After a Year of COVID Lockdowns and Restrictions, Representative Cooper Writes Letter to Biden Administration to Save Nashville’s Dying Live Music

After a year of supporting mandated COVID closures, Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) begged the Biden Administration to save some of Nashville’s historic live music venues. On Wednesday, Cooper penned a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The representative asked the SBA to expedite their Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) for the businesses that faced several months of mandatory closure and a year of lockdowns and restrictions in his district.

“Nashville’s live music venues and theaters are in dire need of help through the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant program,” tweeted Cooper. “I’ve urged the @SBAgov Administrator to immediately expedite the applications of our cultural centers. Music City can’t lose these treasures.”

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Knoxville Marks One Year of ‘Safer-at-Home’ Order; Other Tennessee Counties Allow Mask Mandates to Expire

April Fool’s Day marks one year since Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon issued the “safer-at-home” order, after three counties dropped their mask mandates. The counties of Hamblen, Roane, and Claiborn allowed their mandates to expire on Wednesday. Similar “15 days to slow the spread” practices turned into weeks, then months, and now, for many across Tennessee and the country.

Kincannon’s Safer at Home order lasted for nearly a month. It prohibited gatherings over 10 and forced closure of all “nonessential” businesses. The order empowered city officials with regulatory authority to take action against anyone who violated the order. The city even made available a non-compliance reporting process to enforce the order – which is still active.

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Minnesota Secretary of State Sends Letters Telling Those Who Haven’t Requested Absentee Ballots to Vote from Home

Minnesota’s Secretary of State Steve Simon is sending letters telling those who haven’t requested an absentee ballot to vote from home. An estimated 2.3 million voters will receive the letter and an absentee ballot application.
The letter asserts that staying safe and keeping other citizens healthy “means voting from home.” 

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Wisconsin’s Largest Business Group Wants a Re-Opening Plan

Wisconsin’s largest business group is asking Gov. Tony Evers for a plan to reopen the state. 

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce sent a letter to the governor asking him what comes next after his Safer at Home order ends April 24.

“To be clear, no one expects that our economy would go back to ‘business as usual’ on April 24,” WMC’s letter said. “We understand that reopening will require a very strategic and well-planned approach that, over time, phases our economy back to an operational level that existed prior to any social distancing requirements.”

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Thirty States Have Issued Stay-at-Home Orders So Far

As of March 31, 30 of the 50 states have issued stay-at-home orders to residents. Although the names of the orders – shelter-in-place, stay-at-home, stay home, stay safe – vary from state to state, they include at least two common elements: the closure of nonessential businesses and requesting all residents to stay home except for essential trips.

California was the first state to issue a stay-at-home order. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) did so on March 19. In total, 19 Democratic governors and 11 Republican governors have issued stay-at-home orders. Across all 50 states, there are 24 Democratic and 26 Republican governors.

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