Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/6

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 5/6

GA: Governor warns of new outbreak in Georgia

ajc.com

The rapid spread of coronavirus infections turned the area around Albany, Georgia, into one of the nation’s most startling epicenters of the disease. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp visited to celebrate efforts to contain the virus in southwest Georgia — and warn of another outbreak across the state. 

WY: Some Wyoming counties reopen

wyomingnews.com

Wyoming state officials approved requests from seven counties for countywide variances from the public health orders that were imposed in mid-March to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Some counties won permission to reopen restaurants and churches.

MS: Deaths spike after Mississippi governor puts responsibility on residents

sunherald.com

A record day for COVID-19 deaths in Mississippi drew a plea from Republican Gov. Tate Reeves that the state’s residents take personal responsibility for their health and remain cautious. The spike in deaths comes after Reeves began to ease some restrictions under his shelter-in-place order.

WI: GOP lawsuit to block governor’s order to stay home in hands of Wisconsin Supreme Court

jsonline.com

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and his administration came under fire by conservative justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, one of whom compared his order to close businesses and schools amid the coronavirus outbreak to government oppression.

PA: Why some small businesses had no chance at relief from Pennsylvania’s $61M loan program

spotlightpa.org

The assistance didn’t prioritize businesses in the hardest hit parts of Pennsylvania and relied on a patchwork of local economic development organizations.

US: States with few cases score big in relief funds

apnews.com

Alaska, Hawaii, Montana and Wyoming are not epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet these four states scored big this spring when Congress pumped out direct federal aid, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. The two hardest-hit states, New York and New Jersey, got comparatively little given their vast numbers of cases and deaths.

NY: New York governor blasts feds for stalemate on funding state, local governments

timesunion.com

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other elected officials in New York have called for federal funding for state and local governments as they face massive revenue loss from shutdown businesses and stay-at-home orders. New York is facing at least a $13 billion deficit.

MD: Maryland opens new state portal to connect buyers, sellers of protective gear

baltimoresun.com

Maryland officials have launched a new online portal where those in need of protective gear such as masks and gloves can find local sellers, aiding the hunt for critical items in short supply. Adequate supplies of personal protective equipment are critical to Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to reopen the state.

DC: Evictions, foreclosures will be delayed in District of Columbia

wamu.org

District of Columbia foreclosures and new evictions will be put on hold. And landlords will now be required to offer payment plans for rent to tenants who are facing financial hardship caused by the pandemic.

CT: Connecticut governor closes schools for rest of academic year

courant.com

Schools in Connecticut will remain closed for the rest of the academic year, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont announced, a decision that was widely expected but still came as a blow to students, parents and educators.

AZ: Arizona news organizations sue state to release nursing home data

azcentral.com

Outbreaks in nursing homes may be the deadliest setting for the pandemic within Arizona. Yet state health officials have refused to share the information they collect about which facilities have outbreaks, citing patient privacy.

FL: Virus hit Florida long before state took notice

miamiherald.com

It was March 1 when Florida announced its first two cases. But recent data shows the spread of COVID-19 in Florida likely began in January, if not earlier.

LA: About half of Louisiana oil businesses expect bankruptcy amid coronavirus

theadvocate.com

About half the members of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association expect to file for bankruptcy as the energy industry’s struggles accelerate faster than anticipated since the price of oil has plummeted and more storage tanks are full.

OH: Ohio K-12 students could go to school twice a week in fall, plus online learning

cleveland.com

Ohio students could return to the classroom in August, going to school twice a week, supplemented with online learning, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said.

MA: Universal mail-in voting could cost Massachusetts $30M in November, report says

bostonglobe.com

A dramatic expansion of voting by mail in Massachusetts amid the coronavirus pandemic could cost tens of millions of dollars, and create a “complex trade-off" as people, wary of COVID-19′s lingering threat, demand options to vote from home, according to a new report.

IA: Coronavirus infects 1,600 Iowa meatpacking workers

desmoinesregister.com

More than 1,600 workers at four Iowa meatpacking plants have been infected with the coronavirus, state health officials reported.

HI: Some Hawaii businesses could reopen by Thursday

civilbeat.org

More businesses in Hawaii — including retail, wholesalers, shopping malls and car washes — could reopen as soon as Thursday under an order issued by Gov. David Ige, a Democrat. The move could mean thousands of workers in Hawaii will be able to get back to work.

IL: Illinois governor announces 5-phase plan to reopen

wifr.com

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a five-phase plan to reopen Illinois. The plan provides a framework for reopening businesses, educational and recreational activities.

TX: Texas to allow hair salons, pools to open

texastribune.org

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, faced with growing pressure from some in his own party to move quicker, allowed salons and gyms to reopen with limited capacity.

NM: New Mexico requires masks on workers

abqjournal.com

To help slow the transmission of the coronavirus, New Mexico will phase in requirements for workers at some businesses to wear face coverings. Masks will be mandatory at restaurants and large retail stores this week, with smaller retailers to follow next week.

OK: Oklahoma lawmakers extend governor’s emergency powers

tulsaworld.com

GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt’s emergency powers during the state’s coronavirus response were extended 30 days by the Oklahoma House and Senate despite some grumbling about the governor's lack of communication with lawmakers.

ME: Shortage of swabs hampers Maine nursing home testing

pressherald.com

Many nursing homes in Maine say they lack the basic testing supplies needed to detect and contain COVID-19 outbreaks: nasal swabs.

MO: Missouri governor favors shielding nursing homes from virus-related lawsuits

stltoday.com

GOP Gov. Mike Parson is signaling his support for a proposal that could shield Missouri nursing homes and long-term care facilities from lawsuits linked to the coronavirus response. Under legislation awaiting debate in the Missouri House, health care providers who treat people with COVID-19 would not be liable for civil damages.

WA: Washington could lose $7B in state revenue through 2023

seattletimes.com

Preliminary numbers show Washington could lose $7 billion in state revenue through 2023 as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll — making a special legislative session likely to adjust the state’s budget.

OR: Oregon to reopen some state parks 

oregonlive.com

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, announced that the state will begin to allow outdoor recreation areas to reopen this week, including select state parks, outdoor recreation facilities and all ski resorts.

AR: Arkansas lifts restrictions for recreational out-of-state travelers, aside from ‘hot spot’ residents

ky3.com

Arkansas has lifted restrictions for recreational, out-of-state travelers to visit aside from “hot spot” residents, according to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Hot spots include New York, New Orleans, New Jersey and Connecticut.

DE: Drive-in movies, solo golf carts will soon be OK in Delaware

delawareonline.com

In a first step to slowly reopen Delaware’s economy, Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, announced plans to allow some businesses to operate again under social distancing rules to limit the spread of coronavirus.

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