Research by Mikko Lindberg

Policy Analysis | April 2021

Coronavirus Impacts on State Legislatures: 2021

Mikko Lindberg, Roger Moore, Nick Bowman, Cody Allen, and Amanda Budd

Last updated: April 15, 2021

As of April 15, 2021, approximately 2.9 million people worldwide, including 548,000 Americans, have died from the coronavirus pandemic. On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an emergency use authorization for Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine. On December 18, 2020, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine for use in individuals 18 or older. On February 27, 2021, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a recommended schedule for states to administer these vaccines. As of April 15, approximately 123 million vaccinations have been administered in the United States. Against this backdrop, Southern legislatures are convening for their 2021 legislative sessions.

This SLC Policy Analysis, updated as new measures are implemented, tracks the special measures that Southern legislatures are adopting in order to meet safely in 2021.

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Policy Analysis | March 2021

Spread of COVID-19 within Regions of the United States

Mikko Lindberg and Roger Moore

Over the course of a year, this SLC Policy Analysis tracked the proliferation of COVID-19 amongst The Council of State Government's four regions, using data collected and published by The COVID Tracking Project. On March 7, 2021, updates to the data hosted by the project were discontinued and, consequently, this analysis of the data on a regional basis was concluded.

A multitude of governmental, private and nonprofit research entities are closely monitoring the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)1,2 – across the United States on city, county, state and national levels. Originally, at the outset of the pandemic, a limited amount of research existed for how the virus circulated on a regional basis.3

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Policy Analysis | July 2020

Coronavirus Impacts on State Legislatures and Elections

Mikko Lindberg, Anne Brody, Roger Moore, Cody Allen and Nick Bowman

Last updated: August 11, 2020


On March 31, House members arrived at staggered times and reported directly to their offices. Speaker Mac McCutcheon cautioned members who had been sick or around someone sick not to attend. Department of Public Health employees checked temperatures at State House entrances to prevent anyone with a fever from entering the building. Members came to the House chamber in small groups, with ample space between members. The Senate followed similar social distancing guidelines. After reaching quorum in both chambers, the session was suspended until May 4.

The Senate General Fund Budget Committee convened on April 28 to pass a budget for fiscal year 2021. The $2.4 billion budget increases funding for Medicaid, Department of Public Health, and Department of Corrections. Committee members followed social distancing guidelines, with some wearing face masks.

The Legislature reconvened on Monday, May 4. Members of the media will be granted access, but in different locations than usual due to social distancing. The House of Representatives will offer live streaming video of the session, with the Senate offering live audio streaming. The Legislature adjourned sine die on May 18.

U.S. Senate Republican Runoff Election moved from March 31 to July 14.

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More Research by Mikko Lindberg

Policy Analysis | October 2016

Employee Voting Leave Regulations

Policy Analysis | August 2016

Southern High School Graduation Rates

SLC Regional Resource | February 2016

Special Education School Vouchers: A Look at Southern States

Policy Analysis | February 2016

Higher Education Funding

SLC Regional Resource | November 2015

Student Assessments in Southern States: Recent Developments

Policy Analysis | October 2015

2015 Update on Common Core in SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | May 2015

Governing Entities for Higher Education

Policy Analysis | April 2015

Primary Election Formulas of SLC Member States

SLC Regional Resource | February 2015

Common Core in the South: Where the States Stand Now

Policy Analysis | January 2015

State Occupational Boards and Commissions Fees

Policy Analysis | July 2014

In-State Tuition for Veterans

Policy Analysis | March 2014

Elderly Drivers

Policy Analysis | December 2013

Southern States' Early Graduation Policies

Policy Analysis | May 2013

Variable Gasoline Tax Rates

Policy Analysis | March 2013

Southern States' Distracted Driving Laws

Policy Analysis | November 2012

Government Performance Audit Agencies

Policy Analysis | September 2012

Seat Belt Regulations for 15-Passenger Vans

Policy Analysis | June 2012

Grandparental Visitation Rights

Policy Analysis | May 2012

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse

Policy Analysis | February 2012

State Employee Retirement Age in SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | July 2011

Southern States' Annual Incomes Rates

Policy Analysis | April 2011

Southern States' Sunset Regulations

SLC Regional Resource | June 2010

Creating Value: Recycling in the Southern States

Policy Analysis | April 2010

Judicial Advisory Councils