April 29, 2020

Around the nation: Senate set to return to DC on May 4

Daily Briefing

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday said senators will return to the Capitol on May 4 and will "modify routines in ways that are smart and safe," in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, and Iowa.

    • California: Two residents of California's Sacramento County on Monday filed a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), arguing that the state's so-called "stay-at-home" order has unconstitutionally prevented them from acquiring permits to hold protests outside the state's Capitol building. Harmeet Dhillon, one of the attorneys handling the case on behalf of the plaintiffs, said, "At a time when Californians are rightfully questioning the duration and extent of the stay-at-home orders, which are unevenly enforced and which have resulted in other constitutional challenges, … Newsom has reacted to citizen protests not by addressing widespread concern, but simply by shutting down protest at the Capitol altogether, making no reasonable accommodations for this fundamental function in a free society" (Willon, Los Angeles Times, 4/27).

    • District of Columbia: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday said senators will return to the Capitol on May 4 and will "modify routines in ways that are smart and safe" to avoid spreading the new coronavirus, while also "honor[ing]" their "constitutional duty to the American people and conduct[ing] critical business in person." Separately, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday said House lawmakers will not return to the Capitol next week, though they "hope to [return] very soon." Hoyer's announcement marked a reversal, as House leaders on Monday had said representatives also were planning to return to the Capitol on May 4 (Carney, The Hill, 4/27; Rodgers, Daily Caller, 4/28).

    • Iowa: UnityPoint Health on Monday announced that President and CEO Kevin Vermeer will leave his role with the health system as of May 1. Vermeer has worked at UnityPoint for roughly 20 years, formerly serving as the health system's CFO and chief strategy officer. UnityPoint said Sue Thompson, SVP of integration and optimization for the health system and CEO of UnityPoint Accountable Care, will serve as interim CEO while the organization searches for a permanent replacement (Castellucci, Modern Healthcare, 4/27).
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