State Legislatures Status Monitoring Document
The version of the browser you are using is no longer supported. Please upgrade to a supported browser.Dismiss

View only
Statuses of State Legislative Sessions in Light of Covid-19 Crisis Click here for link to map of legislatures currently in sessionClick here for link to map of emergency executive orders re Covid-19
Last Updated: May 26, 4:00 p.m.
State LegislatureCurrent StatusPlans to ReturnNotesExecutive OrdersEO NotesEconomic Coalitions and Task Forces
New England
ConnecticutAdjournedPerhapsThe legislature gaveled out for the year on May 6, but with the expectation that they could return for a special session at some point.Connecticut began it's reopening on May 20, as malls, stores and restaurants in the state are open, with restrictions.On April 13 the governors of seven northeast states -- New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island -- announced they had formed a coalition to coordinate how to reopen the economy and society, when the time is right.
MaineAdjournedYes, in special sessionThe Maine legislature adjourned on March 17, after passing a supplemental budget and voting to give the governor an array of emergency powers to address the COVID-19 crisis. It expects to return for a special session at a later date.Gov. Mills issued another executive order on March 31 ordering all persons to "stay at home" except for essential activities, and most recently, has extended the state of emergency through June 11. On May 19 Gov. Mills announced Maine residents may enjoy campgrounds beginning Memorial Day weekend, on May 22; and the Administration is delaying the full reopening of gyms, fitness centers, and nail salons in light of emerging research and experiences in other states of COVID-19 transmission related to these establishments.Gov. Mills announced on April 27 that the Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission (CEFC) and the Revenue Forecasting Committee (RFC) will convene off cycle to examine the economic ramifications of COVID-19 on State government’s revenues. The committees will meet in July 2020 and August 2020, in advance of and in addition to the statutory dates currently set for November 2020 and December 2020, respectively. The CEFC and RFC are responsible for projecting revenues that the Administration and Legislature then use to determine the State’s budget.
MassachusettsIn SessionN/AOn May 4 House Democrats and Republicans agreed on compromise rules to accomodate remote debate and voting during the coronavirus pandemic, achieving a breakthrough in what had become tense, partisan negotiations that will allow the House to hold its first virtual session on May 6. Meanwhile the Senate has passed its own rules package, which would allow for members either to designate another senator as a proxy to vote on their behalf or to communicate their vote directly to a court officer in the chamber. On April 28 Gov. Baker extended the business closure order until May 18. Gov. Baker also announced the he had appointed a 17-member advisory board consisting of business executives, public health officials and municipal leaders to guide his administration with strategies for reopening the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 4 the Baker administration updated its essential services guidance to allow a limited number of employees of florist shops and other businesses to reenter closed stores and warehouses to fulfill and ship orders taken over the phone and online. On May 18 the Baker administration rolled out its Four-Phase reopening plan, starting with Phase 1 (“Start”) allows a few non-essential industries to resume operations with “severe restrictions,” a policy that will be expanded to more sectors under Phase 2 (“Cautious”).On May 11 the Baker administratioin rolled out is Four-Phase reopening plan, with some industries allowed to resume operations (with severe limits) as soon as May 18. Click the link for more details.
New HampshireSession SuspendedYesthe New Hampshire House of Representatives and Senate announced they will be returning for legislative sessions in the beginning of June. Committee and Commission meetings will continue remotely for the time being.Gov. Sununu on March 26 issued a stay-at-home order that also requires the closing of all non-essential businesses, effective just before midnight on March 27 and extending to May 4.Gov. Sununu has announced a Economic Re-Opening Task Force, comprised of a group of legislators, private-sector leaders, and state officials will develop a plan and oversee the state and private-sector actions needed to reopen New Hampshire's economy while minimizing the adverse impact on public health. The Task Force had its first meeting on April 22, and continues to meet since then, with a slate of meetings scheduled from April 28-May 1. Click on the link for futher details.
Rhode IslandSession SuspendedYesAll sessions and committee hearings have been cancelled, as the legislature weighs moving towards a remote session. For now, legislators are re-evaluating on a week-by-week basis. The legislature could be back in the near future, however, as the Caseload and Revenue Estimating Conference began its annual spring meetings. In a phone interview, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said the return of budget-related committee meetings “will send a message that the House and General Assembly will reactivate and come back to formal session thereafter.” And while no final decision has been made on exactly when the return will be and what format the sessions are likely to take, Mattiello said it “will almost certainly be in person,” albeit far from business as usual.The state lifted in part its stay at home order effective on May 9. Non-critical retail stores will reopen with capacity limits, elective medical procedures can resume under safety guidelines, and some state parks will reopen with limited parking. Restaurants, bars, and cafes will remain closed to dine-in service. On April 13 the governors of seven northeast states -- New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island -- announced they had formed a coalition to coordinate how to reopen the economy and society, when the time is right.
VermontIn SessionYesThe legislature is now meeting remotely, with remote committee meetings via video conference. Live-streaming links are available on the committee pages of the Legislative website. It seems likely now that the Vermont legislature will stay in session through the summer and perhaps into the fall. The Senate in particular is looking to clear out its backlog of non-COVID bills that have been hung up on the calendar for the many weeks since things largely shut down on non-COVID issues. They expect to move bills already on the action calendar that are key priorities and/or unanimously passed out of committee or are otherwise non-controversial. This started on May 14.
On May 11 Gov. Scott announced that his administration will begin a “gradual reopening” of the retail sector starting on May 18. Scott said that all employees at retail outlets will need to wear face covering and maintain a distance of six feet. Stores will also be required to stay under 25% of their maximum legal capacity, and to conduct health and safety training on following state guidelines if they have more than 10 employees. The governor said that customers would be encouraged to wear masks, but it will not be required. Gov. Scott has since promised he would relax the stay home/stay safe orders that have kept Vermonters in their homes since mid-March. While he extended the state of emergency to June 15, he assured Vermonters that if Covid-19 infection rates continue to stay very low, outdoor dining, close-contact businesses like salons, and other indoor businesses would be open by June 1. He also said the state’s limit on gatherings, now set at 10, would be expanded to 25 people.The order exempts grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores, provided that they operate as much as possible via phone or online ordering and delivery or curbside pickup. Other exempted services “critical to public health and safety” include, among others, health care and clinical research, public safety, selected construction, “critical manufacturing,” transportation and fuel products, trash collection and recycling, agriculture, financial institutions, and “critical infrastructure” such as utilities and airports.
Northeast Region
MarylandAdjournedYes, in special sessionThe Maryland legislature formally adjourned sine die on March 18. There was plans to return for a special session in May to take up bills that failed to make it through the abbreviated regular session, but that too has since been postponed.On March 23 Gov. Hogan ordered all non-essential businesses to close by 5 p.m., and followed up with a full stay-at-home order on March 30, effective at 8pm. The stay-at-home order will end when the state of emergency is lifted. Hogan has not yet indicated a potential end date.While no formal cooperation pact exists, the state is closely coordinating with DC and Virgnia on decisions for when to re-open society.
New YorkIn SessionN/AOn March 30 both chambers adopted rules allowing the legislature to vote remotely if they need to down the line. It now remains to be seen if the legislature will continue to meet for emergency sessions, or if they will adjourn early. For now, both Chambers are in recess, but they are still technically in session. State lawmakers could hold a virtual session as early as next week, for the first time since early April, and take up a package of coronavirus-related legislation. It's not yet clear what lawmakers will act on, but members of the state Senate and Assembly over the last two months proposed a variety of pandemic relief measures meant to meant to make it easier to vote by mail, provide support and bolster benefits for frontline workers like hospital staff and EMTs. The meeting is expected to be a virtual one, with lawmakers conducting business via video conference as they did when approving the state budget in April. On May 4 Gov. Cuomo extended the state's stay-at-home order until at least June 13, unless areas meet designated conditions to begin reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo said five regions of the state have met the conditions and can begin the first phase of reopening on May 15: Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley.All workers in non-essential businesses are ordered to stay home. Food delivery service and public transportation will remain operational. Cuomo had previously issued an EO on March 18, ordering workforce restrictions. Those restrictions were further scaled down on March 19, setting a mandatory reduction of workforce to 25 percent.On April 13 the governors of seven northeast states -- New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island -- announced they had formed a coalition to coordinate how to reopen the economy and society, when the time is right.
PennsylvaniaIn SessionN/AOn March 16 the House voted to allow members to cast votes remotely, while the Senate already had such rules in place. A significant portion of members now cast votes and participate in caucus meetings remotely. Members of the public are able to watch what happens by livestream, a measure both the House and Senate are taking to ensure there’s transparency during the coronavirus outbreak. Committee meetings are also streamed live. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 8 some portions of the economy will be allowed to resume, most notably construction projects across the state. His order will also allow for the online sale of vehicles and allow residents to pick up wine and spirit purchases curbside at certain state liquor control board locations. On May 8 , Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today extended the stay-at-home orders for all "red counties" (most high risk) and signed new orders for the 24 counties moving to "yellow." The extended stay-at-home order remains the same as the original statewide stay-at-home order announced on April 1, which was set to expire tonight at midnight and is now extended to June 4. The yellow phase order provides guidance for those counties entering the yellow phase of reopening. Click here for a list of businesses allowed to remain open under the state order.On April 13 the governors of seven northeast states -- New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island -- announced they had formed a coalition to coordinate how to reopen the economy and society, when the time is right.
ColoradoIn SessionN/AThe Colorado General Assembly is back in full session as of May 26, with committee work and session resuming, albeit with masks and social distancing measures in place. After local shelter-in-place orders had first been issued for Denver (effective March 24), Boulder (March 24), and Pitkin and San Miguel Counties, Gov. Polis on March 25 issued a mandatory stay-at-home order starting on March 26. The statewide order bans all non-essential public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a home, and requires the closing of all but "essential" businesses. The state is shifting to a “safer at home” phase with retailers being able to offer curbside pickup starting on May 1. “Personal care providers” like salons also can reopen as of May 1 with social distancing measures in place. Many businesses, like nightclubs, remain closed. Restaurants can only offer takeout. On April 27, Gov. Polis announced his state (alongside Nevada) was joining exisinting Western States Pact of California, Oregon, and Washington.
IllinoisAdjourned Sine DiePerhapsThe Illinois General Assembly returned to Springfield for three days beginning Wednesday, May 20 and finished late in the night on May 24, after passing a budget package. It remains to be seen if they will return for another sessionGov. J.B. Pritzker announced a shelter-in-place order at a 3 p.m. news conference on March 20, which originally was going to end April 30 but on April 23, Gov. Pritzker announced it was extended until May 30. On April 16 the Governors of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky all announced the formation of a cooperation council to coordinate the reopening of the economy in the Midwest region.
IndianaAdjourned Sine DieNoThe Indiana legislature adjourned sine die, as scheduled, on March 11.Gov. Holcomb on March 23 issued an executive order effective at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 requiring residents to stay in their homes and closing all but "essential" businesses, and is currently effective until May 1. Beginning May 11, restaurants and bars may reopen in-house dining at 50% capacity, with no bar seating. Personal care service businesses can reopen by appointment only and in line with social distancing guidelines. Beginning May 8, indoor worship services are now allowed to resume statewide. Individuals in high-risk categories are directed to stay home.Essential businesses are defined to include, among others, grocery stores and pharmacies, hardware stores, agriculture, churches, funeral services, schools, financial institutions, "critical trades," transportation, and laundry services. On April 16 the Governors of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky all announced the formation of a cooperation council to coordinate the reopening of the economy in the Midwest region.
IowaSession SuspendedYesThe Iowa legislature has announced they are set to resume session on June 3, with precautions in place. Governor Kim Reynolds announced that restaurants, retail businesses and fitness centers would be able to open in a majority of Iowa's counties on May 1. On April 28, Iowa Department of Public Health Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter outlined guidelines her agency is putting out for those eating establishments allowed to open.
MichiganIn SessionYesGov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued a 28-day extension of the shut-downs (till the end of May) via executive order, which the state legislature has strongly disagreed with. The state legislature filed a lawsuit in response, but lost in court as the judge ruled for Gov. Whitmer. The state legislature plans to appeal this initial ruling. On April 24 Gov. Whitmer eased the states restrictions to allow the follwing to start operating again: Landscapers, Lawn care companies, Plant nurseries, Bike repair shops, Stores selling nonessential supplies (curbside pickup and delivery), Garden centers and paint/flooring/carpet areas at big-box retailers. On April 30, after the Governor and the GOP-controlled legislature failed to come to an agreement on extending the shut-downs, Whitmer issued a 28-day extension and the legislature promised to file suite. Business operations allowed only as “necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations, defined where “in-person presence is strictly necessary to allow the business or operation to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, care for animals, ensure security, process transactions (including payroll and employee benefits), or facilitate the ability of other workers to work remotely.” “Critical infrastructure” includes, among others, food and agriculture, energy, transportation, communications and IT (including media), “critical manufacturing,” financial services, and “chemical supply chains and safety.” Child care workers are exempt to the extent that they serve critical infrastructure workers. Critical businesses may designate key suppliers, distribution centers or service providers to be exempt, and these in turn can exempt others, but only to the extent of supporting critical businesses or their workers.On April 16 the Governors of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky all announced the formation of a cooperation council to coordinate the reopening of the economy in the Midwest region.
MinnesotaAdjourned Sine DieYesTermed the “Pandemic Session” by Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman, the 2020 Regular Session adjourned Sine Die, per their constitution, on May 17. However, the Governor’s Peacetime Executive Order, which grants him the authority for all other COVID-19 Executive Orders expires on June 12th. If the Governor wishes to extend that order for an additional 30 days, when the Legislature is not in session, he must call the Legislature back. The Legislature does not have to approve the order - but must be given the opportunity to reject the order.  According to Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, the Governor has indicated he plans to bring them back on the 12th of June to meet this obligation.  At that time, it is likely the Legislature will also try to address a number of issues they were unable to resolve in the final days and hours of the Regular Session.Gov. Walz on March 25 issued a stay-at-home order, effective at 11:59 p.m. on March 27 and was initially through April 10, that also requires all non-essential businesses either to close or allow employees to work from home. On April 13 Governor Walz signed a 30 day extension to the order, extending it to May 13. With the previous order expired, Walz signed a new order that slowly begin to turn the dial and allow more small businesses and retailers to open. Order 20-56 will allow those customer facing retailers who have been providing curb-side service to now allow customers into their businesses, malls and other retailers will also be able to open their doors. The order will require these businesses to have documented and posted plans outlining employee and customer safety. These businesses will be limited to 50% of their Fire Marshal approved capacity and must practice social distancing. On April 16 the Governors of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky all announced the formation of a cooperation council to coordinate the reopening of the economy in the Midwest region.
MissouriAdjourned Sine DieNoThe legislature did reconvene on April 27, and are now in full session, albeit with social measures and masks in place. They then rushed through the final few weeks of session, and adjourned on May 15. On April 3, nearly two weeks after the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County enacted stay-at-home orders (soon followed by 7 other cities, including Kansas City, and 34 other counties), Gov. Parson issued a statewide "Stay Home Missouri" order to run from April 6 through May 3. Most Missouri businesses will be able to reopen shortly after the state’s stay-at-home order expired on May 3. The green light does not cover the state’s two largest metropolitan areas, which have longer stay-at-home orders in place. Kansas City’s directive runs until May 15. St. Louis City and County have extended theirs indefinitely.
NebraskaSession SuspendedYesThe unicameral Nebraska Senate is adjourned until further notice, but has returned briefly during the week of March 23 to deal with emergency appropriations. The Nebraska Legislature did reconvene for a short while on March 25 to further work on emergency measures. The state did hold its primary on May 12, with in-person voting sites available. No stay-at-home order statewide, but other restrictions in place.
North Dakota
Not In Session in 2020
N/ALegislature does not meet in 2020. Some interim committee meetings have been canceled.
OhioIn SessionN/AThe Ohio legislature met again the week of May 4, as their last substantive action was back at the end of March. On May 6 the Ohio House voted solely with Republicans votes to block Ohio's health director from issuing orders lasting longer than 14 days, potentially setting up a confrontation with Gov. Mike DeWine over his continuing shutdown of the state's economy. Senate Bill 1 passed 58-37 over objections of Democrats who came to the defense of the Republican governor and Dr. Amy Acton. The measure is not likely to clear the Senate, let alone get Mr. DeWine's signature. It did not get the 60 votes that would be needed for a veto override if it came to that.Gov. Mike DeWine announced a cautious reopening plan that included resuming health care appointments on May 1, and the reopening of retail stores starting May 12. But Gov. DeWine has said that other businesses — including restaurants and salons — would have to wait."Common sense" exceptions include leaving home for groceries, carry-out meals, medical supplies and other essentials, physical exercise (but not at public playgrounds) and caring for family members, friends and pets. Non-essential business must cease all but "minimum basic operations." Exempt businesses include groceries, pharmacies, agriculture, religious facilities, media, gas stations and transportation operations, financial institutions, hardware and supply stores, "critical trades," laundromats and dry cleaners, take-out an delivery restaurant operations, office supplies (for working from home), hotels and funeral services, plus "manufacturing companies, distributors, and supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services" for select industries.On April 16 the Governors of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky all announced the formation of a cooperation council to coordinate the reopening of the economy in the Midwest region.
South DakotaAdjourned Sine DieYesThe South Dakota regular legislative session ended on March 12. The legislature did return for a remote veto session on March 30, then adjourned sine die.
WisconsinIn SessionYesThe legislature has been on hiatus, after having turned down a request from Governor Evers for a special session to discuss delaying the state's primary, with no date having been set for the Legislature to meet in-person next. Gov. Evers issued a "safer at home" order on Tuesday, March 24 closing all non-essential businesses, as an "all-hands-on-deck approach to stopping the spread of COVID-19." On April 17 the Governor announced an extension of the state's safer at home order. Originally set to expire in April, the order now lasts until May 26. Under the new order, Wisconsin schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. On May 11 Gov. Evers allowed nearly all nonessential retail stores to reopen as long as they serve no more than five customers at a time, partially lifting the restriction that has kept them closed for weeks. On May 13 the state Supreme Court stuck down Gov. Evers stay-at-home order on a 4-3 vote, rendering the policy void. On April 16 the Governors of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky all announced the formation of a cooperation council to coordinate the reopening of the economy in the Midwest region.
West Coast
AlaskaAdjourned Sine DiePerhapsAfter passing a federal aid spending package, the Alaska legislature adjourned for the year on May 19. Some legislators have expressed that they may have to come back for a special session, however, later this year. No statewide order, but Anchorage on March 20 adopted a "Hunker Down" Order, ordering residents to "stay at home as much as possible," except for listed activities such as working in critical jobs, until further notice. On April 22 Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced that restaurants and other retail businesses can begin offering more services beginning on April 24, if they follow certain health guidelines. Anchorage businesses opened three days later, on April 27.
CaliforniaIn SessionN/AThe Assembly is back in session as of May 4, with social distancing measures and masks in place, with each committe expected to have roughly one hearing per week. The Senate reconvened on May 11, and Senators can continue to use Zoom to attend meetings, they must appear physically in person to vote. A bill in the Assembly is trying to make remote voting on bills possible, but as of yet it has not left committee.Effective May 8, Gov. Newsom is moving the state into Phase 2 of his reopening plan, with retailers such as book stores, florists and sporting good stores will be allowed to resume business, with social distancing measures in place. On May 12, the city of Los Angeles announced it was extending its stay-at-home order through the end of July. California is relaxing its criteria for counties that want to reopen their economies faster than the state during the coronavirus pandemic, after local leaders complained that the original requirements were too difficult to meet. Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference on May 18 that all but five of California’s 58 counties would qualify for a variance from the statewide stay-at-home order through the new rules, though not all may choose to seek one.Click here for a link to the EOOn April 13 the governors of the three west coast states -- California, Oregon, and Washington -- announced they had formed a coalition to coordinate how to reopen the economy and society, when the time is right.
HawaiiSession SuspendedYesOn May 11 the Hawaii legislature reconvened, with social distancing measures in place as they passed budget bills. They then recessed on May 21, with an expectation they could return in mid-June for more work. Gov. Ige followed up his March 23 order requiring that everyone traveling to Hawaii as of March 26 must self-quarantine themselves for 14 days with another on March 23 requiring that all persons stay in their "place of residence" except for "essential activities. For those in hotels, the place of residence is defined as the person's "individual hotel room or unit." The order also requires that all businesses "not identified as critical infrastructure sectors ... must cease." The latest order took effect on March 25 and runs through May 31. Previously, the mayors of Honolulu and Maui had issued municipal stay-at-home orders, also effective March 25.Critical industries are as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or the Nawai'i Emergency Management Agency (HIEMA).
OregonAdjourned Sine DiePerahosThe legislature adjourned sine die on March 5. The Oregon Legislature is preparing to meet as early as June at the Capitol to deal with an estimated $3 billion gap in the state budget due to the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.Gov. Brown on March 23 immediately prohibited social gatherings of any size and ordered residents to stay home “to the maximum extent possible.” The order also closes businesses "for which close personal contact is difficult or impossible to avoid." All businesses and non-profits are required to allow telework to the maximum extent possible.Businesses ordered closed include, among others, amusement parks, hair salons, furniture stores, gyms, jewelry shops, ski resorts, theaters and yoga studios. The Oregon Health Authority is empowered to order additional closures as needed. On April 13 the governors of the three west coast states -- California, Oregon, and Washington -- announced they had formed a coalition to coordinate how to reopen the economy and society, when the time is right.
WashingtonAdjourned Sine DieNoThe legislature adjourned sine die on March 12.On May 1, Gov. Jay Inslee extended until May 31 his "Stay Home, Stay Healthy," order and announced a phased approach to how the state will reopen for business over the coming months. The plan includes four phases. Some businesses are already in Phase 1. Phase 2 is likely sometime in June. However, the governor said several business sectors will be allowed to move into Phase 1 and reopen before the start of Phase 2. Construction and outdoor recreation have already been added to Phase 1.Essential businesses include select industries in the following sectors: health care and public health, emergency services, food and agriculture, energy, water and wastewater, transportation and logistics, communications and information technology, government, "critical manufacturing," hazardous materials, financial services, chemicals, and defense.On April 13 the governors of the three west coast states -- California, Oregon, and Washington -- announced they had formed a coalition to coordinate how to reopen the economy and society, when the time is right.
AlabamaAdjourned Sine DieNoOn May 18th, the Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die from the 2020 session.Gov. Kay Ivey said on April 28 that she will allow retailers, some businesses and state beaches to reopen on April 30, despite acknowledging that Alabama’s number of COVID-19 cases is still rising. Ivey said she will not extend the state’s expiring stay-at-home order, but will issue a new “safer at home” order, that encourages, but doesn’t require, people to stay home. Businesses will be allowed to open if they follow sanitation and social-distancing guidelines, but “higher-risk” establishments — including gyms, theaters, bowling alleys and night clubs — will remain closed. All retail stores will be able to open at a 50 percent occupancy rate. On April 21 the Governors of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee all announced they were coordinating the re-opening of their economies.
ArkansasAdjourned Sine DieN/AThe legislature speed through the budget process, approving the state's budget by April 16 and wrapping up the session. No stay-at-home order, but a public health emergency has been declared. Schools have been closed for the rest of the academic term. On May 5 Gov. Hutchinson extended the public health emergency for another 45 days.
FloridaAdjourned Sine DieNoThe Florida legislature adjourned sine die, as expected, on March 19.Gov. DeSantis followed by issuing a stay-at-home order on March 30 for much of southern Florida (Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Monroe counties), and extended the order to the whole state on April 1, which extends until April 30. Gov. DeSantis has since announced that parts of the state will begin to open back up on May 4, as restaurants and retail spaces could let customers inside, but only at 25% capacity, and people must adhere to social distancing guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On April 21 the Governors of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee all announced they were coordinating the re-opening of their economies.
GeorgiaPartially SuspendedYesThe Georgia General Assembly appears likely to return to action June 11, according to a pair of memos sent to House and Senate members on April 30.Athens (Clarke County) first enacted a stay-at-home order effective March 20, followed by Atlanta, Blakely, Carrolton, Savannah and Dougherty County. Gov. Kemp followed on April 2 by issuing a statewide shelter-in-place order that became effective on April 3 and extends through April 30. On April 20 Gov. Kemp announced at a news conference steps to reopen Georgia's economy, starting on April 24. Employees at "gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios," as well as "barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, estheticians, their respective schools & massage therapists," were allowed to return to work on April 27, but will have to operate under restrictions. On April 21 the Governors of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee all announced they were coordinating the re-opening of their economies.
Session Suspended
YesThe legislature returned on May 21 and passed bills that seek to limit the Governor's emergency powers. It remains to be seen if the Governor will veto the bills and if the legislature will have to come back again, but for now they are out of session. Gov. Kelly issued a statewide order on March 28, preempting all local orders from March 30 through April 19, and was extended until May 3. The order expired and was lifted May 4, and the state has began its slow, phased reopening process on May 16.
KentuckyAdjournedN/AMarch 13 and March 16 legislative sessions and committee meetings were cancelled, and the statehouse remains closed to the public, however the 2020 legislative session continued until a budget was passed on April 1. Lawmakers reconvened for the last two days of the legislative session on April 14 and 15 for a veto session, then adjourned. Gov. Beshear on March 25 revealed an executive order (dated March 22) declaring a state of emergency and ordering "all in-person retail businesses that are not life-sustaining" to close immediately. Such businesses, however, may continue to provide local delivery and curbside service of online and telephone orders. Two days later he clarified in a press conference that the "healthy at home" order was not just a recommendation, but amounted instead to a stay-at-home order except for essential activities.Life-sustaining businesses are defined to include groceries, pharmacies, banks, hardware stores and "other businesses that provide staple goods." Sales of firearms and ammunition are also excluded. On April 16 the Governors of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky all announced the formation of a cooperation council to coordinate the reopening of the economy in the Midwest region.
LouisianaIn SessionYesOn May 4 the Louisiana House gaveled in to restart the legislative session that was suspended for more than a month because of the coronavirus pandemic. Representatives met for 90 minutes, mostly putting bills in the proper posture to be heard later and addressing the public meetings legalities required to change times and locations for a newly organized committee schedule. Committee meetings are spread out, partitions were installed between seats in the House, temperatures will be taken to enter the Capitol, and both Chambers are offering masks, gloves and sanitizer to legislators, staff and the public.Gov. Edwards on March 22 issued a stay-at-home order as of 5 p.m. Monday, March 23 for all non-essential workers. Non-essential businesses must close, and gatherings of 10 or more people are banned. On May 1, Gov. Edwards extended the order until May 15, but stores may now open for curbside delivery, while all employees of a business who have contact with the public must wear a mask.Workers exempt from the order include health care and pharmacy employees, those "supporting" groceries and sellers of food and beverages, farm workers, restaurant carry-out and delivery operations, utility abnd petroleum industry workers, "critical" manufacturing employees (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food and chemicals), and those working in the transportation, communications, information technology and financial services industries.
MississippiIn SessionYesState lawmakers were called back to Jackson earlier than anticipated. The 2020 Legislative Session reconvened on May 7, and they are now in spending negotiations with the Governor over how to spend CARES Act funding.Some retail stores began reopening at half-capacity in Mississippi, after the stay-at-home order expired on April 27. Gov. Tate Reeves lifted restrictions on certain businesses, but others, including gyms, spas and pet groomers, remained closed.According to news reports, only hygiene and fitness spas, non-food-service entertainment venues such as movie theaters and bookstores, and some boutique clothing stores and furniture stores are considered non-essential under Gov. Reeves’s order.
North CarolinaIn SessionN/AThe General Assembly on May 2 passed a pair of bipartisan measures approved unanimously by the House and Senate to direct how nearly $1.6 billion in federal COVID-19 funds will be spent. they then broke for 2 weeks, and then resumed its annual session on Monday, May 21,, with lawmakers returning in part to address a state economy and government revenue socked by the pandemic.Governor Cooper announced a stay-at-home order for all of North Carolina at a 4:00 p.m. press conference on March 27, after similar orders were adopted by Mecklenburg, Wake, Orange, and Durham Counties. Starting on Monday, March 30, North Carolina residents will be expected to stay in their homes except for essential activities until April 30. On April 23, however, Gov. Cooper announced he was extending the order until May 8. On May 5 Gov. Cooper did sign an executive order easing some of the restricitons, including allowing outdoor activities and small gatherings.
OklahomaAdjourned Sine DieNoOn May 15, the Oklahoma Legislature adjourned from its 2020 Legislative Session.No general statewide order, but Gov. Stitt has ordered issued a more limited stay-at-home order for the elderly and "at risk" only. After the city of Norman issued a issued its own stay-at-home order effective March 25, Oklahoma City and Tulsa followed suit with shelter-in-place orders. Meanwhile, on April 23 a Senate bill was filed to "reopen" Oklahoma, however it is yet to be seen if this bill will get serious consideration. The state itself has issued a phased reopening plan, as Personal care services like hair salons can open April 24 with social distancing measures. On May 1, gyms, restaurants, houses of worship, and other venues can reopen with social distancing measures. Bars remain closed.
South CarolinaSession SuspendedNoSouth Carolina lawmakers are now looking at a delayed schedule since the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in Senators and Representatives by and large staying out of the statehouse for the last two months. The fiscal year ends June 30. Both the South Carolina House and Senate need to approve a resolution that would allow the state to continue spending money, should a budget not be set by that time.On April 6 Governor Henry McMaster issued a statewide "home or work" order, which unlike most stay-at-home orders in other states does not classify any businesses as non-essential and order them closed. The measure does, however, s to limit the number of customers that can be in stores at once, establishing a 20 percent shopper capacity limit, or 5 people per 1,000 square feet. On April 22 Gov. McMaster ordered beaches as well as stores selling furnishings, clothing, shoes, jewelry, luggage, sports equipment, books, craft goods, music, and flowers be allowed to reopen. He also said flea markets could reopen — hardware stores will have to remain closed, however.

His order requires people to continue to practice social distancing, and for stores to ensure no more than five customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space are allowed inside (or 20 percent of the store’s maximum occupancy, if that’s less).
On April 21 the Governors of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee all announced they were coordinating the re-opening of their economies.
TennesseeAdjourned Sine DiePerhapsThe Tennessee General Assembly adjourned on March 20 after a flurry of last minute emergency legislation to address the COVID-19 crisis. Lawmakers then returned home for a roughly two and a half month recess, after which they could return.The state began a "phased reopening" starting on April 27, with the vat majority of businesses allowed to reopen on May 1. On May 5 Gov. Lee signed an executive order allowing close contact businesses, shoes as barbershops, to reopen so long as they followed state health guidelines. On April 21 the Governors of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee all announced they were coordinating the re-opening of their economies.
Not In Session in 2020
YesLegislature not in session in 2020. Texas lawmakers canceled several high-profile committee meetings on gun policy and public education during the week beginning March 16. The Senate Committee on Transportation also delayed a hearing set to take place in late April, citing Covid-19. The House Public Health Committee, meanwhile, heard testimony on state preparations to confront the virus.Gov. Abbott long resisted calls to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, even after local ones were enacted in Dallas County (pop. 2.6M, on March 23), Austin, Amarillo and at least 30 other counties. On March 31 the governor issued an executive order calling on all Texans to "minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household." Abbott nonetheless at first "declined to call his latest executive order a shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order," but the next day he issued a video stating that he had ordered "all Texans to stay at home." The state is slowely starting to reopen, as Retailers can open for curbside pickup as of April 24, and some nonurgent health care services can resume, with certain conditions. The current order expired on April 30.
ArizonaIn SessionNo On May 7 Arizona Senate President Karen Fann announced that they were will pull the plug on the 2020 session on Friday, May 8, and they did adjourn as such. The move came over the objections of several House Republican legislators who wanted to finish action on what they said were priority issues. The House has to yet adjourn, which means the Senate's vote to adjourn sine die won't amount to anything beyond a recess unless the House reconsiders. As of now, the House has reconvened for this week. On March 30,Gov. Ducey signed an order, ordering residents to stay at home except for "Essential Activities." The new order took effect at 5 p.m. on March 31. The stay at home order was set to expire on April 30, but now extends through May 15.
New MexicoAdjourned Sine DiePerhapsThe New Mexico legislature adjourned sine die, as scheduled, on February 20, but the governor said a special session will be needed to revise the state budget in of the coronavirus crisis.New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she instituted a "statewide stay-at-home instruction" beginning on March 24. It was set to expire on May 1, but has since been extended to May 15.
DelawareIn SessionYesDelaware legislators are set to meet via Zoom on May 26 and 27, to set up plans to continue meeting remotely.Gov. Carney on March 22 ordered Delaware residents to stay at home as of Tuesday, March 24 at 8 am. Nonessential businesses in the state were also ordered closed. As of April 24 Gov. Carney's administration is starting talks on reopening Delaware's economy, but the timing will depend in part on hundreds of new state workers. That's on top of a needed drop in coronavirus cases and the availability of widespread testing.On April 13 the governors of seven northeast states -- New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island -- announced they had formed a coalition to coordinate how to reopen the economy and society, when the time is right.
District of ColumbiaIn SessionN/AThe city council now meets virtually and has passed a number of COVID emergency legislation packages in response to the crisis. The D.C. City Council closed all nonessential businesses effective March 25 at 10PM, through April 24. Mayor Bowser followed by issuing a stay-at-home order on March 30, which on May 13 was extended until June 8.While no formal cooperation pact exists, the state is closely coordinating with Maryland and Virgnia on decisions for when to re-open society.
New JerseyIn SessionN/ANew Jersey Senate swiftly approved 28 bills that make up the “COVID-19 Emergency Response Package" on March 19 just days after the Assembly approved identical measures to help the public, schools, local governments and state agencies respond to the novel coronavirus crisis. The legislature is still in session, and under new rules the state legislature on March 24 began allowing members to vote remotely, and they are still in active session. On May 7 an Assembly Committee (Commerce) held the first remote hearing via video in the history of the Assembly. On April 27 Gov. Murphy unveiled a six-point road mapto start rolling back New Jersey’s coronavirus near-lockdown. Gov. Phil Murphy offered some faint hope that some type of Memorial Day weekend could be salvaged, but it remains to be seen. On May 14 Gov. Murphy announced that the Jersey Shore beaches will be open starting May 22, with social distancing guidlines in place. Exempt retail businesses include groceries, pharmacies, medical marijuana dispensaries, medical supply stores, gas staions, convenience stores, hardware and home improvement stores, car rental operations, retail banks, laundromats and dry cleaners, stores that principally sell supples for children under 5 years, pet stores, auto mechanics, printing and office supply shops, mail and delivery stores, and liquor stores. Limited manufacturing, industrial, logistics, ports, heavy construction, shipping, food production, food delivery, and other commercial operations are also permitted. All conflicting municipal or county restrictions are pre-empted.On April 13 the governors of seven northeast states -- New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island -- announced they had formed a coalition to coordinate how to reopen the economy and society, when the time is right.
VirginiaAdjourned Sine DieNoThe Virginia legislature adjourned sine die, roughly as scheduled, on March 12. A veto session was held on April 22, at which House Delegates plan to meet under a canopy outside the Capitol while the Senate is meeting at a giant event space at the Virginia Science Museum a couple of miles away. As most of the state begins to move into Phase 1 of Gov. Northam's reopening plan, the Govenor has said the the northern D.C. surburban counties will have to wait a little longer, as they currently have higher numbers than the rest of the state. While no formal cooperation pact exists, the state is closely coordinating with DC and Maryland on decisions for when to re-open society.
West VirginiaAdjourned Sine DieNoThe West Virginia legislature adjourned sine die, as scheduled, on March 7.Gov. Jim Justice has announced that the third week of his plan began on May 11 with the opening of physical therapy centers and drive-in movie theaters. His original strategy sought to have offices, gyms, restaurants and other businesses start resuming operations in the third and following weeks, but they are being postponed as the state wants to observe how the current reopenings will affect the state's caseload.
Rocky Mountain
IdahoAdjourned Sine DieNoIdaho's planned adjournment sine die was moved up to March 20.After Blaine County adopted a shelter-in-place order effective March 20, Gov. Little on March 25 announced a 21-day statewide stay-at-home order, effective immediately, which will expire on April 30. Gov. Little outlined a detailed for reopening that would come in four stages. The first phase would begin with houses of worship in early May. The approach would ramp up reopening with restaurants, gyms and salons later that month. But some recreational venues — like nightclubs and movie theaters — are expected to remain closed until at least late June.
Not In Session in 2020
N/AThe Montana legislature does not meet in 2020.Gov. Bullock issued an executive order on March 26 requiring residents to stay at home to the greatest extent possible, and banning non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals outside of a home or place of residence. Non-essential businesses and operations are also ordered to close. The order runs from March 28 through April 24. The state’s stay-at-home order was on April 26. Businesses can reopen with reduced capacity on a rolling basis, with houses of worship opening first on April 26, retailers following on April 27, and restaurants and entertainment venues opening on May 4.
Not In Session in 2020
N/AThe Nevada legislature does not meet in 2020. The Nevada Legislature does not have plans to convene a special session in response to COVID-19, the leaders of the two legislative houses said in a joint statement on March 30.Gov. Sisolak announced on April 30 a plan for the state to slowly open back up by May 15, as it involves a shift from sweeping control of the governor to a more collaborative, county leader-centric approach, and will allow some nonessential businesses to open their doors in a limited manner for the first time since March.On April 27, Gov. Sisolak announced his state (alongside Colorado) was joining exisinting Western States Pact of California, Oregon, and Washington.
UtahAdjourned Sine DieNoThe Utah legislature adjourned sine die, as scheduled, on March 12.No statewide order, but Summit County has issued a stay-at-home order, effective March 27. Gov. Herbert declared on April 27 that he wants the state to loosen some restrictions on public gatherings set in motion to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Those changes include a gradual restoration of in-house dining in restaurants, and the reopening of gyms and parks, on May 1.
WyomingAdjourned Sine DieNoThe Wyoming legislature adjourned sine die, as scheduled, on March 12.On April 25 Gov. Mark Gordon announced that the state would be modifying its health orders, which expired on April 30, to allow counties more flexibility when it comes to reopening certain businesses and public spaces.