Click here to learn more.
Click here to learn more.
The Rhode Island Department of Administration asked last week for state executive branch employees to volunteer to participate in the state’s Department of Labor and Training WorkShare program in order to address a projected $800 million budget deficit. According to WPRI, program participants “would work 60% of their regular weekly hours and be eligible for unemployment benefits through the federal CARES act for the remaining hours, and also receive the $600 dollar a week WorkShare payment through the end of July.” The plan runs through Sept. 5.
According to the Taunton Gazette, the Department of Administration reached agreement with the “major unions representing eligible, executive branch employees” on June 3 for members to participate in the program. (To view a list of labor unions representing state employees, click here.)
Department of Administration Director Brett Smiley said, “While we await more news from Washington and Congress, this was a prudent strategy to accrue millions [in] savings over the summer in a manner that would enable a majority of our workforce to be held harmless economically.” According to the Taunton Gazette, Smiley estimates the state would save $4.7 million if 1,000 employees participate.
Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said, “It’s a voluntary program but I am asking, encouraging, as many employees to participate as possible because that will enable us to maximize our savings.”
The Providence Journal reported on June 11 that according to a Department of Administration spokeswoman, “So far over 1,000 state employees have volunteered to participate in the State’s WorkShare Program, representing 27 agencies, including Executive Branch agencies, URI, the Legislature, Office of Attorney General and Office of Secretary of State.”
We are currently tracking 96 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.
Below is a complete list of relevant legislative actions taken since our last issue.
Click here to learn more.
Click here to learn more.
Click here to learn more.
This week: Trump endorses Bennett in NC-11 runoff, McCarthy endorses Mowers in NH-01, and Utah Attorney General candidates participate in debate
Where do Republican and conservative pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.
On qualified immunity
“Cornell Law defines qualified immunity as ‘a type of legal immunity… [that] protects a government official from lawsuits alleging that the official violated a plaintiff’s rights, only allowing suits where officials violated a “clearly established” statutory or constitutional right.’ In practice, this requirement for exact prior cases makes it impossible in most cases to sue a government official who violates your rights in civil court. …
“It has resulted in too many such horror stories and unjust anecdotes to count. …
“It’s, of course, true that no single reform can eliminate racism or repair the structural flaws in our justice system. But within the right-leaning criminal justice reform community, a consensus has formed that eliminating qualified immunity is a great place to start.”
Brad Polumbo, The Dispatch, June 8, 2020
“[What qualified immunity is] going to cause is a flight away from serving in police duty, and what that means ultimately is … if this passes the way she described it may you’re going to actually see increases in crime rates because police officers, nobody’s going to want to be a police officer because you’re going to have some immunity problems. Instead of the department taking the immunity, it will be the individual, and nobody is going to want to put their lives and their family in that kind of harm’s away. And so that’s going to be a real problem in the future. …
I’m not sure Congress is the best place to provide a unique situation with a one-size-fits-all solution.”
U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), quoted by Breitbart, June 8, 2020
President Donald Trump endorsed Lynda Bennett in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District primary runoff.
Mark Meadows (R) represented the district before resigning to serve as White House chief of staff in March. He endorsed Bennett, as did the House Freedom Fund.
Bennett faces Madison Cawthorn in the June 23 runoff.
Bennett has campaigned on her endorsements and experience. In a campaign ad, the narrator says, “Like President Trump, Lynda built a successful business, fought through tough economies, and won.” She owns a real estate company and served as vice chairwoman of the Haywood County Republican Party. Bennett received activism training from the Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups.
Cawthorn has said Bennett was picked by “Washington, D.C. insiders and political bosses” to represent the district. He argues that his youth is an asset, saying in a recent video, “We as Republicans have a generational time bomb going off inside our party. Millennials are not registering Republican. … We conservatives have a great message, but we don’t have enough messengers to reach my generation. As your congressman, I can do that.”
Cawthorn turns 25 years old in August. He owns a real estate investment company and is a motivational speaker. He was paralyzed in a car accident at age 19.
Bennett received 23% of the primary vote to Cawthorn’s 20%. This is the first primary in the newly-drawn 11th district after North Carolina adopted a new Congressional district map in December 2019. The Mountaineer’s Kyle Perotti reported that “much of the territory Cawthorn claimed was only brought into the district after a three-judge panel approved the new Congressional district in December of last year.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) endorsed Matt Mowers in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District primary.
McCarthy said, “We need to win competitive districts like New Hampshire’s First Congressional District to win back the majority in November. That’s possible when we nominate strong grassroots campaigners like Matt Mowers who will fight tirelessly for the people of New Hampshire and join me in supporting President Trump’s agenda.”
Mowers was a senior advisor in the State Department during the Trump administration and was executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party. Former Trump campaign senior advisor Corey Lewandowski also endorsed Mowers.
Matt Mayberry is also running in the Sept. 8 primary. He served as vice chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party and as a city councilor and school board member in Dover. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) appointed Mayberry chairman of the New Hampshire Commission on Human Rights in 2018. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) endorsed Mayberry.
Both Mayberry and Mowers have endorsements from state legislators.
The 30-year-old Mowers says he is running “to usher in a new generation of innovative conservative leadership.”
Mayberry said of himself, “It’s kind of funny. … The guy who’s been involved in hundreds of New Hampshire campaigns is the outsider.” He said the 1st District general election would be the first major election featuring two openly gay candidates if he won the primary and that he would be the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress if he won in November.
Incumbent Rep. Chris Pappas (D) won in 2018 with 54% of the vote to Eddie Edwards’ (R) 45%. The 1st District changed party hands five times between 2006 and 2016, alternating between Democrat Carol Shea-Porter and Republican Frank Guinta.
We recently reported that the Club for Growth endorsed Ronny Jackson in the primary runoff for Texas’ 13th Congressional District. The group has spent $179,000 on an ad supporting Jackson, highlighting Trump’s endorsement.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Utah County Attorney David Leavitt met for a debate in Salt Lake City on June 2, where they discussed their priorities for the office, campaign finance practices, and their views on ongoing protests and demonstrations following the death of George Floyd.
Leavitt said he would wind down the use of plea bargains in favor of jury trials for criminal cases in line with his practice as Utah County Attorney. He said jury trials were better than plea bargains because they required prosecutors to prove their case and would reduce the state’s prison population. Reyes said there was not enough funding for the state to carry out a jury trial for each criminal case and that such a practice was not constitutionally required.
Leavitt criticized Reyes for accepting campaign contributions from private businesses and the Republican Attorneys General Association, saying they threatened the integrity of the office. Reyes said his donors knew they would receive no special treatment and he had participated in a federal lawsuit against Google despite having received a contribution from the company.
The two differed in their views of the attorney general’s role in responding to the ongoing demonstrations following the death of George Floyd. Leavitt said prosecutors were too reluctant to act as a check on police and that Reyes had not done enough to oversee county prosecutors. Reyes said Leavitt’s criticism was uninformed and that he had filed multiple suits against law enforcement officers. He disagreed with Leavitt’s call for more oversight over county prosecutors and said he had received more complaints about Leavitt than any other public official.
The June 30 primary will be open to registered Republicans only.
Ahead of the June 20 virtual GOP convention, two of the candidates running for the Republican nomination for Indiana Attorney General unveiled endorsements from local leaders, while a third released a trio of ads.
Incumbent Curtis Hill, who was first elected in 2016, unveiled an endorsement from Elkhart City Clerk Deborah Barrett on June 3 and an endorsement from Sullivan County GOP Chairman Bill Springer on June 8. State Rep. Steve Bartels, who represents a district on the Kentucky border, endorsed Decatur County Prosecutor Nate Harter June 5.
Attorney John Westercamp released a series of ads outlining his priorities if elected. In a pair of 30-second spots released June 2 and 3, Westercamp said he would limit the scope of government and expand restrictions on abortion. A one-minute ad Westercamp began airing June 9 said his entrance into the race demonstrated leadership.
Harter, Westercamp, and former Rep. Todd Rokita are Hill’s three challengers at this year’s convention. All three say they are challenging Hill because four women accused him of sexual misconduct at a party in March 2018. Major party candidates for Indiana Attorney General are nominated at a convention rather than in primaries.
On June 5, state Sen. Tom Buford (R-22) and the Freedom’s Heritage Forum issued competing endorsements in the Kentucky House District 39 primary.
Railroad executive Jay Corman and Jessamine County GOP chairman Matt Locket are seeking the Republican nomination on June 23. The incumbent, Rep. Russ Meyer (D), is not seeking re-election, leaving the seat open.
Sen. Buford, whose Senate District 22 encompasses all of House District 39, endorsed Corman. Buford said, “Corman has contributed to the needs of Central Kentucky and employs over 1,600 individuals.” The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce also endorsed Corman.
The Freedom’s Heritage Forum endorsed Lockett. The group says it “strive[s] to promote liberty … while supporting life, the second amendment, and traditional marriage.” Kentucky Right to Life also endorsed Lockett.
Rep. Meyer ran unopposed in 2018 but defeated Republican challengers in 2016 and 2014 with roughly 56 percent of the vote in each election. The winner of the primary will likely face Carolyn Dupont (D), the only Democrat filed to run.
On June 1, U.S. Term Limits (USTL) began airing ads supporting two candidates and opposing two others in the June 23 primary for Kentucky House District 22. USTL describes itself as “the voice of the American citizen… [that] advocates for term limits at all levels of government.”
Four Republicans—Nathan Brace, Brian Gann, Shawn McPherson, and Tim Miller—are running in the primary. The incumbent Rep. Wilson Stone (D) is not seeking re-election.
USTL contacts and encourages state legislative candidates to sign a pledge saying he or she “will cosponsor, vote for, and defend the resolution applying for an Article V convention for the sole purpose of enacting term limits on Congress.” The group says it will promote all pledge signers through press releases, emails to supporters, and social media.
USTL launched social media ad campaigns supporting Gann and Miller, both of whom signed the pledge. At the same time, the group released ads opposing the remaining candidates, Brace and McPherson, who did not sign the pledge. Three of the four candidates commented on the pledge:
The winner of the June 23 primary will likely face David Young (D), the only Democrat filed to run. In 2018, Rep. Stone won re-election with 53 percent of the vote after running unopposed in 2014 and 2012.
“Over the last 30 years, GOA has built a nationwide network of attorneys to help fight court battles in almost every state in the nation to protect gun owner rights. GOA staff and attorneys have also worked with members of Congress, state legislators and local citizens to protect gun ranges and local gun clubs from closure by overzealous government anti-gun bureaucrats.” – Gun Owners of America website
Founded in 1976, Gun Owners of America describes its mission as follows: “To preserve, protect and defend the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, including promoting and developing a greater understanding and awareness regarding the importance and benefits of firearms ownership, and conducting education and policy related to such rights.” The organization has a political action committee called Gun Owners of America, Inc. Political Victory Fund.
Gun Owners of America also has an affiliated research arm called the Gun Owners Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that says it “exists in order to educate the public about the importance of the Second Amendment and to provide legal, expert and support assistance for law-abiding individuals involved in firearms-related cases.”
To view a report of what the organization considers its top 10 accomplishments in 2019, click here. To view the group’s congressional ratings, click here.
This week: Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez endorse Bowman while Pelosi endorses Engel in NY-16, Hickenlooper and Romanoff release first TV ads in the Colorado Senate primary, and Indiana Attorney General candidates make final arguments ahead of convention
Where do Democratic and progressive pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.
On defunding the police
“Their argument, then, is not necessarily that we don’t need police officers. It’s, how we can best ensure that police officers are serving the communities they are tasked with policing?
“But that subtlety is lost in chants of ‘Defund the Police.’ And Trump, desperate for an issue to latch onto as he watches his poll numbers both nationally and in swing states tumble, will destroy any nuance in the conversation over police funding in order to paint Biden (and Democrats more broadly) as wanting to get rid of the police entirely. …
“The political problem for Democrats is this: They are now being backed into a corner by activists who are demanding radical change. But it’s not at all clear that a majority of the country supports a policy that would defund the police. Democratic leaders need to change the conversation to be about reforming police departments and re-allocating some resources for more community building and less militarization.
“If they can’t, the call to ‘Defund the Police’ will continue to be music to Trump’s ears.”
Chris Cillizza, CNN, June 8, 2020
“The call to defund police is landing in a way it should have landed a long time ago. That’s really encouraging. …
“What’s different now? From our point of view, for too many years, advocacy organizations were not run by people from the community. It allowed for people to make compromises in the halls of policy change that betrayed the most acute needs of the community in exchange for an expedited political victory that could then be fundraised off of. We cannot rely on Democratic Party consultants who are alienated from the community. Nothing we are demanding is impossible. We’re demanding things that are completely sensible, completely feasible, often more economically feasible. They’re just different from what some of these folks are used to.
“Too much is happening in plain sight now. It was really interesting in the last couple of days to watch mainstream news outlets covering the protests throughout the country. It seemed like they really wanted to provide a narrative that sided with the police. And the police made it impossible because over and over and over again, in city, after city, after city, the instigators and the aggressors were the police. That’s nothing new. But the surfacing of a dialog that acknowledges that is new. If you work really hard to crack open opportunities to tell the truth, it eventually works. I think we’re in a moment where that is starting to work.”
Lex Steppling, quoted by Mother Jones, June 5, 2020
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) endorsed Jamaal Bowman in New York’s 16th Congressional District primary. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) said she supports incumbent Elliot Engel, who was first elected in 1988.
Sanders endorsed Bowman and five other Congressional candidates in a Medium post.
Along with her endorsement, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “This moment requires renewed and revitalized leadership across the country AND at the ballot box.”
Engel said of Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement, “This is not a dictatorship. This is a democracy. We shouldn’t have one person, from high, even though she’s a colleague of mine, think that she can anoint whoever is elected to Congress.”
The 16th District shares a boundary with the 14th District, where Ocasio-Cortez defeated incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley in the 2018 Democratic primary. Crowley had been in office since 1999.
Pelosi said after Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement, “I firmly support Eliot Engel for Congress and I support Alexandria for Congress as well.” Pelosi said Engel has privilege as a longtime House member, “which is unique and it wouldn’t happen again. … [He is] not only the chairman of Foreign Affairs, he is a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.”
Pelosi said in September 2019 that she has a policy of endorsing Democratic incumbents.
Two other candidates are running in the primary. On June 1, Andom Ghebreghiorgis dropped out and endorsed Bowman.
Also last week, the Working Families Party and Justice Democrats announced they plan to spend $500,000 on ads and phone outreach supporting Bowman. As we reported earlier, the Working Families Party endorsed Engel in previous election cycles.
On June 2, all 16th District primary candidates participated in an online debate. That day, a News 12 anchor tweeted a clip of Engel asking Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for speaking time at a press event about local vandalism. Engel said, “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”
Afterwards, Engel said, “In the context of running for reelection, I thought it was important for people to know where I stand, that’s why I asked to speak. … I would not have tried to impose on the Borough President if I didn’t think it was important.”
Bowman said, “To say if I didn’t have a primary I wouldn’t care, it captures everything not just wrong with him but the political system.”
The primary is June 23.
John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff released their first TV ads in the June 30 Senate primary in Colorado.
In his ad, Hickenlooper says:
When I was sworn in as governor, Colorado ranked 40th in the country in job creation. But together we built the number one economy in America. We did it the Colorado way, from the bottom up, and that’s what Washington needs now. Instead of handing out loans to big corporations, they should be helping small businesses stay in business.
In his ad, Romanoff says in his ad:
It shouldn’t take a crisis to teach us our healthcare system is broken. If you have enough money, you can buy the best care in the world. If you’re an insurance company, you can even buy Congress. I’m Andrew Romanoff. I approve this message and I’m running for the Senate because when you’re fighting for your life, you shouldn’t have to worry about how to pay for it.
Hickenlooper was governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019. He also sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Romanoff was a state representative from 2001 to 2009. He served two terms as speaker of the state House.
Also last week, the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission ruled that Hickenlooper violated a state gift ban law when he flew on a donor’s jet and took a limousine ride at a conference. Former Republican state House Speaker Frank McNulty filed the complaint against Hickenlooper on behalf of his nonprofit, Public Trust Institute, in 2018.
Hickenlooper has said the complaint was politically motivated and denied that his travel arrangements violated state law. Hickenlooper sought to have the hearing postponed until August. The commission held him in contempt. It will reconvene on June 12 to determine whether Hickenlooper will be sanctioned for the violations and contempt finding.
Hickenlooper campaign representative Melissa Miller said, “We fully expect the special interests who’ve exploited this process to continue to mislead Coloradans with negative attacks because they know John Hickenlooper will be an independent voice in the U.S. Senate.”
Romanoff said, “The commission’s message is clear — and Coloradans agree: no one is above the law.”
Incumbent Cory Gardner (R) is seeking re-election. He was first elected in 2014 after defeating incumbent Mark Udall (D), 48% to 46%. Gardner is one of two incumbent Republican senators running for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton (D) won in the 2016 presidential election.
Both of the Democrats seeking the nomination for Indiana Attorney General made their case for the nomination in a televised convention preview on June 4. Democratic delegates will select either state Sen. Karen Tallian or former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel as their nominee in a virtual convention Saturday, June 13.
Tallian has represented District 4 in northwestern Indiana in the state Senate since 2004. She said her political experience gives her a better chance than Weinzapfel of winning the general election.
Weinzapfel was Evansville’s mayor from 2004 to 2011 and was a state legislator for four years. He said his mix of private and public sector experience gave him a different perspective from Tallian or any of the four candidates seeking the Republican nomination.
Both Tallian and Weinzapfel have said their top priority would be ending Indiana’s participation in a multistate lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act.
In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, Tallian said her other priorities would be emphasizing anti-fraud efforts, expanding legal protections for workers and employers, and reducing Indiana’s incarceration rate.
Weinzapfel said he would focus on investigating charter schools’ finances, managing the money the state could potentially receive from a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, and investigating nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.
Major party candidates for Indiana Attorney General are nominated at a convention rather than in primaries. The winner of the Democratic nomination will be announced June 18.
People for the American Way endorsed Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman for governor of Vermont Friday. The group says it supports what it describes as equality and civil rights.
Earlier in the week, Zuckerman, former state Secretary of Education Rebecca Holcombe, and attorney Patrick Winburn attended a virtual town hall hosted by Sunrise Middlebury. The three discussed the tone of politics, responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and protests following the death of George Floyd. A fourth candidate, Ralph Corbo, did not attend the event.
The Aug. 11 primary will be open to all registered voters. On the Republican side, five candidates are running, including incumbent Phil Scott (R).
On June 9, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) endorsed Jabari Brisport (D) in the New York Senate District 25 Democratic primary. Brisport faces Jason Salmon (D) and Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright (D-56) in the June 23 primary.
Brisport and Salmon initially filed to run against incumbent Sen. Velmanette Montgomery (D-25), who had served in the state Senate since 1985. In January, Montgomery announced she would not seek re-election and endorsed Assm. Wright, who then entered the race.
In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, Brisport, a public school teacher, has received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), state Sen. Julia Salazer (D-18), the Democratic Socialists of America NYC, and the New York Working Families Party.
Salmon, a former legislative staffer for Montgomery, received endorsements from the Public Employees Federation and United Autoworkers alongside Equality New York and the Stonewall Democrats of NYC.
Wright has received more endorsements from elected officials than her two competitors. According to her website, eight Senators and eight Assembly members have endorsed her campaign as well as U.S. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (D).
Actress and 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon (D) endorsed Tompkins County legislator Anna Kelles (D) in the seven-way primary for Assembly District 125.
Nixon said, “Anna Kelles has the courage and the experience to effect real change for the many, not just the few.”
Earlier this year, incumbent Rep. Barbara Lifton (D) announced she would not be seeking re-election, leaving the Assembly District 125 seat open for the first time since 2002. Assm. Lifton won re-election eight times. Her most recent contested general election was in 2016 when she defeated Herbert Masser, Jr. (R) 70-30%.
We previously reported on this primary on April 22 following the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 241 endorsement of Ithaca city alderman Seph Murtagh. In addition to Kelles and Murtagh, two other town and county officials are seeking the Democratic nomination: Cortland County legislator Beau Harbin and Dryden Town Supervisor Jason Leifer. Rep. Lifton’s legislative counsel, Jordan Lesser, is also seeking the nomination alongside community members Sujata Gibson and Lisa Hoeschele.
There are no other candidates on the ballot, meaning the winner of the primary is likely to win the general election.
“The Progressive Promise is rooted in four core principles that embody national priorities and are consistent with the values, needs and aspirations of all the American people, not just the powerful and the privileged. They reflect a fundamental belief in government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” – Congressional Progressive Caucus website
The Congressional Progressive Caucus was founded in 1991 by six members of the U.S. House. Its current membership includes Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and 97 members of the U.S. House. The caucus lists the following four principles of its agenda, which it calls “The Progressive Promise–Fairness for All”:
The caucus’ affiliated political action committee, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC (CPC PAC), says it “has a mission of electing strong, progressive leaders to Congress who share the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC’s vision for America’s future.” To view candidates endorsed by the PAC, click here.
According to Politico, CPC PAC recently made its first independent expenditure, spending in support of Mondaire Jones in New York’s 17th Congressional District.
Click here to learn more.
Click here to learn more.
|Each day, we:
Want to know what happened Friday? Click here.
The next two days
What is reopening in the next two days? Which stay-at-home orders will expire?
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.
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 June 8, stay-at-home orders have ended in 36 states. Eighteen of those states have Republican governors and 18 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state Supreme Court invalidated the stay-at-home order).
Of the seven states with active stay-at-home orders, six have Democratic governors and one has a Republican governor. They are (with expiration date):
Here’s which stay-at-home orders have expired.
Tracking industries: Gyms and fitness centers
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 are gyms permitted to reopen?
Gyms and fitness centers are allowed to reopen, at least regionally, in 36 states, while they remain closed in 14 states. In our May 21 review of this industry, gyms were allowed to open in 25 states and were closed in 25 other states. At the time, the partisan breakdown was as follows:
In the past few weeks, 11 more states have allowed gyms and fitness centers to open. The new partisan breakdown is:
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
On May 18, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced “The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health,” a three-stage approach to reopening. Throughout the first stage, businesses and activities deemed low-risk have been allowed to reopen with safety requirements. Stage 2 is set to begin June 15.
Murphy established the following criteria for determining when the state could move from one stage to the next:
On March 21, Murphy issued an executive order saying that local governments may not impose restrictions that conflict with the state stay-at-home order. Exceptions include online marketplaces offering lodging, municipal parks, and county parks. Municipalities may also impose additional density and social distancing requirements on restaurants opening for outdoor dining in Stage 2. Municipalities may not reopen businesses at a faster rate than the state allows.
Murphy formed the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission, whose members include public health, economic, finance, and business experts. He also created the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council, consisting of industry and community organization leaders, to advise state leaders on the economic effects of COVID-19.
The following were allowed to reopen:
Outdoor gatherings of no more than 25 people were allowed, with social distancing and additional requirements, as of May 22. Indoor gatherings remain restricted to 10 people or less.
Dates and requirements for some Stage 2 business reopenings are forthcoming. Where dates and requirements were available as of June 8, information is included below.
Stage 3 may include allowing the following to reopen:
Precautions across all stages:
“We urge you to offer clarity about the milestones that must be reached for small shops you have deemed ‘nonessential’ to reopen their doors to customers, for restaurants to serve diners, and for congregations to meet again in houses of worship. Many of those places are ready today to operate safely through the same precautionary measures that we trust to protect us when we visit a supermarket or other ‘essential retail’ business.
“In the absence of specific benchmarks for reopening from your administration, we urge you to review the many thoughtful reopening plans that have been submitted to you by counties, trade groups, and chambers of commerce. If those plans meet CDC guidelines, you should authorize them to be enacted immediately.”
|Find out more in today’s Number of the Day→|
In this section, we feature examples of activities by other federal, state, and local governments and influencers relevant to recovering from the pandemic.