When Governor Charlie Baker first declared a state of emergency over COVID-19 on March 10, 2020, one of the reasons he cited on his behalf was that “it is critical to take additional steps to prepare to respond and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and wellbeing of the Commonwealth of people. “
After Baker announced on Monday that he would end the state of emergency on June 15, the governor and lawmakers have only more than four weeks to decide which of these additional steps to keep going in the future.
“Once the emergency order is over, the emergency order is over,” Baker said, adding that one reason to keep the emergency going until next month is to see if there are things we can do with our colleagues for cooperation need in legislation to address this is something of a part of that job basket that isn’t particularly related to the things people pay the most attention to. “
“We will review this and work with our colleagues in the legislature to see what this will somehow undo,” he said.
In a press release, Baker’s Office said the administration will “work with legislative and local partners during this period to create an orderly transition from emergency measures enacted in the Executive Ordinance and Special Legislation during the State of Emergency.”
Baker plans to end orders that are restricting business operations on May 29th. Additionally, various measures regulating everything from notarial services to takeaway cocktails, introduced by ordinance and legislation alike, have end dates associated with the state of emergency expiration. Among them are:
- Virtual public meetings: Baker’s COVID-19 Ordinance No. 1 of March 12, 2020 amended the legal requirements for the duration of the state of emergency to enable remote participation with necessary public access methods so that state and local governments can continue to operate on the Keeping Up Personal meetings were discouraged. While some government agencies, such as the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, were already used to streaming their meetings online, the transition to digital was a new frontier for many and quickly became known as Blessings Considered For the sake of transparency, entry will be open to those outside the greater Boston area, where most of the state offices are concentrated. The Open Assembly Act does not apply to state legislation, and the House and Senate have enacted emergency rules to allow lawmakers to vote and speak remotely during meetings. The Senate’s pandemic rules (S 12) expire on January 1, 2022, and the House’s emergency rules (H 59) state that they “remain in effect until a majority of the House passes an ordinance in which the state of emergency is declared inside the house or by 11:59 p.m. on July 15, 2021. “A separate arrangement allows members of the Board of Governors to attend their meetings remotely. Like the legislature, the Board of Governors usually meets in the State House, which remains closed to the public. Senate President Karen Spilka said last year that the state house would remain closed “for the duration of the state of emergency,” and House spokesman Ron Mariano suggested last month “that maybe we can start opening this building in the fall to have.” do some hearings and get people to testify and make their point. “
- Restaurant relief: With seated eating banned at the start of the pandemic, takeaway and delivery became critical for restaurants and remained an important part of the business model of many companies as diners returned to dine al fresco and indoors. In light of this dynamic, lawmakers temporarily approved the sale of beer and wine, and later cocktails with take-away orders, and incorporated the language into an economic development law that caps fees for third-party delivery services such as UberEats, DoorDash, and Grubhub can charge restaurants with 15 percent until the state of emergency ends. Restaurant owners and lawyers are already calling for these measures to be expanded, either through changes to the Senate budget or through separate laws.
- Evacuation protection: During the State of Emergency, landlords who give tenants of residential buildings a notice of termination for non-payment of rent are also required to provide other documents, including information on rent assistance and the Center for Disease Control’s set eviction moratorium, which expires on June 30). The same law instructs the courts to grant continuity in eviction cases due to non-payment of rent during the emergency if the defendant has a pending application for assistance with emergency rent. The Baker administration launched a $ 171 million diversion initiative after a state-level moratorium on eviction and foreclosure expired in October. On Monday, Baker said the diversion program “actually worked pretty well,” and recently “received a very significant financial boost from the federal government’s program under CARES Act 2, which basically allocates around $ 475 million to support this initiative here in Massachusetts provided “. “Since we had the infrastructure in place, unlike many countries where they haven’t figured out exactly how to move the money and get the money out the door and handle the eligibility, we have all of these things in place . and I think this is going to be very helpful with one of the biggest problems a lot of people have, ”he said. State housing officials during the state of emergency are required to report to lawmakers each month on the eviction initiative, and the law requires a task force to “monitor the results of the initiative and make recommendations on how to improve its effectiveness, efficiency and reach.” exist up to 45 days after the end of the emergency
- Virtual authentication: A law of April 2020 that allows notaries to perform “a confirmation, endorsement or other notarial act” through electronic video conferencing in real time rather than face-to-face is repealed three business days after the state of emergency ends.