Stay-at-home orders in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island are set to expire tomorrow. So far, 15 states that were previously under stay-at-home orders let those orders expire. Another seven states never implemented stay-at-home orders.
After these orders expire, the states with the next expiring orders are Arizona, Delaware, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and Vermont on May 15.
Although the orders vary from state to state, they include at least two common elements: the closure or curtailment of nonessential businesses in the state and requiring all residents to stay home except for essential trips for supplies or outdoor exercise.
On April 28, 2020, State Senator Erin Lynch Prata (D-RI), applied to fill retiring Justice Gilbert Indeglia’s seat on the state supreme court.
Senator Lynch Prata is a former clerk to Supreme Court Associate Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg. She stated that becoming a supreme court justice “has always been a dream,” and that the position on the state supreme court provides an opportunity for her to “give back to the community in a new way.”
Because she currently holds a political position, she sought an advisory opinion from the Rhode Island Ethics Commission to ensure that her application was not in conflict with the “revolving door” provision in the state code of ethics, which prohibits state legislators from applying to state agencies within a year of their departure from the legislature. In her letter to the ethics commission, she asked that the commission “provide me with guidance as to whether I am correct that the revolving door provision does not apply to a member of the General Assembly who seeks appointment by the Governor to the constitutional office of Supreme Court Justice.”
The code of ethics states that she may seek election to any constitutional office or “be appointed to a senior policy-making position on a general officer’s or general assembly’s staff, or appointment by the governor as a department director.” The code of ethics does specify judgeships in its enumeration of offices which may be sought within the one year time-frame of departing from the state legislature.
Lynch Prata argues a position on the state supreme court is a constitutional office as opposed to a position within a state agency. In an interview on April 28, she said, “The law is clear. If I didn’t think this was an appropriate thing to do, I wouldn’t be doing it.”
On Thursday afternoon, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) announced that schools across the state would remain closed to in-person instruction for the rest of the academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools in the state were scheduled to be closed through April 30.
Rhode Island became the 41st state in the country to close schools to in-person instruction for the rest of the academic year. So far this week, eight other states have also announced year-end closures. The 41 states with year-end closures account for 84.8% of the 50.6 million public school students in the country.
Of the nine states that have not announced that schools will for the remainder of the year, four have Democratic trifectas, two have Republican trifectas, and three have divided governments.
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