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Coronavirus Regulations: A State-By-State Week In Review

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · July 1, 2021, 4:38 PM EDT

States came through with an abundance of COVID-19 pandemic relief measures over the past week, including an eviction moratorium extension in California, a $2.9 billion funding proposal in Massachusetts and help for the homeless in New Jersey.

The pandemic posed challenges in places like Pennsylvania, where Gov. Tom Wolf shut down a bill prohibiting vaccine passports and measures such as social distancing, and in Illinois, which is battling an outbreak at a summer camp.

In Massachusetts, leaders continued to drive vaccination efforts with a new "Vax Bus" that will offer mobile immunizations statewide.

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.


California

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed legislation extending the state's eviction moratorium through Sept. 30, 2021, and erasing rent debt for low-income residents who have suffered economic hardship due to the pandemic. Newsom touted the law as the most comprehensive coronavirus rent relief measure in the nation.

Illinois

Health officials said Monday that 85 teens and adult staff at a summer camp held in mid-June in the state's central region tested positive for COVID-19. The camp wasn't checking campers' vaccination statuses or requiring masks.  

Massachusetts

Through July 15, Massachusetts residents will have the opportunity to get vaccinated via the Vax Bus, a mobile immunization unit that started its statewide tour on June 26.

Registration also began on Wednesday for the Massachusetts VaxMillions Giveaway, an incentive program to encourage immunization against the coronavirus. Fully vaccinated residents are eligible for prizes of $1 million in cash and $300,000 in scholarships.

Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday called on the state legislature to act on his $2.9 billion plan to fuel the state's economic recovery by investing money in the communities that were hit hardest by the pandemic. The funds come from the American Rescue Act and will be used for job training, addiction treatment and local infrastructure.

On June 23, Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito filed legislation calling for August and September to be sales tax holidays in order to help local economies recover from the pandemic.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday signed a bill directing $100 million in American Rescue Plan funds dedicated to initiatives supporting child care providers and the child care workforce. The money will be used for business technical assistance, improvements to facilities, workforce development and the study of the child care in the Garden State.

Citing the "severe economic and social disruption" caused by COVID-19, Murphy on Wednesday signed a bill into law that will permit hospitals to construct housing and provide other services for those experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.

New York

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday signed twin bills that would prohibit government agencies from penalizing employees who use sick time for coronavirus-related purposes such as quarantining.

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday vetoed Senate Bill 618, which would have prohibited government agencies from conditioning services on proof of vaccination and ending health officials' ability to require social distancing and other precautionary measures against infectious diseases. Calling the bill "contradictory, misguided and irresponsible," Wolf's veto said the measure would pose a risk to those most vulnerable to infectious diseases and also limit health officials' ability to collect immunization information.

Upon the bill's passage by the state Senate last month, the bill's sponsors, Sens. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York, and Judy Ward, R-Blair, cited the desire to prevent government overreach.

--Editing by Steven Edelstone.

Update: This article has been updated to include a $100 million child care funding measure signed into law Thursday in New Jersey.

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