CT, DE, MA, NY, NJ, PA, RI: 7 Eastern states to coordinate on amassing medical equipment
Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island said that by aggregating their orders, they expected to be able to purchase at lower prices and better stabilize the supply chain.
MD: Maryland to investigate politically connected company that failed to deliver supplies
Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is asking the attorney general to investigate a company, founded by a former GOP fundraiser and consultant, which contracted to provide $12.5 million worth of masks and ventilators and never delivered them.
AL: NAACP, others sue to remove ‘obstacles to voting’ in Alabama
The NAACP and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit against Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Secretary of State John Merrill, both Republicans, over voting laws they say will stop some people from voting in the July 14 runoff or jeopardize their health because of the coronavirus pandemic.
MS: Mississippi legislature votes to prevent governor spending federal coronavirus money
Mississippi lawmakers returned to assert their constitutional authority in spending about $1.2 billion in federal coronavirus relief money that Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said he controlled.
NJ: Data shows New Jersey likely undercounting coronavirus deaths
New Jersey mortality statistics show an unexplained 20% increase in deaths — meaning the toll from the coronavirus could be undercounted by nearly 1,600 people in March and April.
PA: Pennsylvania to ease coronavirus restrictions in 24 counties
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration will begin its reopening experiment this week in large swaths of northern Pennsylvania, the first step in a tiered, gradual plan to lift sweeping orders that have shut down nearly every aspect of daily life across the state.
WA: Washington governor announces phases for lifting virus restrictions
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, announced that the state’s stay-at-home order would be extended through at least May 31 and said there will be four stages for lifting restrictions, starting with allowing retail curbside pickup, automobile sales and car washes by mid-May.
IN: Indiana governor eyes big rollback of virus restrictions
Republican Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced steps toward relaxing business and activity restrictions, allowing more manufacturers, retailers and shopping malls to open this week under health and social distancing guidelines. The gradual plan aims to ease rules with the goal of allowing nearly all activities to resume on July 4.
VT: Vermont reopens manufacturing, construction industries after dip in new COVID-19 cases
The manufacturing and construction businesses that employ more than 50,000 people in Vermont will be allowed to “restart full operations” May 11, but Republican Gov. Phil Scott says companies will have to adhere to “stringent requirements” to protect workers and customers from COVID-19.
OK: Reopened Oklahoma restaurants, retail shops see mixed bag
Two days into Oklahoma’s reopening, the open signs are on for many retail shops and restaurants, but normalcy is hit and miss. Though many restaurants had dining areas open, few had full parking lots, much less full dining rooms.
WI: Wisconsin top court takes case challenging stay-at-home order
The Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed to decide whether to keep in place Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order that he says is the best way to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic. Republican lawmakers brought the lawsuit as they contended Evers’ restrictions have gone too far.
ID: Lawsuit claims Idaho’s restrictions violate religious freedom
Three northern Idaho residents have filed a federal lawsuit challenging statewide restrictions ordered by Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, saying it violates their religious freedoms.
MD: Churches, businesses join protest group and state delegate in suing Maryland governor
ReOpen Maryland joined Republican state Del. Dan Cox and several churches and businesses in a lawsuit against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, arguing that their freedoms of movement, speech and assembly have been violated, and that businesses have sustained deep losses because of what they call Hogan’s unlawful orders.
CA: Some Northern California counties declare themselves open, despite state orders
Some Northern California counties are declaring themselves open for business to alleviate economic pressure, despite the state’s stay-at-home orders enacted weeks ago in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
AZ: 2 Arizona sheriffs refuse to enforce stay-at-home order
Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb both said they aren’t going to hand out fines, citations or arrest people who disobey the Arizona governor’s mandate that has been extended through May 15.
VA: Some Virginia hospitals resume elective procedures
Hospital leaders in Virginia have projected more than $600 million in lost revenue related to the pandemic. They hope more people will seek care since Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order banning all non-urgent surgeries expired. But they are unsure if skittish patients will return.
MA: Massachusetts child care providers, parents are struggling — and worried about what comes next
Struggling child care providers across Massachusetts say their prolonged closure for the coronavirus pandemic may result in their economic ruin, leaving working parents in the lurch.
HI: Native Hawaiians missing out on millions of federal relief dollars
An ongoing battle over $8 billion in federal coronavirus relief money for America’s indigenous people is missing a key participant — Native Hawaiians.
NC: No cocktails on North Carolina restaurant to-go meals
Proposals to allow North Carolina restaurants and bars to sell up to two servings of mixed drinks for takeout and delivery didn’t make it into a bipartisan relief measure before it passed the state House and Senate directing how to spend more than $1.5 billion in federal stimulus money.
SC: Outdoor dining OK in South Carolina
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, issued an executive order that allows restaurants in the state to offer outdoor seating.
CO: Colorado lawmakers give up on paid family leave bill
Sponsors are abandoning efforts to create a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado through legislation, announcing they will instead support a ballot initiative already in the works. The pandemic hurt the legislators’ ability to solicit input from businesses and other stakeholders.
AL: Alabama House Democrats won’t participate in session
The Democratic Caucus in the Alabama House won’t participate in the restart of the legislative session next week, the caucus announced today, saying it’s better for members to stay in their districts helping fight COVID-19.
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