Law360 (June 22, 2021, 4:28 PM EDT) -- Vaccination incentive initiatives and grant programs dominated COVID-19 recovery progress this past week, leading to billions of dollars in measures seeking to ease the impact of the waning pandemic.
State leaders unveiled promotions to provide immunized residents with Six Flags tickets in California and cash and scholarship prizes in Illinois. Governors also announced a $2.8 billion jump-start for Massachusetts' economic recovery, $8.2 million for educational degree completion in Pennsylvania and $30 million for health care providers in Delaware.
In other developments, tours of the state Capitol complex are set to resume in New York, and New Jersey's new health department building will bear the name of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, who became a central figure in monitoring and reporting as the public health crisis progressed.
Here's a breakdown of some of the COVID-19-related state measures from the past week.
Click for state-by-state data on COVID-19 legislation and executive orders, powered by LexisNexis.
The state will expedite the relaxation of workplace pandemic requirements like face coverings and social distancing by waiving the 10-day legal review of the state's Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board's new guidance, Gov. Gavin Newsom said June 17. Under the new guidance, asymptomatic fully vaccinated employees don't need to be offered testing or take off from work after close contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Newsom on June 16 announced that the state is partnering with Six Flags Entertainment Corp. to provide 50,000 free tickets worth $4.5 million to residents who receive at least their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine at participating providers.
A second round of funding totaling $30 million is available for health care providers as part of the state's response to the public health crisis, according to a June 16 announcement.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday hailed a federal court's order striking down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "no sail" orders for the cruise industry, ruling in favor of the state's bid for an injunction against the measure.
On June 16 DeSantis said he proposed full pardons for individuals and businesses facing civil and criminal penalties "for breaking unscientific, unnecessary directives."
Vaccinated state residents are eligible for up to $1 million in cash and scholarship lottery prizes as part of the state's vaccination incentive promotion "All In for the Win," which Gov. JB Pritzker unveiled June 17.
The administration of Gov. Charlie Baker on June 15 unveiled the "Massachusetts VaxMillions Giveaway" for Bay State residents who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Fully vaccinated residents 18 and older can enter the drawing to win five cash prizes of $1 million each. The contest also provides a chance for fully vaccinated residents between 12 and 17 to win one of five $300,000 college scholarship grants.
The administration on June 17 announced plans to use $2.8 billion of the commonwealth's federal coronavirus aid to "jump-start" the economic recovery. The funds will be used for downtowns, health care, housing, homeownership, infrastructure and job training.
The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation has awarded more than $30 million to small businesses weathering the effects of the pandemic in a new funding round, Baker said June 16.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed a package of bills aimed at providing an additional $235 million in aid to small businesses shaken by the pandemic, bringing the total of such relief to more than $600 million since the start of the outbreak.
The state's new Department of Health building in downtown Trenton will be named after Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli, Murphy said Friday in a joint announcement with state Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-West Deptford, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Woodbridge. The politicians said the move aims to honor Persichilli's service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced plans to hold Independence Day events at the Empire State Plaza in Albany — which will include a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site — and at Jones Beach State Park on Long Island after such festivities were canceled last year due to the pandemic.
As of June 18, the New York State Capitol reopened to the public. Tours of the Capitol and Empire State Plaza were set to resume on June 21 and July 7, respectively. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks.
A dozen new pop-up vaccination sites will open in areas where the vaccination rate is significantly lower than the statewide average, Cuomo said June 17.
Also on June 17, Cuomo unveiled two new ads to raise public awareness about $3.8 billion in rent relief and small business relief programs available to residents struggling during the pandemic. Part of the "Reimagine, Rebuild, Renew" campaign, the ads will air on multiple platforms through the end of July.
Gov. Tom Wolf announced on June 17 that $8.2 million had been awarded to help state residents working toward educational degrees who were displaced by the pandemic. The grants are from the state's Near Completer Demonstration Project.
--Additional reporting by Bill Wichert. Editing by Robert Rudinger and Jill Coffey.
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