March 13, 2020
NASBO is monitoring state actions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This summary is intended as a point in time reference and is not an exhaustive list of actions taken to date. The following information was taken from official and unofficial sources including governors’ websites and media reports. NASBO has not independently verified the accuracy of this information.
Visit our Coronavirus Resource page for continually updated information including federal agency guidance and resources, state emergency declarations as well as news articles highlighting state responses.
For additional information please contact Brian Sigritz.
Alabama’s governor established a coronavirus task force and the public health department issued guidance to hospitals and healthcare centers regarding testing. The legislature approved a supplemental appropriation bill to provide $5 million to the public health department for coronavirus preparedness and response activities.
Alaska’s governor issued a public health disaster emergency declaration for COVID-19 to initiate a unified command structure between state agencies. The governor submitted a supplemental budget request of $4 million in state funds and $9 million for the receipt of federal funds for coronavirus response, which was approved by the legislature. An out-of-state travel restriction was issued for all state employees plus an immediate hiring freeze to reduce the impact on state general funds. The fall in oil prices could affect the Permanent Fund dividend next year and state services.
Arizona’s governor declared an emergency and issued an executive order to provide the tools and guidance necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19 and reduce financial burdens on Arizonans. The governor also signed legislation to appropriate $55 million to the Public Health Emergency Fund to support the state’s coronavirus efforts. The state’s COVID-19 website includes information for the public, healthcare providers, schools and more.
Arkansas’ governor issued an emergency proclamation that gives the health department authority to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and gives the Secretary of Health, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, the sole authority to close public school campuses throughout the state. The governor instituted a 60 day travel ban for state offices. The Department of Health established a COVID-19 information page containing guidance and targeted resources.
California’s governor issued a proclamation of a state of emergency that directs actions by state agencies, outlines permissions for out-of-state medical personnel, addresses price gouging and grants other authorities. The governor issued a new executive order that delays the deadline for state tax filing by 60 days for certain filers, directs residents to follow public health directives including canceling gatherings of more than 250 people, readies the state to commandeer property for temporary residences and medical facilities, and allows legislative bodies to hold virtual meetings. Persons who are unable to work because they are sick with COVID-19 will be able to claim short-term disability insurance from the state. The governor requested that $20 million be made available for coronavirus response from the state’s disaster and emergency funds.
Colorado’s governor declared a state of emergency to help make sure that resources are available to fight COVID-19. The emergency order helps ensure that workers can get paid sick leave, identifies additional support and wage replacement such as unemployment insurance, engages in emergency rulemaking regarding state employees, and opens up a drive-up lab for testing. An economic forecast is expected to be released on March 17, which would include a preliminary analysis of the impact of the coronavirus.
Connecticut’s governor declared a civil preparedness emergency and a public health emergency in response to the coronavirus including the temporary suspension of certain state laws and regulations. The governor issued additional executive orders prohibiting large gatherings, limiting visits to nursing homes, and waiving the 180 day school year requirement. Lawmakers announced that they are pursuing an expedited process to adopt a new state budget and that the already adopted fiscal 2020-2021 budget remains effectively in balance.
Delaware’s governor declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus. The emergency order requires the National Guard to take precautionary and responsive actions to assist in responding to the coronavirus, allows the state to conduct public meetings electronically, and prohibits price gouging. Hospitals, universities and government are preparing coronavirus plans.
District of Columbia
The District of Columbia’s mayor declared a public emergency that allows her to enforce quarantines and cancellations, more easily request federal disaster aid, and make price gouging illegal. The mayor later issued a notice detailing actions that restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, and multi-purpose facilities must take. Additionally, the mayor directed $5 million from the District’s Contingency Cash Reserve Fund for the purchase of needed supplies, protective equipment, and other necessary equipment for DC’s response to the coronavirus.
Florida’s governor declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus and directed the State Health Officer and Surgeon General to declare a public health emergency. Legislators approved the governor’s request for $25 million to help combat the spread of coronavirus. Lawmakers indicated they will revisit the fiscal year 2021 budget because of the virus and related stock market drop. The governor activated the emergency Business Damage Assessment Survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on local business operations.
Georgia’s governor requested $100 million from the Revenue Shortfall Reserve to combat the spread of COVID-19. After previously appointing a coronavirus task force, the governor announced several subcommittees focused on issues including economic impact, the homeless and displaced, and emergency preparedness. The governor suspended nonessential travel for state employees and implemented telework for most state employees.
Hawaii’s governor issued an emergency declaration that allows for funding flexibility to address the impact of the coronavirus. The governor also appointed the lieutenant governor to lead the state’s response. The House Speaker created a panel to advise the legislature on the potential economic and financial fallout of COVID-19. University of Hawaii economists stated that the coronavirus could cause a decline in visitor spending and lead to job losses.
Idaho’s Joint Finance–Appropriations Committee approved the governor’s request to transfer $2 million to the Governor’s Emergency Fund to help in the state’s response to COVID-19. The governor also announced a working group that will coordinate with state and federal agencies on the coronavirus. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) awarded the state $4.5 million to fight the virus.
Illinois’ governor issued a disaster declaration that formalizes emergency procedures currently underway and makes new resources available; the governor said that the proclamation allows the disaster relief fund to cover the costs related to the state’s preparations and response. The governor also announced that employees without sick leave that are absent from work for an extended period would be eligible for unemployment insurance under emergency rules, while the legislature announced that they have cancelled legislative sessions next week.
Indiana’s governor signed an executive order declaring a public health emergency to increase coordination across all levels of government; the action is also a step towards making Indiana eligible for federal dollars to respond to the outbreak. The governor announced additional steps to reduce the spread of the coronavirus including limiting non-essential gatherings to no more than 250 people, granting schools a 20 day waiver of the required 180 instructional days, limiting travel for state employees, and encouraging remote work options for state employees.
Iowa’s governor issued a disaster emergency proclamation; the proclamation permits state agencies to apply resources to prevent, contain, and lessen the effects of COVID-19. The Iowa Department of Public Health also put out additional guidance to schools on dealing with the coronavirus.
Kansas’ governor issued an emergency declaration in response to COVID-19 that authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria. The governor said that the landscape of the coronavirus is fast-changing and that the safety and well-being of Kansans is the first priority.
Kentucky’s governor declared a state of emergency and directed the coordination of state agencies to attain the maximum effective response to coronavirus. The governor announced the adjustment of sick leave for state employees to ensure employees who are sick can stay home. Further, the governor recommended the closure of all schools for an extended time and suspended out-of-state travel for state employees while closing all state prisons to visitors.
Louisiana’s governor declared a public health emergency in response to COVID-19 to address preparation by state agencies and deployment of resources, as well as efforts to prevent price gouging. The governor also created a COVID-19 task force comprised of key state and federal officials. State economists warned the recent drop in oil prices could reduce the amount of money available for the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget, as every $1 drop in oil prices reduces state tax revenues by $11-12 million.
Maine’s governor announced an insurance emergency proclamation, temporary suspension of non-essential out-of-state work travel for state employees, and a recommendation to postpone large, indoor gatherings to combat the coronavirus. Last month, the state’s revenue forecasting committee increased its revenue estimate but some on the panel voiced concerns that the strong economy could be weakened in light of a coronavirus pandemic.
Maryland’s governor declared a state of emergency and existence of a catastrophic health emergency requiring the state to deploy resources and implement the emergency powers of the governor. The governor outlined a series of actions from state agencies including limiting visits and movement in state prisons and setting up an all-appointments system for the motor vehicle administration. Further guidance prohibited gatherings of more than 250 people, closed all public schools and mandated telework for non-essential state employees, while also canceling out-of-state travel for all state employees. The governor also requested $10 million in a supplemental budget for emergency coronavirus preparedness expenses and enacted emergency legislation granting him authority to transfer resources from the state’s rainy day fund for response efforts.
Massachusetts governor declared a state of emergency for the coronavirus and lawmakers released a plan to create a $15 million fund to address cases. The emergency order includes discontinuing all out-of-state work-related travel and canceling or virtually holding conferences, seminars, and other discretionary gatherings. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has been activated and is bringing together health, human services, public safety and several other government agencies. Several towns announced public schools are closing for over a week due to coronavirus concerns.
Michigan’s governor declared a state of emergency to maximize efforts and assist local governments and officials to slow the spread of the virus. The governor also announced a statewide closure of all school buildings from March 16 to April 5 and took action to expand telemedicine. The legislature agreed to a supplemental spending bill that includes $25 million to respond to the coronavirus, $10 million now and an additional $15 million in reserve.
Minnesota’s governor signed a bill that authorizes $21 million to respond to the coronavirus outbreak; the $21 million is added to an existing $4.6 million in Minnesota’s public health response contingency account for a total of approximately $25 million to support disease investigation, monitor the outbreak, provide public information, coordinate statewide response activities, and conduct laboratory analysis. The governor also presented a supplemental budget bill saying that his priority with this budget proposal is ensuring fiscal stability and addressing emergency response and preparedness needs across the state.
Mississippi’s governor established a coronavirus task force to ensure the state’s preparedness. The state health department established a COVID-19 website with guidance for healthcare professionals, information for the public and community preparedness resources.
Missouri’s governor said that they are taking all steps necessary to protect the people of the state. The governor also earlier said that they are taking steps to educate the public on the virus and the steps to prevent it. Leaders of the legislature have urged groups to avoid visiting the capitol during the outbreak.
Montana’s governor declared a state of emergency related to COVID-19. The emergency order allows the governor to mobilize state resources such as emergency funds or personnel from the National Guard. The governor also activated a task force to help coordinate the state’s response to the coronavirus.
Nebraska’s governor discussed steps people could take to help slow the spread of the coronavirus and said that now is the time to make sure you have two weeks’ worth of food and water, to ensure a continuous supply of prescription drugs, and to plan for what to do in case schools and daycares close or you have to work from home; the governor also said that the state could be dealing with COVID-19 for up to a year. The state’s Economic Forecasting Advisory Board is monitoring any impact on revenue for the virus.
Nevada’s governor declared a state of emergency to help open access to resources and advance measures to mitigate and contain COVID-19. The governor also announced new regulations to protect Nevadans from increased medical and prescription costs related to the coronavirus.
New Hampshire launched a 211 hotline to handle all coronavirus related calls and has issued an insurance department order for insurers to cover testing for the coronavirus. The Department of Education is seeking three waivers from the U. S. Department of Agriculture to support schools in providing meals to children in areas with school disruptions. The judicial system is cancelling all jury trials for the next 30 days.
New Jersey’s governor declared a state of emergency and a public health emergency for coronavirus preparedness and response efforts. The state is recommending the cancellation of all public gatherings of more than 250 individuals. Insurance companies and Medicaid would be required to provide coverage for testing and treatment of coronavirus, under bills being introduced in the legislature. All cost sharing for emergency room, urgent care, or provider office visits associated with medically necessary testing for coronavirus will be waived.
New Mexico’s governor declared a state of emergency to maximize resources available to the state in order to fight the potential spread of the virus and minimize public health risks. The governor also asked that New Mexicans avoid large public gatherings, avoid non-essential travel to affected out-of-state areas, and remain home if you are sick. Additionally, state officials have decided to close public schools for three weeks. When signing the fiscal 2021 budget, the governor vetoed several infrastructure projects out of concern of the impact that the coronavirus and declining oil prices will have on the state’s economy and budget.
New York’s governor declared a disaster emergency. Lawmakers approved $40 million for testing, additional staff, new equipment and overall preparation for the expanding coronavirus outbreak. The state created a one-mile containment zone in a suburb outside of New York City that has been an epicenter of the coronavirus, closing down all public gathering places and sending in National Guard troops to help with cleaning and food distribution. The governor has asked the state’s comptroller to prepare a risk analysis of tax revenue projections the governor and legislative leaders previously agreed to last month due to the coronavirus.
North Carolina’s governor declared a state of emergency over the spread of coronavirus that includes authority to waive out-of-state health care licensure requirements and access to the State Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund. The governor also released mitigation measures including advising against gatherings of more than 100 people and recommended that employers allow people to work from home. The state updated several Medicaid policies to address COVID-19 addressing access to care, pharmacy interactions and medical supplies. The governor directed creation of a novel coronavirus task force to formalize the state’s preparedness efforts.
North Dakota’s governor, along with the North Dakota Department of Health, released recommendations for events and public gatherings. The governor said that our highest priority is the health, safety and well-being of all North Dakotans, and that especially includes our seniors and individuals with serious chronic medical conditions who are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. The North Dakota Emergency Commission voted to accept up to $6 million in federal funds to contain and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Ohio’s governor issued a state of emergency allowing state departments and agencies to better coordinate in their response. The governor also announced that all public schools will be closed from March 16 through April 3. Additionally, the state has banned public gatherings of 100 or more people. The state’s Department of Health director said that up to 100,000 people in the state may have the coronavirus, but the slow rollout of testing has delayed the understanding of the virus.
Oklahoma’s governor signed an executive order directing state agencies to take the necessary actions to protect vulnerable populations and make necessary purchases for preparedness efforts. The impact from the coronavirus on oil prices could impact the state’s revenues, which may be cushioned by $1.2 billion in the state’s savings account.
Oregon’s governor issued a statewide emergency declaration to help make additional resources available. The governor also said that the state should be prepared for thousands of cases of COVID-19 and announced a statewide ban on gatherings of more than 250 people. Additionally, Oregon’s legislature approved $5 million in emergency funding to respond to the coronavirus.
Pennsylvania’s governor announced a disaster emergency. All major health insurers providing comprehensive medical coverage will cover coronavirus diagnostic testing and treatment and will waive any cost-sharing for the testing. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will cover coronavirus testing and treatment for beneficiaries and the administration will also ease some prior authorization requirements.
Puerto Rico’s governor declared a state of emergency and announced travel restrictions, pushing the tax deadline back to May 15, closing public schools until March 31, and called for the cancellation of mass events and gatherings. Additionally, Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board approved the use of $160 million from the Emergency Reserve for COVID-19 purposes.
Rhode Island’s governor signed a declaration creating a state of emergency allowing the state to access additional resources to supplement its response to the coronavirus and issued an emergency regulation to expand access to the unemployment insurance and temporary disability/temporary caregiver insurance programs. More colleges moved classes online with coronavirus concerns.
South Carolina’s governor requested lawmakers send $45 million from the state emergency reserve fund to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control for its coordination of the state’s public health response to COVID-19. The state health department established a COVID-19 resource page that includes information for travelers, guidance for testing and educational materials.
South Dakota’s governor said following the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the state that now is the time for South Dakotans to prepare and to stay informed. All public universities in the state will extend their spring break and limit non-essential travel in an effort to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus.
Tennessee’s governor issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency to facilitate the treatment and containment of COVID-19. The governor previously formed a coronavirus task force to enhance the state’s coordinated efforts to prevent, identify and treat potential cases of COVID-19. The state received $10 million in federal funding to fight the spread of the virus.
Texas’ governor asked health insurers and health maintenance organizations operating in the state to waive costs associated with the testing and telemedicine visits for the diagnosis of COVID-19. Several school districts in the state announced extended spring breaks over concerns about coronavirus. The state health services department created a website on COVID-19 resources with information for the public, travelers, hospitals and more.
Utah’s governor declared a state of emergency and lawmakers are considering setting aside $16.5 million for the state’s coronavirus response. The Board of Education has applied for four federal waivers to help ensure the state could continue providing food for children who rely on getting meals at school. Public college and university campuses will transition to online or remote teaching. K-12 schools are being asked to prepare to close.
Vermont’s governor ordered activation of the emergency operations center to address the coronavirus. Lawmakers are working on emergency response legislation to address impacts from the coronavirus and are forming a response plan. Schools and universities are making changes to their schedules in response to the coronavirus.
Virginia’s governor declared a state of emergency and took other measures in response to COVID-19. The governor suspended all state employee out-of-state travel and directed a phased transition to teleworking for state employees, while also cancelling state conferences and large events for a minimum of 30 days and instituting long-term economic planning. The state’s COVID-19 website, administered by the health department, includes information for businesses, educational institutions, healthcare professionals and more.
Washington’s governor declared a state of emergency to combat the coronavirus. The state will be using $200 million from state reserves to slow the outbreak, test for the virus and help with treatment for more severe cases of respiratory illness. The legislation includes $25 million for unemployment insurance to help employees who are temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus. The insurance commissioner issued an emergency order directing health insurance carriers with state-regulated plans to provide health care provider visits and coronavirus testing without co-payments and deductible payments to enrollees and who meet criteria for testing.
West Virginia’s governor issued a state of preparedness proclamation and invoked authorized emergency powers. The governor also issued a state employee travel ban on both out-of-state and international travel for state business and directed the state purchasing director to authorize all emergency exemptions so agencies can acquire necessary supplies. The state’s COVID-19 website contains information on prevention, testing and more.
Wisconsin’s governor declared a public health emergency directing the Department of Health Services (DHS) to use all the resources necessary to respond to and contain the outbreak. Nursing homes in the state are working to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Assembly Speaker said that the Joint Committee on Finance can deal with COVID-19 if needed and that the entire legislature does not need to return.
Wyoming has created an information sharing platform with the latest developments on the coronavirus. With oil prices declining, the state is monitoring the impact on the budget with the price decline occurring after the House and Senate reached a tentative agreement on the budget.