children’s play areas).

May 22: 

Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan counties are reopening under local-level plans.

Compliance

Lee said that compliance with both the general and industry-specific guidelines would be voluntary. “We think that the consumers will enforce them, the business community itself will enforce them, the industry groups that have influence and impact and developed guidelines for industries, that’s how this is going to be enforced.”

Reactions

  • Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R) supported Lee’s reopening plan: “Since the emergence of COVID-19 in this state, Governor Lee has been flexible and data-focused. Due to the Safer at Home order, the curve is flattening and damage to the public health has been minimized. We are testing more Tennesseans than ever and that will continue. We are now well-prepared for a cautious reopening and economic reboot. Our state has consistently balanced the health of our people with the health of our economy. That remains the case today as we prepare to reestablish Tennessee’s strong and structurally sound economy.”
  • Rep. Steve Cohen (D) opposed Lee’s timetable for reopening: “I think it’s a mistake to open so soon. I think we haven’t even hit our peak, which is expected in May, late May, early June. That peak will be even higher and it will make it more difficult to service those that unfortunately will be stricken with the COVID-19 illness and have to go to the ICU. … We don’t have the ability to test, which is necessary to open up, and I don’t think the public’s going to be ready to be going to restaurants or retail stores at this time. But that’s the governor’s decision.”
  • Kara Koontz, owner of a Knox County salon, said, “We’re excited to hear that news today, of course we’re excited to get reopened and get back to doing what we love. However I do feel a huge sense of responsibility for when we reopen that we’re just very responsible as we reopen.”
  • Sarah Gavigan, a Nashville restaurateur, said, “Kitchens are very close quarters. And when we looked at the cost of reopening the dining room, it was not congruent with what we could do in sales at 50% occupancy.”
  • Judge-Executive Mason Barnes, of Simpson County, Kentucky (which borders Tennessee), said, “I’m not sure how much more traffic we will see in Kentucky from people coming up from Tennessee, I guess my big concern is how many folks in our area might think well hey I can go down into Tennessee to get a hair cut, or I can go down and get my nails done especially in those personal contact providers. That may be our biggest challenge or our biggest concern.”

Find out more in today’s Number of the Day→

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.

  • The National Hockey League announced play would resume with a 24-team playoff. There was no timeframe given for actual games to resume, but a target of early June was set for Phase Two, which includes voluntary practices at team facilities.
  • On May 27, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that a voter’s lack of immunity to COVID-19 does not qualify as a disability under the state’s election laws and cannot be used as an excuse for voting absentee. This ruling overturned two lower court rulings.
  • Also on May 27, the Montana Supreme Court halted a lower court order that had extended the absentee ballot receipt deadline in the June 2 primary to June 8.
  • Glacier National Park released a plan to begin reopening in June.


Trump campaign promotes Stepien to deputy campaign manager

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
May 28, 2020: Trump’s campaign promoted political adviser Bill Stepien to deputy campaign manager. Biden intends to choose a running mate by Aug. 1.

This week is the Ballotpedia Society’s Spring membership drive. Join during the drive and your donation will be matched!

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. blank    blankblank   



DPNB campagin ad comparison feature, 2020 ("Deer In The Headlights" - Joe Biden For President)

DPNB campagin ad comparison feature, 2020 ("Joe Biden has destroyed millions of Black American lives" - Donald J Trump)


Notable Quote of the Day

“Buzz is growing about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s interest in joining former Vice President Joe Biden atop the Democratic presidential ticket, but one of the biggest obstacles she faces is the possibility that her Senate seat could wind up getting filled by a Republican. …

Picking Warren could give Biden a boost in the polls. A Morning Consult/Politico survey released Wednesday found that 26 percent of registered voters said they would be more likely to vote for Biden if he chose Warren, putting her ahead of the other eight women he is said to be considering.

Her greatest impact, according to the survey, would be among voters under the age of 45, as well as black and Hispanic voters — three blocs Democrats see as key to winning the White House and picking up Senate seats.

But picking Warren would likely cost Democrats one of those Senate seats, at least temporarily, if Biden were to defeat President Trump.”

– Alexander Bolton and Amie Parnes, The Hill

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden said that he intends to choose his running mate by Aug. 1.

  • Biden’s campaign hired Obama alum Ashley Allison as national coalitions director and Jason Rodriguez as her deputy. According to The Washington Post, the “new coalitions department [is] modeled on President Barack Obama’s reelection strategy, a campaign expansion that adds more racial diversity to his effort to win the White House.”

  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) endorsed Biden. The two participated in a live-streamed discussion about COVID-19.

  • Donald Trump tweeted, “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that … happen again. Just like we can’t let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!”

  • Trump’s campaign promoted political adviser Bill Stepien to deputy campaign manager and Midwest political director Stephanie Alexander to campaign chief of staff.

Flashback: May 28, 2016

Bernie Sanders said in an interview on Meet the Press that if Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination, she would need to pick a progressive running mate who could “excite working families, excite young people, bring them into the political process, create a large voter turnout.”

Click here to learn more.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: May 27, 2020

This is our daily update on how federal, state, and local officials are planning to set America on a path to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas.

Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

The next two days

What is reopening in the next two days? Which stay-at-home orders will expire?

May 28:

  • New York (Democratic trifecta): New York’s statewide stay-at-home order is scheduled to expire on May 28. It will become the 29th state to end a stay-at-home order. After the stay-at-home order is lifted, New York City will remain on PAUSE, which will keep what it calls non-essential businesses closed, limit social gatherings, and require social distancing. All of New York’s other regions have started the process of reopening.

May 29:

  • District of Columbia: The nation’s capital will begin Phase One of its reopening plan on May 29, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced on May 27. Phase One will still prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people and require social distancing and face coverings. Retail curbside and delivery will be allowed, along with appointment-only services at barbershops and salons. Restaurants and mixed-use facilities that serve food may open for outdoor dining.
  • Illinois (Democratic trifecta): The state’s stay-at-home order will expire on May 29. It will become the 30th state to end a stay-at-home order. For more on Illinois’ reopening, see today’s Featured Plan.
  • Nevada (Democratic trifecta): On May 26, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) announced that the state would enter phase two of its reopening plan on May 29. Gyms will be allowed to open at 50% capacity and with social distancing guidelines. Bars that do not serve food will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity, with table service only. Barbershops and salons may reopen with sanitation and social distancing guidelines. Places of worship will be allowed to reopen with an attendance limit of 50 people and social distancing guidelines.
  • Texas (Republican trifecta): On May 26, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that waterparks can reopen at 25% capacity on May 29. He also announced that food court dining areas in malls could reopen immediately.
  • Vermont (divided government): On May 27, Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced he expects to increase the social gathering limit from 10 to 25 on May 29. Scott said he would provide details on when indoor dining at restaurants can resume and when museums can reopen at a later date.
  • Virginia (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced that beginning on May 29, everyone in the state over the age of 10 will be required to wear a face covering in indoor public areas. The requirement applies in grocery stores, entertainment establishments, train and bus stations, or any indoor spaces where groups of people cannot remain more than six feet apart. Also on May 29, the whole state will fall under Phase One of the reopening plan. Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Accomack County did not enter Phase One with the rest of the state on May 15 because of high rates of infections.

Since our last edition

Have any states opened? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • Arkansas (Republican trifecta): A directive from the state Department of Health took effect on May 26 allowing bars to reopen. Bars may operate at 33% of seating capacity with social distancing guidelines for table service and bar service. Patrons must wear a mask until food or drink is served.
  • California (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced that barbershops and salons could reopen on May 27 in the counties that had already progressed to Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan. The state published guidance containing social distancing and sanitation protocols.
  • Delaware (Democratic trifecta): Gov. John Carney (D) announced that the state’s short-term rental ban and the requirement that out-of-state travelers self-quarantine for 14 days will be lifted on June 1. Outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people will also be permitted on that date.
  • New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced that the state would permit outdoor dining at restaurants starting May 27. Indoor dine-in services remain prohibited.
  • North Carolina (divided government): A bill that would permit bars to serve beverages outside, on a patio, or under a tent, cleared a Senate committee on May 26. Bars are not scheduled to reopen until Phase 3 of North Carolina’s reopening plan, scheduled to begin on June 26. The state entered Phase 2 on May 22. The bill moves to another committee before the full House and Senate may consider it. The House and Senate have Republican majorities, while the governorship is held by Roy Cooper, a Democrat.
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): Secretary of Health John Weisman approved three new counties to move into Phase 2 of the reopening plan, bringing the total number of counties in Phase 2 to 24. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) released updated rules for outdoor recreation, allowing zoos in counties that have moved into Phase 2 to reopen at 25% capacity.

Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of May 27, stay-at-home orders have ended in 28 states. Eighteen of those states have Republican governors and 10 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order). Of the 15 states with active stay-at-home orders, one has a Republican governor and 14 have Democratic governors.

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired, and when the rest are scheduled to expire.

Tracking industries: Bars

All 50 states began to reopen in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: in which states may you go out for a drink at a bar that does not serve food?

This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click here for previous editions and featured plans.

On May 5, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced “Restore Illinois,” a five-phase plan for reopening the state based on health metrics.

The plan divides the state into four regions that may move between phases at different times. Counties may not move through phases at a different rate than their regions. Criteria for moving from one phase to the next include case rate, testing capacity, hospital capacity, and contact tracing capacity.

The governor’s office stated:

The plan is based upon regional healthcare availability, and it recognizes the distinct impact COVID-19 has had on different regions of our state as well as regional variations in hospital capacity. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has 11 Emergency Medical Services Regions that have traditionally guided its statewide public health work and will continue to inform this reopening plan. For the purposes of this plan, from those 11, four health regions are established, each with the ability to independently move through a phased approach.

As of May 27, all regions are in Phase 2. On May 26, Pritzker said all regions were on track to enter Phase 3 on May 29. Phase 3 is set to last at least 28 days, as one of the criteria for advancing to Phase 4 is “[n]o overall increase (i.e. stability or decrease) in hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness for 28 days.” Details on each phase are below.

Local governments may implement stricter requirements than the state. On May 26, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the city is preparing to move to Phase 3 of its reopening plan in early June. Chicago is the third-largest city in the U.S. with a population of 2.7 million.

Context

  • Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order, effective March 21, ordering individuals to stay home except for essential activities and nonessential businesses to close for most on-site work. Elderly people and those who are vulnerable as a result of illness are advised to take extra precautions. The order limits essential gathering sizes to 10 and contains social distancing requirements for all operating businesses and individuals in shared and outdoor spaces. The order was set to expire on April 7. On April 1, Pritzker extended the order until April 30. On April 30, Pritzker modified and extended the order, allowing retail to open for delivery and curbside pickup and requiring individuals to wear face coverings in public when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance. The order expires on May 29.
  • As of May 27, the Illinois Department of Public Health website reported 113,195 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4,923 deaths. Illinois’ estimated population as of July 2019 was 12.7 million. Illinois had 893.3 cases per 100,000 residents and 38.8 deaths per 100,000 residents.
  • Illinois is a Democratic trifecta, with a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Plan details

Phase 1 (Rapid spread)

Individual/social

  • Essential gatherings, such as religious services, of 10 or fewer permitted. No nonessential gatherings of any size allowed.
  • Nonessential travel discouraged
  • Walking, hiking, and biking permitted

Businesses/sectors

  • Employees of nonessential businesses required to work from home except for Minimum Basic Operations
  • Bars and restaurants open for delivery, pickup, and drive-through only
  • State parks closed
  • Childcare in groups of 10 or fewer for essential workers
  • Healthcare: Emergency procedures and COVID-19 care only

Moving to the next phase

Case and capacity: New case growth slowing and surge capacity in adult medical and surgical beds, ICU beds, and ventilators available

Testing: Ability to perform 10,000 tests per day statewide and testing available in the region for symptomatic healthcare workers and first responders

Phase 2 (Flattening)

Individual/social

  • Face coverings must be worn when physical distancing not possible
  • Essential gatherings, such as religious services, of 10 or fewer permitted. No nonessential gatherings of any size allowed.
  • Nonessential travel discouraged
  • Boating and fishing permitted (with IDPH safety guidance)

Businesses/sectors

  • Nonessential retail open for delivery and curbside pickup
  • Select state parks open (with IDPH safety guidance)
  • Golf courses open (with IDPH safety guidance)
  • Elective procedures allowed if IDPH criteria are met

Moving to the next phase

Case and capacity: At or under a 20% positivity rate and increasing no more than 10 percentage points over a 14-day period, no overall increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness for 28 days, and available surge capacity of at least 14% of ICU beds, medical and surgical beds, and ventilators

Testing: Testing available for all patients, first responders, healthcare workers, people with underlying conditions, and congregate living facility residents and staff

Tracing: Begin contact tracing and monitoring within 24 hours of diagnosis

Phase 3 (Recovery)

Individual/social

  • Gatherings of 10 or fewer allowed (subject to change)
  • Continued requirement of face masks in public
  • Travel following IDPH and CDC guidance

Businesses/sectors

  • Manufacturing that can operate with social distancing (with IDPH safety guidance)
  • “Employees of ‘non-essential’ businesses are allowed to return to work with IDPH approved safety guidance depending upon risk level, tele-work strongly encouraged wherever possible; Employers are encouraged to provide accommodations for COVID-19-vulnerable employees”
  • Barbershops and salons open (with IDPH safety guidance)
  • Health and fitness clubs can open for outdoor classes and one-on-one personal training (with IDPH safety guidance)
  • Retail, with capacity limits, face coverings, and IDPH guidance
  • State parks open
  • Healthcare providers open (with IDPH safety guidance)
  • Limited childcare and summer programs (with IDPH safety guidance)
  • Bars and restaurants open for outdoor dining and drinking (with tables six feet apart and additional guidelines)
  • Offices (50% of normal capacity and additional guidelines)

Moving to the next phase

Case and capacity: Criteria are the same for moving from Phase 3 to Phase 4 as for moving from Phase 2 to Phase 3.

Testing: Available in a region regardless of symptoms or risk factors

Tracing: Contact tracing and monitoring to begin within 24 hours of diagnosis for more than 90% of cases in a region

Phase 4 (Revitalization)

Individual/social

  • Gatherings of 50 or fewer permitted (subject to change)
  • Travel following IDPH and CDC guidance
  • All outdoor recreation allowed

Businesses/sectors

  • Schools open (with IDPH safety guidance)
  • Childcare/summer programs open (with IDPH safety guidance)
  • All healthcare providers open
  • All manufacturing open (with IDPH safety guidance)
  • “‘Non-essential’ businesses: All employees return to work with IDPH approved safety guidance; Employers are encouraged to provide accommodations for COVID-19-vulnerable employees”
  • Bars and restaurants open with capacity limits and IDPH safety guidance
  • Barbershops, salons, and spas with capacity limits and IDPH safety guidance
  • Health and fitness clubs with capacity limits and IDPH safety guidance
  • Cinemas and theaters with capacity limits and IDPH safety guidance
  • Retail with capacity limits and IDPH safety guidance

Moving to the next phase

“Vaccine, effective and widely available treatment, or the elimination of new cases over a sustained period of time through herd immunity or other factors.”

Phase 5 (Illinois Restored)

Individual/social

  • Gatherings of all sizes can resume

Businesses/sectors

  • “All sectors of the economy reopen with businesses, schools, and recreation resuming normal operations with new safety guidance and procedures”
  • Conventions, festivals, other large events allowed

Uniform guidelines for businesses, industries, and nonprofits

Businesses, industries, and nonprofits must follow common guidelines in addition to sector-specific guidelines. An abbreviated list of common guidelines is below.

Click here for a complete list of guidelines.

Click here for a toolkit with posters, signage, checklists, and more from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

GENERAL HEALTH

i. Minimum guidelines

  1. All employees who can work from home should continue to do so
  2. Employees should wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when within 6-ft. of others (cloth masks preferred). Exceptions may be made where accommodations are appropriate – see IDHR’s guidance.
  3. Social distance of at least 6-ft. should be maintained between non-household individuals unless participating in activities permitted under Phase III guidelines
  4. Employer should provide hand washing capability or sanitizer to employees and if applicable, customers
  5. Frequent hand washing by employees, and an adequate supply of soap/ paper towels and/or disinfectant/ hand sanitizer should be available
HR AND TRAVEL POLICIES

i. Minimum guidelines

  1. All employees should complete health and safety training related to COVID-19 when initially returning to work. Resources to design a training are posted on the DCEO Restore Illinois guidelines website
  2. Employers should continue to limit all non-essential business travel
  3. If employee must travel, employee should follow CDC considerations to protect themselves and others during trip
  4. Employees should not report to, or be allowed to remain at, work if sick or symptomatic (with cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever of 100.4 degrees or above, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, or other CDC-identified symptoms), and sick or symptomatic employees should be encouraged to seek a COVID-19 test at a state or local government testing center, healthcare center or other testing locations …
HEALTH MONITORING

i. Minimum guidelines

  1. Employers should make temperature checks available for employees and encourage their use. Employers should post information about the symptoms of COVID-19 in order to allow employees to self-assess whether they have any symptoms and should consider going home.
  2. All employers should have a wellness screening program. Resources outlining screening program best practices are posted on the DCEO Restore Illinois guidelines website
  3. Employer should conduct in-person screening of employees upon entry into workplace and mid-shift screening to verify no presence of COVID-19 symptoms
  4. If employee does contract COVID-19, they should remain isolated at home for a minimum of 10 days after symptom onset and can be released after feverless and feeling well (without fever-reducing medication) for at least 72 hours OR has 2 negative COVID-19 tests in a row, with testing done at least 24 hours apart …

Sector-specific guidelines

As of May 27, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity released guidelines for 10 sectors set to reopen in Phase 3.

Click here to view sector-specific guidance.

Reactions

  • State Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady (R) said, “Ensuring the public’s health remains our top priority, and any loss of life as a result of this deadly disease is a tragedy. While it is important to have a plan that gives us hope, we need to look at it in greater detail. However, the question of why Illinois needs to maintain a 28-day window before moving between phases, as opposed to the 14-day recommendation of Dr. Fauci, which is what states like New York are using in their reopening plans, needs to be answered.”
  • Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza (D) said, “I want to thank Gov. Pritzker for his carefully-thought-out, science-based approach to restoring Illinois, region by region. I appreciate the leadership, concern and compassion he has demonstrated to the entire state during this awful and deadly COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The governor’s Restore Illinois plan provides all of us with a predictable road map for reopening Illinois.”
  • State Rep. Mike Murphy (R) said, “I’m glad the Governor has finally heard our calls for a regional approach to addressing COVID-19 and a plan for safely reopening our state. The unintended consequences of the one size fits all approach has been devastating for families and small businesses across central Illinois. … However, the timetable for implementation in different regions, the ability of informed local officials to be a part of the decision-making process, and the vagueness of requirements leave too many unanswered questions. Saying it will be a regional approach is one thing, but if the decisions are still being made by someone from outside our region with limited local consultation, then we still risk being the victim of a one size fits all cure that does more harm than the virus itself.”
  • Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, said, “Illinois’ economy has been devastated by this pandemic, which has put at risk not just lives but also livelihoods. While many manufacturers across the state have continued operating to produce needed medical products, safe and nutritious food, and equipment for our first responders, others are eager to start production and put people back to work. … We appreciate Gov. Pritzker’s focus on a plan that puts Illinois on a path to safely re-opening. Manufacturers are ready to unleash their full economic might to help restore our state’s economy.”

Find out more in today’s Number of the Day→

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.

  • Disney announced that its Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, would begin reopening in mid-July. Two theme parks each will open on July 11 and July 15. Guests will be required to reserve park entry in advance, receive temperature checks, and wear face coverings. Events that create crowds, such as parades and fireworks, will be suspended.
  • California: The Los Angeles County Office of Education released guidelines for reopening schools in the county. The 45-page guidelines include a class size of 16 students, one-way hallways, a staggered school day, and masks required for students.
  • Florida: Beaches, gyms, and hotels are allowed to reopen in Broward County beginning on May 27. The county is one of three in Florida opening at a different pace than the rest of the state due to its population and positive coronavirus rates.
  • Georgia: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that the city would enter phase two of its reopening plan on May 27. The plan allows private gatherings of up to 10, requires face masks in public, and reopens restaurants and retail for curbside and to-go orders. The plan does not supersede the state’s reopening plan, which has fewer restrictions than the city’s plan.


Heart of the Primaries 2020, Democrats-Issue 20 (May 27, 2020)

This week: Congressional caucus PAC leaders ask DCCC to back Valenzuela in TX-24 runoff, Indiana Chamber of Commerce endorses McDermott in IN-01, Incumbent state representative faces six-term former legislator in open Fla. state senate primary

On the news

Where do Democratic and progressive pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.

On Biden’s comments on The Breakfast Club

“Donald Trump’s supporters, especially those black conservative racial mercenaries who criticize Democrats for supposed racism while serving as human defense shields and enablers for white conservatives, are bemoaning Biden’s comments.

To watch Trump defenders attack Biden for one clumsy remark — when they themselves are part of a white supremacist, neo-fascist regime — would be comedy gold if the stakes were not in fact so high. …  

The most basic way to intervene against such sideshow nonsense is to ask a basic, foundational question: Did Biden say anything that is not true? The answer is not a riddle or something unknowable. … 

As an empirical matter, across almost every public policy area Donald Trump and his administration — and the Republican Party as a whole — have consistently advocated and enacted policies that hurt black (and brown) people’s health, safety, incomes, opportunity, civil rights and freedoms, and diminish their life chances more generally. …

Biden was for all intents and purposes correct in his comments about black people and Donald Trump. To complain about his inartful language is to sidestep the core truth of what he expressed.”

Chauncey DeVega, Salon, May 25, 2020

 

“This country has a rather fraught history of white people, in particular, determining who is and who isn’t black. One-drop rules and paper bags not only assigned value by shades of melanin to the skins of our ancestors, but to their very humanity. I realize that Biden has not historically had too many barriers on his tongue and is prone to say much of anything. However, I would expect that the white man who served as vice president under the first black president — at a time when President Obama’s blackness and cultural authenticity were often unfairly called into question — might keep all of that in mind.

Campaign spokeswoman Symone Sanders tweeted after that Biden ‘was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.’ However, that simply doesn’t wash with the actual syntax, joke or not. Biden said that black Trump voters ‘ain’t black’ in that remark, plain and simple. …

Less than six months from today, the Most Important Thing in the World will be ensuring Donald Trump doesn’t win re-election. We should not consider a different choice. However, the lack of options does not excuse us from a citizen’s duty of critical thinking. In fact, if Biden is as close to black people as he claims, invited to proverbial cookouts and prematurely given the labels of ‘Uncle’ and so forth, then he should understand what happens in families. You should expect tough love. In fact, demand it. It is most often what keeps your ass out of trouble.”

Jamil Smith, Rolling Stone, May 22, 2020  

U.S. Congress

Congressional caucus PAC leaders ask DCCC to back Valenzuela in TX-24 runoff

Minority and progressive caucus PAC leaders asked the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to add Candace Valenzuela to its Red to Blue program. Valenzuela faces Kim Olson in the primary runoff for Texas’ 24th Congressional District. 

The DCCC’s Red to Blue program provides funding and organizational support to candidates running in Republican-held districts.

Leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC, Congressional Black Caucus PAC, Asian American and Pacific Islander Members of Congress Aspire PAC, and Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC signed the letter to the DCCC. The letter said, “Texas’ 24th congressional district is a majority-minority district and should be represented by someone with ties to the community.”

DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos, who represents Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, said the committee will remain neutral in the runoff. DCCC spokesman Cole Leiter said, “The DCCC has not weighed in on any competitive Democratic primaries in the 2020 election cycle.”

According to Politico:

The letter comes nearly one year after Black and Hispanic Caucus members voiced displeasure with the DCCC’s handling of diversity in its ranks and efforts to prioritize minority candidates. Progressive lawmakers on the letter only recently came to a detente with Bustos over a ‘blacklist’ that inhibits consultants from working with candidates who primary a sitting member of the Democratic Caucus.

Seven candidates ran in the March 3 primary in Texas’ 24th. Olson received 41% of the vote to Valenzuela’s 30%. The runoff is July 14.

Incumbent Kenny Marchant (R) is not seeking re-election. Three race forecasters rate the general election Toss-up or Tilt Republican.

Indiana Chamber of Commerce endorses McDermott in IN-01

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce Congressional Action Committee endorsed Thomas McDermott in the June 2 primary for Indiana’s 1st Congressional District.

McDermott said, “The Indiana Chamber of Commerce doesn’t endorse Democrats very often, and if you are a Democrat to get endorsed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce you got to be a business-oriented Democrat — which I am.”

McDermott is mayor of Hammond.

This is an open seat in a safe Democratic district. Incumbent Rep. Peter Visclosky (D), first elected in 1984, is not seeking re-election. Fifteen candidates are running in the primary.

Some other notable endorsements in the race:

  • VoteVets and the Highland Democratic Precinct Organization also endorsed McDermott.
  • Six U.S. representatives, including Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and three former Congressional Black Caucus chairs, endorsed Melissa Borom.
  • Democracy for America, Progressive Democrats of America, and Our Revolution endorsed Jim Harper.
  • Visclosky, the American Federation of Teachers Indiana, and the Gary Democratic Precinct Organization endorsed Frank Mrvan. 
  • The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Bold PAC, U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, and Marie Newman—who defeated incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinksi in Illinois’ 3rd District primary—endorsed Mara Candelaria Reardon.

McDermott and two other candidates—Scott Costello and Sabrina Haake—have submitted responses to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. What to know what they said? Click on the candidate’s names to read their responses.

And if you’re a candidate, you can take the survey, too! Click here to get started.

Greenfield, Mauro release ads in Senate primary in Iowa

Candidates and satellite groups have released several ads ahead of the June 2 Senate primary in Iowa. Michael Franken, Kimberly Graham, Theresa Greenfield, and Eddie Mauro are running in the primary.

Greenfield released an ad listing a number of endorsers including organized labor groups; former Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Pete Buttigieg; and members of Iowa’s congressional delegation. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also endorsed Greenfield.

Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC that has spent $6.7 million supporting Greenfield, released an ad saying she stands for middle-class values and is “Iowa tough.”

Mauro’s ad says Greenfield’s 2018 congressional campaign forged signatures and that a company Greenfield led laid off workers. Greenfield has said she reported her campaign staffer’s misconduct when she found out about it and that her campaign is focused on workers.

Women Vote! Project released an ad opposing Franken, saying he moved to the state last year and is a former Republican. Franken’s campaign released responses from former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), and Serve America denouncing the group’s ad and saying Franken was away from the district serving in the military.

The winner will face incumbent Sen. Joni Ernst (R) in November. Three election forecasters rate the general election Lean Republican. 

State executives

Steve Bullock, Mark O’Keefe publish dueling op-eds in Montana gubernatorial primary

Former Montana Auditor Mark O’Keefe, who was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2000, published an op-ed saying he was supporting consultant Whitney Williams’ gubernatorial campaign Tuesday. Williams’ mother Carol was O’Keefe’s running mate in his 2000 campaign.

The same day, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock published an op-ed reiterating his support for Williams’ opponent, Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney. Bullock endorsed Cooney in October 2019. 

The primary has attracted national attention, with EMILY’s List launching a $700,000 ad buy in support of Williams on May 19. According to KTVH, it was the first major ad buy from an independent group.

The June 2 primary will be open to all registered voters.

Charleston Gazette-Mail endorses Ben Salango for Democratic gubernatorial nomination

The Charleston Gazette-Mail endorsed Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango for the Democratic nomination for governor of West Virginia Saturday.

Salango is among five Democrats running in the June 9 primary. As of March 31, Salango was second in fundraising with $575,000 raised to activist Stephen Smith’s $660,000 and state Sen. Ron Stollings’ $225,000. Neither of the other candidates had raised more than $10,000.

Salango’s other backers include U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D), former Gov. Gaston Caperton (D), and the West Virginia AFL-CIO. Smith’s backers include Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic.

Although Democrats have won every West Virginia gubernatorial election since 2000, the party lost control of the office when current incumbent Jim Justice joined the GOP in 2017. Democrats last won a presidential election in West Virginia in 1996.

Mark Hass concedes Oregon Secretary of State primary to Shemia Fagan

Oregon state Sen. Mike Hass (D) conceded the Democratic primary for secretary of state to his legislative colleague Shemia Fagan (D) Friday.

Preliminary election results released the evening of Tuesday, May 19, showed Hass with a lead over Fagan. Wednesday afternoon, Fagan took the lead as mail-in ballots submitted late in the voting process began to arrive. Oregon elections are conducted entirely by mail. According to Willamette Week, “Oregon has a history of late ballots breaking toward the more progressive candidate.”

As of Tuesday, May 26, unofficial results showed Fagan in the lead with 36.16% of the vote to Hass’ 35.57% and 2018 congressional candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s 27.47%. Fagan and Hass were separated by 3,343 votes.

Fagan will face state Sen. Kim Thatcher (R) and any declared third party or independent candidates in the November general election.

Legislatures

Incumbent state Representative faces six-term former legislator in open Fla. state Senate primary

On May 19, state Sen. Kevin Rader (D-29) announced he would not seek re-election to the Senate District 29 seat in Florida. While announcing his retirement, Rader encouraged state Rep. Tina Polsky (D-81) to run for the District 29 seat. Polsky filed for the seat later that day. Former state Rep. Irv Slosberg (D) also filed to run for the seat following Rader’s announcement, setting up a Democratic primary.

Polsky, an attorney and mediator, currently represents House District 81, which is located entirely within Senate District 29. She was first elected in 2018 after winning a contested primary and running unopposed in the general election. In addition to support from Rader, she received endorsements from state Sen. Lori Berman (D-31) and Broward County Commissioner Mark Bogen (D). 

Slosberg currently serves as chairman of Dori Saves Lives, a non-profit focused on distracted driving, traffic, and road safety. He has served six terms in the state House of Representatives from 2000 to 2006 and 2010 to 2016. Slosberg received endorsements from Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner (D) and his daughter, Rep. Emily Slosberg (D-91).

Senate District 29 covers parts of Palm Beach County as well as Parkland in Broward County. The winner of the August 18 primary will likely face Brian Norton (R), the only Republican filed to run. The filing deadline is June 12.

Electrical workers’ union and The Philadelphia Inquirer issue competing endorsements in Pa. Senate District 1 primary

Over the past week, both candidates in the Philadelphia-area Senate District 1 primary received high-profile endorsements. On May 22, Nikil Saval (D) received an endorsement from the Local 98 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ union (I.B.E.W.) followed May 24 by the Philadelphia Inquirer endorsement of his opponent, state Sen. Larry Farnese (D-01).

Saval is a writer and community organizer. He said that he “is committed to justice for working people, whether white black or brown.” In addition to his endorsement from the I.B.E.W., the Philadelphia branch of the Democratic Socialists of America and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), among others, endorsed Saval.

Farnese, an attorney, was first elected to represent District 1 in 2008. He won re-election in 2012. In 2016, Farnese faced his only primary to date, defeating challenger John Morley (D) 74-26%. He discussed his “history of fighting for Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians,” saying, “the experience I have will allow me to continue those fights.” Farnese lists additional endorsements from Gov. Tom Wolf (D), Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC, and the Human Rights Campaign.

No Republicans are filed to run, meaning it is likely the winner of the June 2 primary will be the District’s next senator. 

Two candidates proceed to Senate District 17 primary following convention endorsement vote 

On May 19, Democratic delegates in Connecticut’s Senate District 17 voted 39-10 to endorse Jorge Cabrera (D) in the Senate District 17 race. Despite earning the endorsement, Cabrera will still face Justin Farmer (D) in an August 11 primary. The winner faces incumbent Sen. George Logan (R-17) in November.

At state senate conventions in Connecticut, a candidate can win a party endorsement without winning the nomination outright. If a candidate receives a simple majority vote of the delegates present, he or she receives the endorsement. Any candidate who receives more than 15 percent of the delegate vote earns a spot on the primary ballot.

Ballotpedia first reported on this race in February as the two candidates hosted fundraisers. According to the New Haven Independent, the candidates have found support among different groups. Farmer’s fundraiser consisted of younger voters focused on environmental issues, public transportation, and tax equity. Cabrera’s supporters included local Democratic assembly members. His campaign has focused on labor issues, municipal aid, and a progressive tax.

Cabrera was the Senate District 17 Democratic nominee in 2018. He lost to Sen. Logan in the general election 50.1-49.9%, a margin of 85 votes. Logan was first elected in 2016 when he defeated incumbent Sen. Joseph Crisco (D) 51-49%.

Power players

“The Voter Protection Project will fight back against President Trump’s and Republicans’ attacks on our right to vote, by leading the charge to make sure every American has the right to cast a ballot.” – Voter Protection Project website

The Voter Protection Project is a hybrid political action committee founded by Democrat 

Andrew Janz after his unsuccessful campaign against U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in 2018. Janz said, “What I learned in my race is that you can’t begin to address the structural problems with our elections during the middle of a campaign. You need to take care of those things before the campaign starts.” 

According to the Voter Protection Project website, the group’s mission is “ending partisan gerrymandering and voter suppression by electing candidates at the state and federal levels that are forceful advocates for voting rights.” The group has a seven point agenda:

 

  • Automatic voter registration and online voter registration
  • Same day registration
  • Convenient early voting
  • ‘No excuse’ absentee voting
  • An adequate number of polling locations, personnel, and voting booths
  • Restoration of voting rights to previously convicted Americans who have successfully completed their sentences
  • Independent redistricting commissions to ensure politicians are not able to draw their own maps

 

On Tuesday, Politico reported that the group is spending $300,000 to run ads in support of Ritchie Torres in New York’s 15th Congressional District. To see a list of candidates the Voter Protection Project has endorsed, click here.



Heart of the Primaries 2020, Republicans-Issue 20 (May 27, 2020)

This week: Wagle campaign ad depicts food fight between Kobach, Marshall in Kansas, Todd Rokita joins field of challengers to Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert endorses Spencer Cox

On the news

Where do Republican and conservative pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.

On Trump’s tweets about Joe Scarborough

“I would note that the president said this morning that this is not an original Trump thought, and it is not. In fact, 2003 on Don Imus’s show, it was Don Imus and Joe Scarborough that joked about killing an intern, joked and laughed about it. So that was, I’m sure, pretty hurtful to Lori’s family. And Joe Scarborough himself brought this up with Don Imus, and Joe Scarborough himself can answer it.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, quoted by the Washington Examiner, May 26, 2020

“No one goes to Donald Trump’s Twitter feed to be edified, but Trump’s series of tweets the last two weeks about MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has been grotesque even by his standards. …

It’s unworthy of a partisan blogger, let alone the president of the United States.”

The Editors, National Review, May 26, 2020

U.S. Congress

Wagle campaign ad depicts food fight between Kobach, Marshall in KS

Kansas state Senate President Susan Wagle released a TV ad in the U.S. Senate primary saying she’s getting things done while Kris Kobach and Roger Marshall engage in a food fight.

The ad’s narrator says Wagle has been busy “passing 15 pro-life bills, draining the swamp by ending bureaucrats’ luxurious taxpayer-funded travel, fighting the EPA to help Kansas farmers, protecting gun rights, and fighting Democrats’ socialized medicine.”

As we reported earlier, Kansas Republican Party Chairman Mike Kuckelman sent Wagle and Dave Lindstrom letters asking them to drop out of the Aug. 4 primary. State party executive director Shannon Golden said the party wanted a contest between Kobach and Marshall.

Wagle has served in the state Senate since 2001. Kobach was Kansas’ secretary of state from 2011 to 2019 and was the Republican gubernatorial nominee in 2018. Marshall has represented Kansas’ 1st District in the U.S. House since 2017.

In Senate primary debates, Kobach has criticized Marshall over an op-ed Marshall wrote in May 2019 opposing additional tariffs. Marshall has said Kobach’s 2018 gubernatorial loss means he cannot win the Senate race. 

Keep Kansas Great PAC released an ad saying Kobach let President Donald Trump down and that he’d lose the 2020 election. Free Forever PAC released an ad featuring footage of Marshall saying he was “not sure a wall is the best way to do it” and that he supported John Kasich.

Incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R), in office since 1997, is not seeking re-election. A Democrat last won a Senate election in Kansas in 1932. Three race forecasters rate the general election Lean Republican or Likely Republican.

Jackson picks up endorsements in TX-13 runoff

The Club for Growth and Chris Ekstrom, who ran in the March 3 primary, endorsed Ronny Jackson in Texas’ 13th Congressional District Republican primary runoff.

Josh Winegarner received 39% of the primary vote to Jackson’s 20%. Ekstrom was third with 15%.

Jackson was physician to the president for Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Winegarner is the director of industry affairs for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

Ekstrom said, “I was truly shocked that in such a deeply conservative district, Winegarner accepted the most #NeverTrump endorsement in the Congress, Will Hurd.” A PAC associated with Rep. Hurd launched an ad campaign opposing Jackson.

Jackson’s other runoff endorsers include Texas Right to Life and the Young Conservatives of Texas. Both groups endorsed Ekstrom in the primary. Ahead of the primary, Trump endorsed Jackson.

Incumbent Mac Thornberry (R), who is not seeking re-election, endorsed Winegarner ahead of the primary.  State Sen. Charles Perry (R) and former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm (R) endorsed Winegarner in the runoff.

The runoff is July 14.

Club for Growth Action releases opposition ads in IN-05

Club for Growth Action released ads opposing Carl Brizzi and Beth Henderson in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District primary. The group endorsed Victoria Spartz.

One ad says Brizzi owes back taxes to the IRS. The other features footage of Brizzi saying he didn’t vote for Trump and calling Trump “the orange man.” 

A Brizzi campaign ad narrator calls Brizzi a pro-Trump conservative. Brizzi says he’ll work with Trump to build a wall and hold China accountable.

The ad opposing Henderson features footage of her in 2016 saying she doesn’t like Trump’s  “outbursts and his inappropriateness … and his scruples.” The ad’s narrator says she sounds like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) and that Henderson showed support for a group on Facebook that supported impeachment.

Henderson tweeted, “I am a proud supporter of President Trump, and it is unconscionable for Victoria Spartz’s DC special interest club to make the slanderous claim that I would ever have anything to do with Nancy Pelosi and her impeachment charade.”

Fifteen candidates are running in the June 2 primary. Incumbent Rep. Susan Brooks (R) is not seeking re-election. Three election forecasters rate the race either Lean Republican or Likely Republican.

State executives

Todd Rokita joins field of challengers to Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill

Former U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R) announced he would seek the GOP nomination for state attorney general at next month’s convention. Rokita is the third challenger to incumbent Curtis Hill, whose law license was suspended earlier this month following allegations of misconduct.

The Indiana Supreme Court suspended Hill’s law license for 30 days on May 11 following a disciplinary hearing into allegations that he had inappropriately touched four women at a legislative gathering in March 2018.

Rokita was first elected to Congress from Indiana’s 4th Congressional District in 2010 after serving two terms as secretary of state. In 2018, he ran for U.S. Senate rather than seeking re-election, receiving 30% of the vote to now-Sen. Mike Braun’s (R) 41%.

Rokita joins Decatur County Prosecutor Nate Harter and attorney John Westercamp, who have already declared challenges to Hill. Rather than running in a primary, candidates for Indiana attorney general are nominated at a convention. 

Delegates will have the option of ranking their preference from among the candidates on the ballot. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes cast, then the last-place candidate will be eliminated and their votes retallied for the delegate’s next choice. The process continues until one candidate wins a majority.

The Indiana GOP’s virtual convention is scheduled for June 18, although results of delegates’ mail-in votes will not be tallied until July 10.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert endorses Spencer Cox

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) endorsed Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox’s (R) campaign to succeed him Thursday with his appearance in a Cox campaign ad. In the ad, Herbert says Cox is “a proven leader and a true conservative who is deeply committed to our state and its future.”

Herbert succeeded to the governorship in 2009 after then-governor, and current gubernatorial candidate, Jon Huntsman (R) was nominated U.S. ambassador to China. According to Brigham Young University political science professor Chris Karpowitz, Herbert’s endorsement of Cox over Huntsman is “dramatic and important news for Spencer Cox and his campaign and, I’m sure, a blow to the Huntsman campaign.” 

Cox, Huntsman, former state House Speaker Greg Hughes, and former state GOP chairman Thomas Wright are the four candidates who advanced to the June 30 primary. The winner will face University of Utah law professor Chris Peterson (D) and any declared third party or independent candidates.

Charleston Gazette-Mail endorses Woody Thrasher for GOP gubernatorial nomination 

The Charleston Gazette-Mail endorsed businessman Woody Thrasher for the Republican nomination for governor of West Virginia Saturday.

Thrasher is among six Republicans challenging incumbent Jim Justice’s (R) re-election in the June 9 primary. Justice, who was elected as a Democrat in 2016, joined the Republican Party in 2017.

Thrasher is the most well-funded of Justice’s challengers, having raised $435,000 to Justice’s $575,000 as of March 31. None of the other candidates had reported raising more than $100,000.

Justice’s supporters include President Trump and the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund, while Thrasher’s include the West Virginia University Republicans.

Legislatures

Dotres enters primary for Florida’s open House District 80 seat

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Victor Dotres (R) announced his candidacy to represent House District 80. His entrance in the race sets up a primary with Lauren Melo (R). Incumbent Rep. Byron Donalds (R-80) is not seeking re-election.

Dotres has worked in the Collier County Public School system as an educator and coach since 2001. On his campaign website, he writes, “I promise to fight for more educational opportunities for all of our students regardless of their zip codes.” Dotres ran for an open school board position in 2018 but withdrew before the election. 

Melo is a real estate broker, currently serving as the president of the Naples Area Board of Realtors. She describes herself as “a businesswoman who has flourished in a variety of fields,” referencing her background owning a trucking company and her brokerage firm. Rep. Donalds endorsed Melo in February.

Since district lines were redrawn following the 2010 census, the Republican nominee in District 80 has won more than 60 percent of the vote in each general election. The winner of the Aug. 18 primary will likely face Laura Novosad (D), the only Democrat filed to run. The filing deadline is June 12.

Albuquerque Journal endorses Red River mayor in House District 42 primary

On May 24, the Albuquerque Journal endorsed Linda Calhoun (R) in the primary for New Mexico’s House District 42. Calhoun, the mayor of Red River since 2006, faces Paul Anthony Martinez, a consultant, in the Republican primary. Incumbent Rep. Dan Barrone (D-42) is not running, leaving the seat open. 

The endorsement highlighted Calhoun’s background as mayor. She said, “I’ve been a nonpartisan mayor for 14 years, and I know what it takes to get work done and not have to worry about politics.”

Two Democrats—Mark Gallegos and Kristina Ortez—are running in their party’s primary. Democratic Rep. Barrone was appointed to the seat in 2020 after 13-term Rep. Roberto Gonzalez (D) was appointed to Senate District 6. This year is the first time since 2010 that any candidate other than Gonzalez has appeared on a primary or general election ballot in District 42. 

Power players

“FreedomWorks was founded to fight for liberty and brought together some of the best and brightest minds of the liberty movement. Since then, we’ve expanded our ambitions from a free-market think tank to a service center for the grassroots freedom movement across the whole country.” – FreedomWorks website

Founded in 1984 as Citizens for a Sound Economy, FreedomWorks says it is a “community of Americans devoted to promoting lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.” According to Politico, the group has helped to facilitate protests of government responses to the coronavirus pandemic and provided resources such as a #ReOpenAmerica Rally Planning Guide

Along with other conservative groups, FreedomWorks launched a Save Our Country Coalition in April with the following five principles:

 

  • Immediately reopen the economy, while implementing the best workplace practices to protect the health of our citizens.

 

  • Restore the essential principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility by stopping the trillions of dollars of federal spending that is imperiling America’s economic future and dangerously escalating our national debt.
  • Incentivize the rapid rebuilding of our economy through proven formulas: tax cuts, deregulation, and lawsuit reform
  • Preserve federalism within the rule of law and respect the rights of the states in dealing with crises like the coronavirus
  • Protect the individual liberties of our citizens from unconstitutional power grabs by the federal, state and local governments.

 

 

To view FreedomWorks’ 2020 platform, click here. To see the group’s latest congressional scorecards, click here



Trump to visit Kennedy Space Center

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
May 27, 2020: Donald Trump will visit the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral today. The AFL-CIO endorsed Biden.

This week is the Ballotpedia Society’s Spring membership drive. Join during the drive and your donation will be matched!

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. blank    blankblank   


Presidential Facebook ads, 2019-2020 (May 17-23, 2020)

Notable Quote of the Day

“Joe Biden’s national polling lead against President Donald Trump has been relatively stable for months. But the looming question for Biden is whether he can get the right combination of voters to turn out for him on Election Day — and in the right places.

Barack Obama beat his Republican challengers in 2008 and 2012 by driving historic turnout among African American voters and winning working-class white voters in Midwestern Rust Belt states. Replicating that exact playbook may not be realistic; Trump’s hold on white working-class voters can’t be underestimated. …

The Biden campaign strategy will take a series of carefully executed plays. Cut into Trump’s margins with rural and exurban voters in states from the Upper Midwest to Florida. Make sure African American, Latino, and Asian American turnout is strong in Sun Belt and Rust Belt states alike. Appeal to a subset of voters where Democrats have been racking up big wins lately: suburban voters (especially women) who may have voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 but are wary of Trump.

And — maybe the biggest play of all — see if the campaign can win or at least significantly cut into the president’s margins with older voters, a traditionally more conservative and reliable bloc that suddenly seems to be turning away from the president.”

– Ella Nilsen, Vox

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden said after Trump retweeted an image of Biden wearing a mask, “He’s a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way. … I mean every leading doc in the world is saying you should wear a mask when you’re in a crowd, and especially when you know you’re going to be in a position where you’re going to inadvertently get closer than 12 feet to somebody.”

  • Biden’s campaign launched a program called League 46, which it describes as “a community to engage, mobilize, and empower young people to elect Joe Biden.”

  • Biden’s campaign named Rachana Desai Martin as its national director for voter protection and senior counsel.

  • The AFL-CIO endorsed Biden.

  • Donald Trump will visit the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, today to view the SpaceX rocket launch. A press secretary said, “‘Launch America’ not only restores American dominance and unlocks our entrepreneurial spirit in space, but it also symbolizes America’s ‘transition to greatness’ after an unprecedented disruption.”

  • Trump said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) should decide within a week whether a full-scale Republican National Convention can be held in the state. Trump said, “It’s a massive expenditure, and we have to know. Yeah, I would say within a week, certainly, we’d have to know. Now if he can’t do it, if he feels he’s not going to do it, all he has to do is tell us, and then we’ll have to pick another location.”

  • According to Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, other states have offered to host the Republican National Convention. McDaniel said, “The president is right to say to the governor, you need to assure us before we lock in all these hotel rooms and we bring all of this revenue to your state that you’re going to let us have this convention. … There’s a lot of states that are calling the president right now saying, hey, why don’t you bring that revenue to our state?”

Flashback: May 27, 2016

After telling Jimmy Kimmel that he would debate Bernie Sanders if ABC made a donation to charity, Trump issued the following statement: “[N]ow that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. … Therefore, as much as I want to debate Bernie Sanders – and it would be an easy payday – I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”blank

Click here to learn more.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: May 26, 2020

This is our daily update on how federal, state, and local officials are planning to set America on a path to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Each day, we:

  • Track the status of reopening in all 50 states.
  • Compare the status of one industry or activity across the country.
  • Provide in-depth summaries of the latest reopening plans.
  • Give you the latest stories on other reopening plans and ideas.

Want to know what happened Friday? Click here.

This week is our membership drive for the Ballotpedia Society. Click here to learn more about how you can become a key player in the effort to make politics understandable.

The next two days

What is reopening in the next two days? Which stay-at-home orders will expire?

May 27

  • Colorado (Democratic trifecta): On May 25, Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced that restaurant dining rooms could reopen effective May 27. Dining rooms will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity with a table limit of eight people and tables spaced six feet apart.

May 28

  • Iowa (Republican trifecta): On May 20, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced that bars and other alcohol-related establishments would be allowed to reopen effective May 28. We’ll give the status of bars in all 50 states in another edition this week.

Since our last edition

Have any states opened? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • California (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) released guidelines on May 25 for the reopening of religious buildings. The guidelines took effect immediately, allowing churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious worship sites to reopen. Facilities will be limited to 25 percent of the building’s capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower. The guidelines also require temperature screenings at the door, face coverings, and social distancing. The guidelines are set to last for 21 days before being re-evaluated by the state’s health department.
  • Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): O‘ahu, Maui, and Kaua‘i counties announced plans to allow medium-risk businesses and activities to resume under state guidelines. Kaua‘i provided for the immediate reopening of pools, religious services, outdoor tours, salons, barbershops, cleaning and construction work, and one-on-one personal services (such as fitness classes, tutoring, and music lessons). O‘ahu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that religious services would be able to resume on May 23 and restaurants will open for dine-in on June 5. DIne-in services will also resume in Maui starting June 5.
  • Illinois (Democratic trifecta): State officials released a toolkit and restrictions for businesses reopening in the third phase of the Restore Illinois plan. Phase Three is expected to begin on May 29.
  • Kentucky (divided government): Effective May 25, the following businesses were allowed to reopen, all subject to 33% capacity limits: barbershops, cosmetology services, and hair salons; massage therapy services; nail salons; tanning salons; and tattoo parlors.
  • Massachusetts (divided government): Effective May 25, the following businesses were allowed to reopen: lab spaces; office spaces; personal services (hair salons, pet grooming, car washes), and retail (delivery and curbside pick-up). The following recreation sites and activities were also permitted to reopen or resume effective May 25: beaches; parks; drive-in movie theaters; select athletic fields; outdoor adventure activities; fishing, hunting, and boating; and outdoor gardens, zoos, reserves, and other public installations.
  • Michigan (divided government): Effective May 26, retailers and car dealerships statewide were allowed to reopen to customers by appointment. On May 22, Whitmer extended Michigan’s stay-at-home order through June 12.
  • Mississippi (Republican trifecta): Gov. Tate Reeves (R) extended the state’s safer-at-home order through June 1. It was scheduled to expire on May 25. He also lifted some restrictions on outdoor recreation activities and businesses, including water parks, playgrounds, and sports practices.
  • Nevada (Democratic trifecta): On May 22, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) set June 4 as the target date for reopening casinos, which have been closed since March. Several major resort chains have already released cleaning and health guidelines. Sisolak is scheduled to hold a news conference to unveil phase two of the state’s reopening plan at 5:30 p.m. on May 26.
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that elective medical procedures and professional sports activities would be able to resume starting May 26. Murphy also signed an order allowing for modified in-person graduation ceremonies on or after June 6.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that the Mid-Hudson region would begin Phase One of the state’s reopening plan starting May 26 and Long Island would begin the first phase on May 27. Cuomo also said campgrounds, sports teams’ facilities, and veterinary clinics would be able to start reopening. New York City is the only region in the state that has not started reopening.
  • North Dakota (Republican trifecta): Gov. Doug Burgum (R) issued an executive order on May 22 lifting restrictions on several industries and calling for businesses to comply with guidelines developed in the state’s “Smart Restart” plan. The order applies to salons, tattoo studios, massage services, health clubs and athletic facilities, bars and restaurants, and movie theaters. All of the businesses are “strongly encouraged to adopt and rigorously follow” industry-specific standards. Guidelines include limiting capacity to maintain social distancing and encouraging face coverings for employees working closely with the public. The order also allows state facilities such as the Capitol building to reopen June 1. State employees working remotely can begin returning to work in consultation with their supervisors.
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): Effective May 26, several businesses can reopen, including swimming pools, gyms, bowling alleys, and mini-golf centers. Non-contact and limited-contact sports leagues, like tennis and softball, can also restart. The Ohio Department of Health released sector-specific operating requirements businesses must follow to reopen. Although the specific requirements vary by industry, a common stipulation is that businesses must ensure 6 feet of distance between employees and customers.
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): On May 23, Clackamas County joined 33 other counties in Phase 1 of reopening. In Phase 1, gathering sizes are limited to 25, and restaurants and bars can open for dine-in. Retailers, malls, personal service businesses (like hairdressers and salons), and fitness centers can also reopen, contingent on their compliance with state guidelines.
  • Pennsylvania (divided government): Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced that eight more counties would move into the yellow phase of reopening and 17 counties would enter the green phase starting May 29. Wolf also said the remaining 10 red-phase counties were expected to move to yellow by June 5. During the yellow phase, theaters and gyms remain closed, but some types of businesses, such as retail, can begin to reopen with restrictions. Bars and restaurants are limited to carry-out and delivery. The green phase will allow most businesses and functions to reopen under state restrictions, including salons, barbershops, spas, casinos, theaters, malls, and gyms. Gathering limits will also be lifted in the green phase, but the state will continue to restrict large entertainment gatherings and visits to nursing homes and prisons. The Wolf administration also released guidelines for youth summer camps.
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Saturday, May 23, Secretary of Health Jonn Weisman permitted seven counties to advance to Phase 2 of the reopening plan. Twenty-one of Washington’s 39 counties have moved into Phase 2. Counties can apply to move into Phase 2 if they have an average of less than 10 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents over a 14 days.
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): The state entered the fifth week of reopening effective May 26, enabling additional businesses to reopen with restrictions. Zoos, museums and visitors centers, and indoor and outdoor bars can reopen at 50% capacity. State park cabins and lodges can also reopen for state residents only.


Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of May 26, stay-at-home orders have ended in 28 states. Eighteen of those states have Republican governors and 10 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order). Of the 15 states with active stay-at-home orders, one has a Republican governor and 14 have Democratic governors. Many states have begun allowing various businesses and activities to resume while still leaving stay-at-home orders in place.

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired, and when the rest are scheduled to expire.

Tracking industries: Movie theaters

All 50 states have begun to reopen in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: Can I go see a show in a movie theater?

Movie theaters may open in 16 states. They may not open in 34 states. The chart and map below indicate which states permit movie theaters to open in some form, even with restrictions (like capacity) or only in certain regions. States allowing only drive-in theaters to open are not included.



This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know. Click here for previous editions and featured plans.

On April 28, Gov. Kay Ivey (R) and State Health Director Scott Harris announced they would allow Alabama’s stay-at-home order to expire on April 30. At that time, some businesses that had been closed under the stay-at-home order were allowed to resume operations, subject to social distancing guidelines and capacity restrictions.

Ivey and Harris unveiled a three-phase framework for reopening businesses and resuming non-essential activities:

  • Stay-at-home, the period covered by the original stay-at-home, which expired on April 30;
  • Safer-at-home, the period beginning April 30 and continuing to present; and
  • Safer-apart, the duration and details of which have not been publicly released.

Ivey said, “As of this week, we no longer believe our hospitals will see an overwhelming amount of ICU patients who need ventilators as we once believed. And that is good news for sure. While we have not seen a decrease in the amount of newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients, we have seen stabilization, a leveling off, if you will, in the amount of cases. Like everyone else, I look forward to easing back into our routines with caution. Just like we eased into this current stay at home order, we will also be thoughtful and careful as we ease back into our social interactions.”

Ivey and Scott have issued two amended safer-at-home orders, which further eased restrictions on individuals and businesses.

Context

  • Ivey and Harris issued Alabama’s original statewide stay-at-home order on April 3. It took effect at 5:00 p.m. on April 4 and continued through 5:00 p.m. on April 30. Under the stay-at-home order, Alabamans were ordered to remain at home unless carrying out essential tasks (e.g., obtaining necessary supplies, attending religious services, etc.).
  • As of May 25, there had been 14,730 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 562 confirmed fatalities. Alabama had an estimated population of 4.9 million as of July 2019. The state had 300.4 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11.5 confirmed fatalities per 100,000 residents.
  • Alabama is a Republican trifecta, with a Republican governor and Republican majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Plan details

Safer-at-home order: At 5:00 p.m. on April 30, the safer-at-home order took effect, establishing the following restrictions and guidelines for individuals and businesses.

Guidelines for individuals: Individuals encouraged, but not required, to minimize travel outside the home and wear face coverings in public. Social gatherings of 10 people or more remained prohibited.

Guidelines for businesses: Employers were required to do the following:

  • Maintain six feet of separation between employees.
  • Avoid or reduce gatherings of 10 employees or more.
  • Regularly disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces.
  • Encourage hand washing.
  • Prevent ill employees from coming into contact with others.
  • Facilitate remote working arrangements and minimize employee travel.

The following businesses and services were allowed to resume operations:

  • Retailers (50% capacity).
  • Beaches.
  • Non-emergency medical procedures.

The following businesses and services were ordered to remain closed:

  • Entertainment venues (e.g., night clubs, bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, etc.).
  • Athletic facilities (e.g., fitness centers, commercial gyms, spas, etc.) and athletic activities.
  • Educational institutions.
  • Child-care facilities (serving 12 or more children).
  • Close-contact service providers (e.g., barbershops, hair salons, body art facilities, etc.).
  • Dine-in service at restaurants and other eateries.
  • Summer camps.

First amended safer-at-home order: On May 11, an amended safer-at-home order took effect, implementing the following modifications:

Guidelines for individuals: The prohibition against social gatherings of 10 people or more was lifted.

Guidelines for businesses: The following businesses and services were allowed to resume operations:

  • Close-contact service providers (employees required to wear face coverings when providing services).
  • Athletic facilities (employees required to wear face coverings when interacting with clients).
  • Dine-in service at restaurants and other eateries (party size limited to eight; six feet of distance between tables, booths, etc.; employees required to wear face coverings when interacting with customers).

Second amended safer-at-home order: On May 22, a second amended safer-at-home order took effect, implementing the following modifications:

Guidelines for businesses: The following businesses and services were allowed to resume operations:

  • Entertainment venues (50% capacity; employees required to wear face coverings when interacting with clients or guests).
  • Athletic activities (practices allowed effective May 23; competitions allowed effective June 15).
  • Educational institutions (effective June 1).
  • Child-care facilities (effective May 23).
  • Summer camps.

Reactions

  • Fred McCallum, interim president and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance, issued a statement on the first round of reopenings that took effect on April 30: “The Birmingham business community would like to thank Governor Ivey for making sure the decision to reopen businesses throughout the state was methodical and informed by data, science and input from businesses and elected officials, and vetted through a team of experts in those areas from around the state. However, many small- and mid-size businesses in Birmingham are experiencing severe hardship due to closures, and they struggle with a difference of opinion on when and how businesses should reopen. While we appreciate the Governor’s cautious approach to the reopening process, we do look forward to the opening of many more businesses on or before May 15, 2020.”
  • U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R) supported easing restrictions through the course of May: “The first three weeks of May have been eventful for all of us, as parts of our economy in Alabama have reopened and as more economic relief bills have been brought before Congress. I am glad that our state is holding strong and loosening restrictions so that we can go to church, get a haircut, and even sit down for a meal at certain restaurants. This is solid progress, and I am hopeful that we will see more of it as we move further into May. Although there is not a great deal of good news coming from Washington, there is good news in Alabama. As you all know and have experienced, our state is one of the most open in the entire country. Some studies have us ranked as the 4th most open state out of all 50 in the union. This is fantastic, especially since the number of cases has not spiked since enacting these measures.”
  • Josh Moon, in an op-ed for Alabama Political Reporter, criticized the amended safer-at-home orders: “A week ago, after telling people that it would be data that determined when Alabama reopens, and that she would follow the White House guidelines for reopening, she did neither. Instead, she did exactly what she said she wouldn’t do — used a date to determine that it was time to lift restrictions. The lockdown had gone on too long, Ivey said, and it was time to lift it. She did so as positive cases were on the rise. And with absolutely no plan for comprehensive testing and tracing — the one thing that Ivey and all medical experts said we HAD to have before we could safely lift restrictions.”
  • In an interview with CNN, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed criticized the pace of reopening throughout the state: “I think certainly people have decided that the pandemic is over, that there’s not a risk out. They are ready to get back to their normal way of doing things, and that’s a mistake that we’ve been making over the last few weeks as we have kind of eased restrictions in this community and across the state. It’s giving people a false sense of security. We’re still in the middle of a crisis. We’re still battling this pandemic. We still have to practice social distancing. We have to wear masks when we’re in public.”

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.

  • The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider a motion allowing cities in the county with low COVID-19 cases to reopen early. If approved, the motion would be used to help those cities persuade Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to grant them an exemption to the statewide reopening timeline.
  • In South Carolina, U.S. district court Judge J. Michelle Childs issued a preliminary injunction barring election officials from enforcing South Carolina’s witness requirement for absentee ballots in the June 9 primary and subsequent runoff elections. The plaintiffs in the suit had also asked for a suspension of the requirement that completed ballots be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day, provided they were postmarked on or before June 9. Childs denied that request.
    • Fortney was elected sheriff on Nov. 5, 2019, with 55% of the vote. The recall petition was approved for circulation on May 15, 2020. Recall supporters must collect 44,000 signatures to get the recall on the ballot. A second recall petition against Fortney was filed on May 15, 2020. Before it can be circulated, the petition must be approved in a court hearing.
  • Snohomish County, Washington: An effort to recall Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney began after Fortney announced in an April Facebook post his office would not enforce Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. The recall petition says Fortney “used his position as an elected official to encourage citizens to defy the law and violate the Governor’s Emergency Proclamations.” Forney said he stands by his earlier statement, and the sheriff’s office “will not be enforcing an order preventing religious freedoms or constitutional rights.”
  • The city of Nashville, Tennessee began the second phase of its reopening plan Monday, May 25. The second phase lifts some capacity restrictions, allowing retail and commercial businesses and restaurants and bars serving food to open at 75% capacity. Bars, however, are still closed. Gyms and hair and nail salons can open at 50% capacity. While live music is permitted, dance floors are closed and only two performers can be onstage at the same time.
  • Legislatures in Colorado, Delaware, and New York resumed their sessions today, May 26, after suspending their sessions in response to the outbreak. Rhode Island’s legislature extended its suspension through at least May 29.


Libertarian Party selects Jo Jorgensen as presidential nominee

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
May 26, 2020: The Libertarian Party selected Jo Jorgensen as its presidential nominee on Saturday. Joe Biden won the Hawaii Democratic primary on Friday.

This week is the Ballotpedia Society’s Spring membership drive. Join during the drive and your donation will be matched!

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.


Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (May 17-20, 2020)


Presidential poll highlights, 2019-2020 (May 13-14, 2020)

Notable Quote of the Day

“Peter Navarro, a Trump trade and manufacturing adviser who’s a Harvard-educated economist, called the high unemployment America is currently facing ‘manufactured unemployment, which is to say that Americans are out of work not because of any underlying economic weaknesses but to save American lives. It is this observation that gives us the best chance and hope for a relatively rapid recovery as the economy reopens.’ …

The scenario would be a major long-term problem for any president. But before that reality sets in, Trump could be poised to benefit from the dramatic numbers produced during the partial rebound phase that is likely to coincide with the four months before November.

That realization has many Democrats spooked. …

[Democratic strategist Kenneth Baer said], ‘On Election Day, we Democrats need voters to ask themselves, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Republicans need voters to ask themselves, “Are you better off than you were four months ago?”‘”

– Ryan Lizza and Daniel Lippman, Politico 

Election Updates

  • On Memorial Day, Joe Biden appeared in public for the first time since March to lay a wreath at a veterans memorial.

  • Biden apologized for saying, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” in an interview on The Breakfast Club. He said, “I know that the comments have come off like I was taking the African American vote for granted. But nothing could be further [from] the truth.”

  • Biden won the Hawaii Democratic primary on Friday, May 22, with 63.2% of the vote to Bernie Sanders’ 36.8%. The primary was held entirely by mail in response to the coronavirus pandemic and incorporated ranked-choice voting.

  • Donald Trump’s campaign is spending $1 million on digital ads attacking Biden over his statement on The Breakfast Club.

  • Trump tweeted on Saturday, “The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history. People grab them from mailboxes, print thousands of forgeries and ‘force’ people to sign. Also, forge names. Some absentee OK, when necessary. Trying to use Covid for this Scam!”

  • Following a series of tweets from Trump regarding the possibility of moving the Republican National Convention away from Charlotte, North Carolina, Vice President Mike Pence stated, “We all want to be in Charlotte, we love North Carolina, but having a sense now is absolutely essential because of the immense preparations that are involved and we look forward to working with Gov. Cooper, getting a swift response, and if need be moving the national convention to a state that is farther along on reopening and can say with confidence that we can gather there.”

  • The Libertarian Party selected Jo Jorgensen as its presidential nominee on Saturday, May 23, during the Libertarian National Convention. Spike Cohen was selected as the party’s vice-presidential nominee the next day.

Flashback: May 26, 2016

In an ABC News interview following a State Department report on her use of a private email server while secretary of state, Hillary Clinton said, “This report makes clear that personal email use was the practice for other secretaries of state. … But it was still a mistake. And as I’ve said many times, if I could go back, I would do it differently. I know people have concerns about this, I understand that, but I think voters are going to be looking at the full picture of what I have to offer … and the full threat that Donald Trump offers our country.”blank

Click here to learn more.



California governor’s revised budget proposes cuts to public-sector worker pay, education spending

On May 14, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) submitted his proposed budget revision to the state Legislature. He has proposed several spending reductions, including cuts to public-sector salaries and education spending, in an effort to close an estimated $54 billion budget deficit. That deficit has resulted, in large part, from the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

How have budget projections changed?

The May revision projects a $54 billion budget deficit: “Job losses and business closures are sharply reducing state revenues. Compared to the January forecast, General Fund revenues are projected to decline over $41 billion. This revenue drop, combined with increased costs in health and human services programs and the added costs to address COVID-19, leads to a projected budget deficit of approximately $54 billion before the changes proposed in the May revision.”

Newsom’s original budget proposal, released in January, called for approximately $222.2 billion in total state spending in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Newsom’s May revision calls for $203.3 billion in spending, an 8.5 percent decrease. January revenue projections totaled $211.9 billion. May revenue projections total $181.8 billion, a 14.2 percent decrease.

Personal income tax revenue projections decreased 25.3 percent, from $105.3 billion in January to $78.7 billion in May. Sales and use tax revenue projections decreased 25.4 percent, from $41.0 billion to $30.6 billion.

What kinds of reductions are being proposed, and what are the reactions?

Newsom’s proposal incorporates a 10 percent pay cut for California’s 234,000 state employees: “Absent additional federal funds, the COVID-19 recession requires reductions necessary to balance the state budget. These reductions will be triggered off if the federal government provides sufficient funding to restore them. Savings in employee compensation will need to be part of the budget solution absent federal funds.” Newsom [https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article242745126.html said, “None of us in state government will be immune from tightening our belts and helping to support the cause and helping those most in need.”

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) said, “I want to make sure that we are not only respecting state workers, but collective bargaining. I am concerned about the 10 percent cut. You are looking at workers who are already suffering, so I am going to make sure we go through those details.”

Yvonne Walker, president of SEIU Local 1000, which represents 96,000 public-sector workers, said, “I just want to be clear. It is not a straight across-the-board pay cut. If we do nothing, that’s exactly what it comes to. But I have confidence in our bargaining team. I have confidence in our members.”

The budget revision also estimates a $19 billion decrease in the Proposition 98 guarantee of minimum funding levels for K-12 schools and community colleges, a 23 percent decrease compared to Proposition 98 funding in the 2019-2020 fiscal year budget. Newsom has proposed implementing temporary tax changes, using federal COVID-19 relief and emergency education relief funds, and reducing employer pension contributions to mitigate the shortfall.

The Education Coalition, a group of nine statewide teachers unions and other K-12 education associations, opposed the proposed reductions: “[The] May revision proposes drastic cuts to K-12 education at a time when schools face significant costs related to COVID-19 and as they prepare for re-opening in the fall. It is for these reasons that the Education Coalition must respectfully oppose the proposed cuts in the May Revision to K-12 education and ask that both the Administration and the Legislature look to alternate revenue sources to ensure K-12 schools can provide quality and safe educational environments for its six million students.”

In a statement on Newsom’s budget revision, Assembly Minority Leader Marie Waldron (R) called on the governor to ease restrictions on individuals and businesses implemented in response to the COVID-19 outbreak: “The best way to fix this budget crisis is by helping people get back to work safely. If we can get employees back to work safely, receive some help from the federal government and make government more efficient to withstand future downturns, we will be able to protect jobs and public health and put California back on a path to prosperity that works for everyone.”

What comes next?

Newsom’s proposal now goes before lawmakers, which must pass a balanced budget by June 15 or else forgo their salaries. California is a Democratic trifecta, with a Democratic governor and Democratic majorities in both chambers of the legislature.

What we’ve been reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 95 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking.

Union Station map May 22, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart May 22, 2020.png

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s)

Union Station partisan chart May 22, 2020.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of relevant legislative actions taken since our last issue.

  • California SB1173: Existing law requires public employers to provide unions with contact information for all employees within the bargaining unit. Existing law also requires that public employers provide unions with contact information for new employees within 30 days of hire. This bill would impose liability on employers who violate these provisions 3 or more times in a 12-month period.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committee reported favorably on May 18. Re-referred to Appropriations Committee.

See also



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: May 22, 2020

This is our daily update on how federal, state, and local officials are planning to set America on a path to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Each day, we:

Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

There will be no Documenting America’s Path to Recovery on Memorial Day, May 25. Enjoy your weekend, and we’ll be back on Tuesday, May 26.

The next three days

What is reopening in the next two days? Which stay-at-home orders will expire?

May 23

  • Vermont (divided government): On Saturday, May 23, places of worship can reopen in Vermont, though guidelines state that drive-in or outdoor services are preferred to indoor services. Places of worship are limited to 25% capacity. As of May 22, campgrounds, marinas, and lodging, including short-term rentals, can reopen with restrictions, and restaurants can offer outdoor dining. Hotels and short-term rentals can only accept reservations from Vermont residents or out-of-state travelers who have completed the 14-day quarantine requirement. Campgrounds and multi-room lodging businesses may only book 25% of rooms or sites. All guests must complete a health questionnaire. Restaurants offering outdoor dining must space tables at least 10 feet apart. Customers must make reservations or call ahead. Additionally, Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced on May 22 that hair salons and barbershops can reopen with restrictions on May 29.

May 25

  • Kentucky (divided government): The following businesses will be allowed to reopen: cosmetology services; hair salons and barbershops; massage therapy; nail salons; tanning salons; and tattoo parlors.
  • Massachusetts (divided government): The following businesses will be permitted to reopen: lab spaces; office spaces; personal services (hair salons, pet grooming, car washes), and retail (delivery and curbside pick-up). The following recreation activities and sites will be permitted to reopen: beaches; parks; drive-in movie theaters; select athletic fields; outdoor adventure activities; fishing, hunting, and boating; and outdoor gardens, zoos, reserves, and other public installations.

Since our last edition

Have any states opened? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here. For our last edition, click here.

  • Alabama (Republican trifecta): Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced that an amended safer at home order would take effect at 5 p.m. on May 22. The amended order allows entertainment venues, athletic activities, educational institutions, child care facilities, and summer camps to open under social distancing and sanitation guidelines. The amended order is set to last until July 3.
  • Connecticut (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Ned Lamont (D) released phases two and three of the state’s reopening plan. Phase two will take effect on June 20, and phase three will take effect at least four weeks later. Phase two will allow hotels, gyms, personal services, outdoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, indoor entertainment, museums, and dine-in service at restaurants to reopen.
  • Florida (Republican trifecta): Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that summer camps and youth activities could open immediately with no additional restrictions.
  • Indiana (Republican trifecta): Effective May 22, 89 of Indiana’s 92 counties have advanced to the third phase of reopening, two days earlier than the original target date of May 24. The following businesses are allowed to reopen or expand their operations: retail stores (at 75% capacity); mall common areas (at 50% capacity); gyms and fitness centers; playgrounds and other outdoor recreation facilities; community pools; and campgrounds. Social gatherings of up to 100 people are permitted. Cass, Lake, and Marion counties will be eligible to move into the third phase on June 1.
  • Iowa (Republican trifecta): Effective May 22, the following businesses are allowed to resume operations: movie theaters (at 50% capacity); museums, aquariums, and zoos; swimming pools; and wedding reception venues.
  • Kansas (divided government): The second phase of the state’s reopening took effect on May 22. The following businesses are allowed to reopen: recreational organized sports facilities; community centers; indoor leisure spaces (e.g., arcades, theaters, museums, and bowling alleys); state-owned casinos (subject to approval by the state health department); and in-person group exercise classes. The following businesses and activities remained closed: bars and nightclubs; outdoor and indoor large entertainment venues; fairs, festivals, carnivals, and parades; swimming pools; and summer camps. Phase 2 is set to last through June 7.
  • Kentucky (divided government): Effective May 22, restaurants are permitted to resume dine-in service at 33% capacity, plus outdoor seating. Social gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed.
  • Michigan (divided government): Retail businesses, offices, restaurants, and bars are allowed to reopen effective May 22 in 32 counties. Restaurants and bars are subject to a 50% capacity limit.
  • Nebraska (Republican trifecta): On May 21, Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) announced that 89 counties will enter Phase II of the state’s reopening plan starting June 1. Under Phase II, bars and strip clubs are permitted to reopen at 50 percent capacity, host parties up to six people, and patrons must stay six feet away from entertainers. Games, such as darts and pool, are prohibited. Gatherings of up to 25 or 25 percent capacity (excluding staff) for indoor or outdoor attractions, such as arenas, fairgrounds, libraries, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space are allowed in Phase II. No more than 3,000 people are allowed in larger venues, even if that is less than 25 percent occupancy. Weddings and funerals may also resume, up to 25 people or 50 percent occupancy, excluding staff. Parades, carnivals, midways, dances, and beer gardens are prohibited through June 30. Phase II also lifts the recommendation that residents who traveled to a country or a state with a widespread COVID-19 outbreak self-quarantine for two weeks. Under the new phase, only those who traveled internationally will need to self-quarantine for 14 days. The new phase will allow limited noncontact sports, such as baseball and softball, to resume practices by June 1, with games resuming on June 18. Basketball, tackle football, soccer, and wrestling remain prohibited in Phase II. Ricketts also announced four counties that were not included in Phase I reopenings will be able to enter that phase in June. Under Phase I, the following businesses will be permitted to reopen: personal services, such as salons and barbershops, and in-restaurant dining at 50 percent capacity.
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): On May 22, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an executive order opening public and private campgrounds and permitting gatherings of 25 or fewer outdoors ahead of Memorial Day weekend. The gathering limit also applies to other outdoor recreation, such as charter and fishing boats, and outdoor batting cages. Indoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people. On May 21, Murphy said that more indoor businesses, such as gyms, salons, and barbershops may reopen in a matter of weeks. Murphy’s administration also released guidelines for seasonal farmworkers and employers.
  • New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced on May 20 that the state was on track for more businesses and services to begin opening on June 1. On June 1, in-restaurant dining, salons, gyms, and malls could potentially reopen.
  • North Carolina (Republican trifecta): Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) stay-at-home order expired at 5:00 p.m. on May 22. Replacing it is a safer-at-home order that will remain in effect through at least June 26. The following businesses and activities are permitted: retail (50 percent capacity), in-restaurant dining (50 percent capacity), personal services such as salons and barbershops (50 percent capacity), indoor and outdoor pools (50 percent capacity), child care facilities, and day and overnight camps. Under the new order, limits on gatherings are increased to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): Effective May 22, horse racing can resume with no spectators. As of May 21, in-restaurant dining is permitted to resume, with social distancing measures and a 10-person limit on parties.
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Marion and Polk counties joined 31 other counties in the first phase of reopening. In Phase 1, gathering sizes are limited to 25, and restaurants and bars can open for dine-in. Retailers, malls, personal service businesses (like hairdressers and salons), and fitness centers can also reopen, contingent on their compliance with state guidelines.
  • Pennsylvania (divided government): Twelve counties entered the yellow phase of reopening on May 22. During the yellow phase, theaters and gyms remain closed, but some types of businesses, such as retail, can begin to reopen with restrictions. Bars and restaurants are limited to carry-out and delivery. Gov. Tom Wolf said he expects to release a list of additional counties on May 22 that will be able to move into the yellow phase. Wolf is also expected to announce the first counties that will be able to move from yellow to the green phase, which allows most businesses to open under state restrictions and lifts gathering limits.
  • Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order extending Phase One of Rhode Island’s reopening plan until May 31. She said the state is on track to enter the second phase of reopening beginning June 1. Phase Two will allow personal service businesses (such as barbershops and salons), gyms, and some outdoor entertainment activities to reopen. It will also lift the state’s travel restrictions and allow groups of up to 15 people to gather.
  • South Carolina (Republican trifecta): Attraction facilities in the state began to partially reopen. Eligible businesses include zoos, museums, aquariums, planetariums, historic sites, waterparks, amusement park rides, go-kart tracks, and miniature golf courses. The reopening does not include bowling alleys, nightclubs, spectator sports venues, or movie theaters.
  • Tennessee (Republican trifecta): Capacity restrictions for retailers businesses and restaurants were lifted on May 22 in 89 counties. Large attractions and venues are also allowed to reopen in those counties with restrictions, per updated guidelines released May 20.
  • Texas (Republican trifecta): Effective May 22, bars, breweries, and wine rooms are permitted to reopen at 25% capacity, and restaurants are permitted to reopen at 50% capacity. Additionally, indoor entertainment, like bowling alleys and skating rinks, are allowed to reopen at 25% capacity.
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): Effective May 22, restaurants in West Virginia can reopen to indoor dining. Capacity is capped at 50% and social distancing guidelines must be followed.
  • Northeastern states – Beaches in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York were permitted to reopen on May 22.

Update on stay-at-home orders

Forty-three states issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities and the closure or curtailment of businesses each state deemed nonessential. Seven states did not.

As of May 22, stay-at-home orders have ended in 28 states. Eighteen of those states have Republican governors and 10 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order). Of the 15 states with active stay-at-home orders, one has a Republican governor and 14 have Democratic governors.

Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired, and when the rest are scheduled to expire.

Tracking industries: Barbershops and salons

All 50 states began to reopen in some way. Here, we give the status of one industry or activity across the states. Today’s question: in which states may you go out for a haircut?

Barbershops and salons may open in 36 states. They may not open in 14 states. The chart and map below indicate which states permit barbershops and salons to open in some form, even with restrictions (like capacity) or only in certain regions.



This is an in-depth summary of one of the latest reopening plans. Is there a plan you’d like us to feature? Reply to this email and let us know.

On May 18, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) announced the four-phase “Reopening Massachusetts” plan.

Manufacturing, construction, and places of worship were permitted to reopen May 18 with certain guidelines. Hospitals and health centers were also permitted to resume some services with certain guidelines. Additional reopenings are scheduled for May 25 as part of Phase 1.

The plan includes mandatory safety standards around social distancing, cleaning, staffing, and hygiene for all workplaces as well as sector-specific requirements.

Each phase will last at least three weeks. According to the announcement, “specific industries, regions, and/or the entire Commonwealth may need to return to an earlier phase” if public health trends are negative. The public health metrics that determine movement from one phase to the next are:

  • COVID-19 positive test rate
  • Number of individuals who died from COVID-19
  • Number of patients with COVID-19 in hospitals
  • Health care system readiness
  • Testing capacity
  • Contact tracing capabilities

Baker said, “These two will be inseparable: getting back to work and fighting COVID, until there is a medical breakthrough with treatments or a vaccine. And we cannot move forward unless we commit to continuing to slow the spread.”

The Reopening Advisory Board developed the plan. The board has 17 members, including public health experts, members of the business community, and municipal leaders. Polito and state Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy chair the board.

Also on May 18, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a safer-at-home advisory, replacing the previous stay-at-home advisory. It says people over the age of 65 and people with underlying health conditions should stay home except for essential activities. It says all others should stay home except for essential and newly permitted activities. The advisory requires people to wear face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public.

Some municipalities in Massachusetts have reopening plans with more restrictions than the statewide plan.

Context

  • On March 23, Baker ordered nonessential businesses to close effective March 24 and limited gathering sizes to no more than 10 people. The order was set to expire April 7. Baker also directed the state Department of Public Health to issue a stay-at-home advisory instructing residents to stay home except for essential activities and essential travel. On March 31, Baker extended his order to May 4. On April 28, he extended it until May 18. On both occasions, he announced the stay-at-home advisory would remain in effect.
  • On May 18, the state Department of Public Health issued a safer-at-home advisory maintaining stay-at-home guidance for those over 65 and those with underlying health conditions and advising others not to leave home except for essential and newly permitted activities.
  • As of May 21, Massachusetts had 90,084 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6,148 confirmed deaths. Massachusetts’ estimated population was 6.9 million as of July 2019. The state had 1,307 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents and 89.2 deaths per 100,000 residents. Massachusetts had the third-highest per capita case rate and fourth-highest per capita death rate of all states.
  • Massachusetts has a divided government, with a Republican governor and Democratic majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Plan details

Guidance for individuals in all phases

  • Cover your face
  • Wash your hands
  • Socially distance
  • Be vigilant for symptoms
  • Stay home if you feel sick

Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards

All businesses must implement the following measures. Essential businesses have until May 25 to comply with mandatory workplace safety standards.

Social Distancing

  • All persons, including employees, customers, and vendors should remain at least six feet apart to the greatest extent possible, both inside and outside workplaces
  • Establish protocols to ensure that employees can practice adequate social distancing
  • Provide signage for safe social distancing
  • Require face coverings or masks for all employees

Hygiene Protocols

  • Provide hand washing capabilities throughout the workplace
  • Ensure frequent hand washing by employees and adequate supplies to do so
  • Provide regular sanitization of high touch areas, such as workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms throughout work site

Staffing and Operations

  • Provide training for employees regarding the social distancing and hygiene protocols
  • Employees who are displaying COVID19-like symptoms do not report to work
  • Establish a plan for employees getting ill from Covid-19 at work, and a return-to-work plan

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Establish and maintain cleaning protocols specific to the business
  • When an active employee is diagnosed with COVID19, cleaning and disinfecting must be performed
  • Disinfection of all common surfaces must take place at intervals appropriate to said workplace

The reopening plan announcement also states:

In order to reopen, businesses must develop a written COVID-19 Control Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. Required materials are located on mass.gov/reopening, and include detailed sector-specific circulars and checklists to facilitate compliance.

Phase 1 (began May 18)

Guidance for individuals

The safer-at-home advisory includes the following:

  • People over age 65 and people with underlying health conditions (high-risk populations) should continue to stay home except for essential activities
  • All other residents advised not to leave home except for essential and newly permitted activities
  • Ask pharmacy to fill prescriptions for 90 days if possible. If a member of the high-risk population, try to use mail delivery service.
  • Avoid close-contact activities (i.e., pickup sports games)
  • All residents required to wear face covering when they can’t maintain six feet of social distance in public
  • Parents should limit play dates
  • Do not visit residential care settings (i.e., nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities)
  • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soapy water
  • Monitor symptoms and stay home if sick
  • Use remote modes of communication to visit with people who are at high risk

Additional requirements for individuals/groups:

  • Gatherings limited to 10 people
  • Travelers to the state urged to self-quarantine for 14 days
  • Lodging restricted to essential workers

Businesses/sectors

Permitted to open May 18:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Places of worship (to 40% capacity, outdoor services encouraged)
  • Hospitals/community health centers (high-priority preventative care, pediatric care, and treatment for high-risk patients)

Permitted to open May 25:

  • Lab space
  • Office space, excluding those in Boston (“work from home strongly encouraged; businesses should restrict workforce presence to <25% maximum occupancy”)
  • Hair salons and barbershops (by appointment only)
  • Pet grooming (by appointment only, curbside pickup/dropoff)
  • Car washes (exterior car washing only)
  • Retail (remote fulfillment and curbside pick-up)
  • Beaches
  • Parks
  • Drive-in movie theaters
  • Some athletic fields and courts
  • Many outdoor activities
  • Most fishing, hunting, and boating
  • Outdoor gardens, zoos, reserves, and public installations

Permitted to open June 1:

  • Office spaces in Boston (“work from home strongly encouraged; businesses should restrict workforce presence to <25% maximum occupancy”)

Phase 2

Guidance for individuals

  • Safer-at-home advisory lifted
  • High-risk individuals should continue working from home if possible, with priority consideration for workplace accommodations
  • Gathering sizes TBD
  • Travel discouraged
  • Travelers to the state urged to self-quarantine for 14 days
  • Lodging open with restrictions

Businesses/sectors

The following might be allowed to reopen in Phase 2:

  • Retail (with capacity limitations)
  • Restaurants (with capacity limitations)
  • Lodging (with capacity limitations)
  • Additional personal services—i.e., nail salons, day spas (with capacity limitations)
  • Expanded ambulatory in-person routine care throughout Phases 2 and 3 (i.e., dental cleanings, some elective procedures, day habilitation)
  • Campgrounds
  • Playgrounds and spray decks
  • Public and community pools
  • All athletic fields and courts
  • Youth sports in limited fashion

Phase 3

Guidance for individuals

  • “High risk should work from home if possible; priority consideration for workplace accommodations (these could be adjusted depending on pending epidemiological evidence)”
  • Gathering sizes TBD
  • Travel TBD

Businesses/sectors

The following might be allowed to reopen in Phase 3:

  • Bars (with capacity limitations)
  • Arts & Entertainment—e.g., Casinos, gyms, museums (with capacity limitations)
  • All other business activities resume except for nightclubs and large venues (with capacity limitations)
  • Additional recreation and outdoor activities and services
  • Youth sports with games and tournaments (limited crowd sizes)

Phase 4

Guidance for individuals

  • High-risk populations resume public interactions with physical distancing
  • Gathering sizes TBD
  • Travel resumes with continued social guidance

Businesses/sectors

  • Full resumption of activities

Sector-specific guidance

The state will release guidance for sectors before they may reopen, and they must comply with guidance before reopening. Guidance for sectors that have already been permitted to reopen may be updated throughout the phases of the plan. The following sector-specific guidance had been released as of May 22:

Transit

The reopening plan includes guidance for transit riders, employers, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

Guidance for riders and employers

  • Riders are required to wear face coverings and must make efforts to distance. Riders are asked to avoid riding transit if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Employers are encouraged to stagger schedules and implement work from home policies to reduce demand, especially during rush hours;
  • The MBTA will continue to take protective and preventative measures such as frequently disinfecting and cleaning vehicles and stations and providing protective supplies to workers.

Guidance for MBTA

  • Support the transit needs of essential workers and those returning to the workplace in Phase 1 while continuing with limited service to maximize employee and rider safety;
  • Ramp up to a modified version of full service by Phase 3, although social distancing efforts will limit effective capacity on vehicles even after full service schedules are restored;
  • Actively communicate public health guidance and schedule adjustments in-station, online, and over social media.

Reactions

  • U.S. Rep Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) tweeted, “MA isn’t ready to ‘reopen’. Policy decisions that offer a false choice between public health & economic recovery will hurt our communities. I urge @MassGovernor to re-evaluate his timeline & invest in the supports needed to keep our families safe.”
  • Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons tweeted, “Governor Baker & Lg Polito just put in place the most restrictive business requirements in history. These regulations potentially will crush our economy. As I watch this press conference I feel so sad for the small struggling businesses in our state.”
  • John Regan, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, said, “We realize that every employer in Massachusetts would love to hear that they can re-open immediately. But we also acknowledge that a phased re-opening balances the need to re-start the economy with the need to manage a public-health crisis that continues to claim 100 lives a day in Massachusetts.”
  • James Sutherland, director of policy and research for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, released a statement saying, “The plan lists the health indicators that the state will monitor to determine the appropriate time to move into each phase and this is helpful for employers and employees alike. … However, there are no specific goals for each metric – whether it is a duration of positive trends or progress or a specific number to achieve – so it is still unclear precisely what will trigger each reopening phase. This information is necessary for employers, employees, and the public to plan and prepare.”

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.

  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city would not move into the second phase of reopening on May 29 when statewide restrictions in Illinois are expected to ease.
  • The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles released guidelines and procedures for reopening, though there is no set date for when that might happen. The department will only offer services that affect a resident’s ability to drive within 30 days of reopening, including driver’s license suspensions or revocation reinstatements, and driver’s knowledge tests.
  • Caesars Entertainment Corp announced that Caesars Palace and the Flamingo will reopen first among their Las Vegas properties when gaming is allowed to resume there. There is no set date for casinos to reopen in Nevada.
  • New Hampshire’s reopening task force heard proposals on May 20 from movie theater and bowling alley owners on how they might reopen.
  • Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii started a phased reopening.