Indiana rushes to spend virus relief aid on new jobs program
Indiana legislators scrambled in the final days of their session to make decisions on spending the state’s $3 billion share of the $350 billion in federal coronavirus relief money approved this year for state and local governments. In an example of how states are casting for ways to spend the federal influx, Indiana’s budget negotiators wrote in $75 million for the Career Accelerator Program — nearly triple the $27 million going to a 2% increase for the state's higher education system. It's also more than three times what the Legislature appropriated to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Next Level Jobs program two years ago, and nearly double what lawmakers re-injected into his jobs program for the next biennium.news.yahoo.com
GOP governors ignore Biden's latest plea on mask mandates
But Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchison announced Tuesday he is dropping the state’s mask mandate immediately, a day earlier than previously announced. Gretchen Whitmer to ask whether the White House has considered surging additional vaccines to states with rapidly increasing infection rates. Kay Ivey intends for her state’s mask mandate to end on April 9 as planned, though she urged people to wear masks as a matter of personal responsibility. Eric Holcomb, to reconsider dropping the state’s mask mandate.
The Latest: California prisons to resume in-person visits
The state health department said nearly 17,000 people had filled up four days of appointments for the speedway clinic being held Friday through Monday. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California state prisons will soon resume limited in-person visits with inmates more than a year after they were halted because of the coronavirus pandemic. Museums, aquariums, retail businesses and shops, hair salons and personal care businesses can operate at 100% capacity indoors and outdoors. The three joined neighboring Santa Mateo County on Tuesday as the latest Bay Area counties to move into California’s “moderate” tier for coronavirus restrictions. Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says the biggest driver behind the increase is young adults.
The Latest: Ontario wants vaccine shot in adults by June 20
Eric Holcomb received his COVID-19 vaccine shot Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the opening of the state’s first mass vaccination clinic. Holcomb wore a face mask in the front passenger seat of an SUV while getting the shot of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the drive-through clinic. Ad___TORONTO — Canada is getting a fourth vaccine to prevent COVID-19, approving the Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose. Canada has pre-purchased 10 million Johnson & Johnson doses, with options to buy another 28 million. The U.S. approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine last month.
Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths nearly double during November; Gov. Holcomb extends public health emergency 30 days
Eric Holcomb on Tuesday also signed an extension of the state’s public health emergency through Dec. 31. Under authority from that emergency, the governor has issued the statewide mask order and limits on crowd sizes based on the county risk level of coronavirus spread.chicagotribune.com
More Indiana counties listed at highest coronavirus risk; Lake, Porter, Newton counties among 21 of state’s 92 counties at highest risk
The current wave is “overloading” Indiana’s contact tracers and labs, Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said. Indiana is streamlining first contact interviews. It expects to hire 600 more tracers, bringing the number to 1,500. In the future, it’s possible some may be asked to notify their own close contacts if they get diagnosed, Box said.chicagotribune.com
Indiana sees record COVID-19 hospitalizations, infections; Lake County adds seven deaths to reach 400
New positive cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations have grown since Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Sept. 23 that he was lifting nearly all of Indiana’s COVID-19 restrictions while extending the statewide mask mandate. Since then, Holcomb has continued to resist calls for reinstating coronavirus restrictions. The governor said last Wednesday he’s not making any changes to COVID-19 policy, including no statewide closure of schools.chicagotribune.com
The Latest: Australia court upholds state's border closure
Larry Hogan warned of a major surge in coronavirus cases and urged residents Thursday to wear masks to prevent the virus’s spread. State Health Officer and Department of Health Services Interim Division of Public Health Administrator Stephanie Smiley is the second state health officer to resign in the last six months. Lujan Grisham says people can’t get numb to the troubling data or the threat of the state’s health care system being overwhelmed. State health officials added 45 more coronavirus-related deaths Thursday, raising the overall toll to 4,511 including confirmed and presumed infections. Spain has a 14-day average of 527 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, one of the highest in Europe.
Montana goes red; it's status quo in other governor races
Mike Parson, and State Auditor Nicole Galloway are seen onstage before the Missouri gubernatorial debate at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia, Missouri. Democrats are hoping to gain control of more state legislative chambers after Republicans scored huge wins in 2010. The only governor's job to change parties is in Montana, where Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. The national Democratic and Republican governors associations and the campaigns themselves have contributed more than $24 million to the race. In Missouri, incumbent Mike Parson, a Republican, defeated Nicole Galloway, the state auditor who was the Democrats' best chance to pick up a seat.
The Latest: Melbourne eases restrictions after cases drop
(AP Photo/Lewis Joly)MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has loosened lockdown restrictions as new and active COVID-19 continue to decline. Victoria state reported only two new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and no deaths. The total number of cases on the reservation is now 10,913. Nine new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of deaths associated with the virus to 8,466. There are 106,503 total cases reported since the pandemic began in March and 1,168 deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Indiana governor defends officer response to assault report
Im proud of the DNR and the way theyve conducted themselves, Holcomb said, Theyve done everything right, by the book. Much of the assault that followed was captured on cellphone video by people Booker had met up with that day. The governor has complete control over DNR," Liell told The Associated Press. State environmental groups, including the Hoosier Environmental Council, Friends of Lake Monroe and Sierra Clubs Hoosier Chapter, are also calling on the Indiana DNR to review its policies and publicly condemn racism. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
From Churchill to Bon Jovi, U.S. governors channel iconic voices to inspire amid pandemic
FILE PHOTO: Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb takes part in a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 26, 2018. Played by Gene Hackman, Dale led a small-town high school team to the 1952 state title in an against-the-odds tale of collective achievement. We dont remember what state governors were saying during the Depression. To quote a New Jersey icon, Mr. Jon Bon Jovi, Who says you cant go home? Murphy said at a briefing. I dont think Trump understands that at all, said Shrum, director of the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future.feeds.reuters.com
Trump and protesters pressure governors to start reopening the states
Adding to the pressure are protests against stay-at-home orders organized by small-government groups and Trump supporters. They staged demonstrations Saturday in several cities after the president urged them to "liberate" three states led by Democratic governors. Protests happened in Republican-led states, too, including at the Texas Capitol and in front of the Indiana governor's home. Trump, whose administration waited months to bolster stockpiles of key medical supplies and equipment, appeared to back protesters. "LIBERATE VIRGINIA, " Trump said in a tweet-storm in which he also lashed out at New York Gov.cnbc.com
U.S. Midwest exploring cooperation around reopening as coronavirus eases: Illinois officials
(Reuters) - U.S. Midwest governors are talking about regionally cooperating to reopen their economies as the coronavirus pandemic begins to ease, echoing a similar approach being taken by states on the East and West Coasts, Illinois officials said on Wednesday. FILE PHOTO: Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker greets at the North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU) 2019 legislative conference in Washington, U.S., April 9, 2019. The governor is interested in exploring something like whats happening on the east and west coasts for the Midwest, Abudayyeh said in an email. On Tuesday, Illinois Pritzker, who disputed the notion anyone other than he could lift or modify his states stay-at-home order, said he had spoken over the last few days with governors of neighboring Midwest states. Pritzker is a Democrat, along with governors in Michigan, Wisconsin and Kentucky, while those in Indiana and Ohio are Republicans.feeds.reuters.com
Indiana is the latest state to postpone its 2020 primary as coronavirus spreads
Indiana will move its 2020 primary to June 2 from the originally planned May 2 in response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Gov. Indiana, with 82 delegates up for grabs, has become the latest state to postpone its primary because of looming threats brought on by the coronavirus, which has roiled markets and infected hundreds of thousands of people globally. Sanders won Indiana in the 2016 primary, beating then rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ohio delayed its in-person primary voting that was supposed to take place Tuesday. There are at least 14,250 cases in the United States and at least 205 deaths, according to the latest tallies.cnbc.com
Thousands of teachers pack Indiana Statehouse for protest
Indiana State Teachers Association President Keith Gambill told a few thousand teachers who covered the Statehouse lawn that the Legislature should direct money from the state's $2 billion in cash reserves toward helping schools. Indiana State Police reported at least 5,000 people entered the Statehouse through public entrances, but the agency didn't estimate how many total were on the grounds. Holcomb and GOP legislative leaders touted the plan as making strides toward improving teacher pay. The governor said he was waiting for a teacher pay commission he appointed in February to make recommendations on increasing salaries by the end of 2020. Republican state schools Superintendent Jennifer McCormick has cited a study showing Indiana as the state with the lowest teacher salary increases since 2002.chicagotribune.com