Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Long lines to vote in Atlanta ... Louisville could ban most no-knock warrants ... A climbing number of Covid-19 cases in Arizona.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear wants the state to find a way to ensure that all black residents are covered by health insurance, saying this is particularly critical now as African Americans have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. While black Kentuckians are 8% of the state’s population, they make up 15% of Covid-19 cases and 16% of deaths from the respiratory illness. Beshear said the idea is to make sure that black residents get connected to health insurance coverage, either through private insurance or public programs like Medicaid. “My commitment today is we’re going to begin an effort to cover 100% of our individuals in our black and African American communities. Everybody. We’re going to be putting dollars behind it, we’re going to have a multifaceted campaign to do it,” he said. BloombergLaw reported the state’s plan is to use “health care connectors,” similar to those deployed during the roll out of the Affordable Care Act, to help people get insurance. The governor made the announcement during a larger briefing about racial inequities in the state, which has seen protests not only about the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, but also two recent fatal police shootings in Louisville. [Courier-Journal; Lexington Herald-Leader; WAVE]
ATLANTA VOTING | Atlanta voters endured long lines on Tuesday and civil rights groups called for polling places to extend hours to ensure all people would get the opportunity to cast ballots. Many voters reported broken machines and other problems, including sites running out of provisional ballots. Georgia is one of five holding primaries on Tuesday, the latest group of states to figure out how to hold elections during the coronavirus pandemic. [Atlanta Journal Constitution; New York Times]
NO-KNOCK WARRANTS | The Louisville City Council is considering legislation that would ban no-knock warrants except in cases involving murder, hostage taking, kidnapping, terrorism and human or sexual trafficking. The proposal comes in response to the police shooting of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was killed in her sleep when police executed a no-knock warrant at her apartment for a drug-related case. [WLKY]
MOMENT OF SILENCE | Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz asked state residents to take a moment of silence on Tuesday at 11 a.m. lasting for 8 minutes, 46 seconds in memory of George Floyd, whose burial was held in Houston, Texas. “The world watched in horror as George Floyd’s humanity was taken away from him,” Walz said. “We must do everything in our power to come together to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state so that every Minnesotan—Black, Indigenous, Brown, or White—can be safe and thrive.” [CBS 4; WCCO]
EMERGENCY PLANS | The number of Covid-19 cases in Arizona climbed last week, which health experts say is likely the result of reopening efforts and gatherings on Memorial Day weekend. In response, the state health director informed hospitals that they should "fully activate" emergency plans, prepare for crisis cases, and suspend elective surgeries if they are approaching bed capacity. [The Arizona Republic]
Laura Maggi is the managing editor of Route Fifty and Emma Coleman is the assistant editor.