East and West Coast Governors Form Councils to Reopen the Economy

By Paul Riegler on 13 April 2020
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The Information Desk at Grand Central Terminal in New York City

The governors of six states – New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Delaware – said Monday that they plan to work together to reopen the region’s economy once the novel coronavirus outbreak starts to wane.

Announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his daily televised briefing, the plan will bring health and economic development officials from the six states together to begin to develop strategies to ease the restrictions currently in place.  These officials are being asked to “study the data, study the research, study the experience of other countries, and give us guidelines and parameters to go forward,” said Cuomo.

The announcement was followed by a similar one from three western states.  The governors of California, Oregon, and Washington announced what they called a Western States Pact with a similar charge. The three states would create a West Coast strategy that would include how to handle a future such outbreak, while each state would also have its own individual plan.

California Governor Gavin Newsome said that the governors in the pact would be guided by facts, evidence, and science.

The move follows President Trump’s announcement that reopening the economy is his decision alone, even though he played little part if any in shutting it down.  His assertion runs counter to the views of legal scholars, who say that the federal government and specifically the president lack the authority to directly order states to reopen their economies and lift the lockdowns that were, in fact, imposed by state and local governments.

On Friday, Trump said that the decision on when to reopen the economy would be the biggest he would ever make.

Many governors don’t agree.

“Seeing as we had the responsibility for closing the state down,” said Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, “I think we probably have the primary responsibility for opening it up.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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