NY, NJ, CT Governors Plan ‘Regional’ Reopening of Economies

The Democrat governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are discussing plans Monday for a coordinated regional reopening of their economies after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

“It all has to be coordinated regionally,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said during a briefing in Albany Sunday, reported the Center Square. “We closed everything down in a coordinated fashion, and we did it regionally. … That partnership is very important for our individual states and our collective states.”

Cuomo said he would be speaking with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont about a coordinated effort.

In his own state, Cuomo issued two more executive orders, one directing employers in essential businesses to provide staff with masks while interacting with the public, and another to expand antibody testing.

“The keys to reopening the economy are continuing to limit the spread of the virus and ramping up antibody testing,” the governor said. “These measures will be key to getting people back to work and making sure they are protected when they do go back.”

Lamont tweeted a video message about the “partnership” among the three states for a “back-to-work strategy”:

Connecticut has worked in harmony with regional governors in New York and New Jersey combating this virus and we are making progress. We’re also going to work together to get everyone safely back to work. We’re in this together and we’ll get back to work together. pic.twitter.com/hesJhM2TZv

— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) April 12, 2020

The Connecticut governor has extended school closings until May 20.

The state is suffering from a dramatic drop in sales tax revenue during the current lockdown, and some economists suggest the consumer purchasing trends that existed prior to the onset of the coronavirus crisis may become a permanent fixture in the post-pandemic landscape.

“I can’t recall a time when I’ve seen greater economic uncertainty in my 40 years of doing this,” DataCore Partners economist Don Klepper-Smith, former Connecticut chief economic adviser, told CT Mirror.

“Before the coronavirus this was an economy based on consumption and more consumption,” he explained. “All of that is going to be revamped now. People are going to take inventory of what’s important in life.”

Murphy, said Sunday on CBS News’s Face the Nation, that any economic restart must evolve after the infection caused by the novel coronavirus has subsided:

Any sort of economic reopening or recovery depends first and foremost on a complete health care recovery. Getting that sequencing right, I think based on the data and the facts that we’re seeing, is incredibly essential and that, if we either transpose those steps or we start to get back on our feet too soon, I fear based on the data we’re looking at, we could be throwing gasoline on the fire.

Cuomo said he has been working jointly with the other nearby governors as well as local governments from his own state.

“I work cooperatively with all the local governments, and I hope Nassau County, Suffolk County, New York City, Westchester County, New Jersey, Connecticut, that we can all get on the same page,” Cuomo said. “That’s the ideal. But at the end of the day, there’s one page. There’s one page and there’s one plan.”

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