On April 13, two multi-state coalitions announced the formation of separate task forces focused on reopening their state economies through regional partnerships.
On the East Coast, the Multi-State Council is made up of representatives from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Delaware. According to the announcement, the coordinating group will be comprised of one health expert, one economic development expert and a respective chief of state from each state. They will work together with the governor to provide recommendations on easing economic restrictions in the coming weeks.
On the West Coast, California, Oregon and Washington announced a similar plan to move jointly toward reopening their economies. In their statement, the governors participating in the Western States Pact said, “we need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this.” The release also noted that each individual state will have its own plan supplementing the efforts of the regional coalition. While exact participants in the Western States Pact have yet to be named, the joint statement noted that “the governors, their staff and health officials will continue conversations about this regional pact to recovery.”
On April 16, seven states across the Midwest formed the third coalition. A press release from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said this group will evaluate reopening the economy based on four factors: sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations, enhanced ability to test and trace, sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence and best practices for social distancing in the workplace. With this formation of the Midwest coalition, there are officially 17 states taking steps to formally reopen the economy through a regional approach.
Some of the states hardest hit by the coronavirus, and consequently the states with the most restrictive construction-related policies, are represented on these two task forces, including Pennsylvania, New York and Washington state. While neither announcement specifically mentioned industries that will be initially targeted for reopening or what the timeline may look like, each is expected to do so over the following weeks.
ABC continues to update this resource tracking state and local COVID-19 policies impacting the construction industry. If a new or amended state or local policy is issued in your chapter territory, please alert Brandon Ray, Nick Steingart and/or Ben Brubeck on our State Affairs team at [email protected].