September 9, 2020

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – September 9, 2020

Happy Wednesday! We’re back and it’s time for another edition of “Govs on Deck!” As a reminder, your favorite newsletter comes out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

As always, questions or suggestions? Send me a note at amestoy@dga.net. You can find us all on Twitter too – @A_Tall_Turner@CEAmestoy@JerusalemDemsas, and @andersonkayjay.

We want this to be helpful, so let us know what other info/what other formats you’d like to see for these updates.

Dem Govs Get It Done: 

NOTE: This is an overview of recent actions, not a comprehensive roundup of everything our incredible governors are doing. Want more examples? Send me an email and I can help you track down answers.

COVID-19 response:

Federal requests:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER released a statement calling the Trump administration’s refusal to expand health coverage “cruel and inexplicable” after Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma denied her and 11 other governors’ request for the Trump Administration to allow for a special enrollment period of at least 30 days on the federal health care exchange.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER reiterated calls for the Trump administration to fully fund the Michigan National Guard for COVID-19 response under Title 32 authority. It’s been one month since the governor requested a phone call with the president to discuss. 

Legal actions:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER praised the ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that upheld the governor’s testing plan to protect agricultural and food processing workers. 

Emergency declarations:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended the disaster declaration and employment of the Colorado National Guard to support and provide planning resources to State and local authorities responding to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS extended the State of Civil Emergency through October 1, 2020.

Reopening efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended the Protect Our Neighbors executive order. 
  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Public Health reported 29 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19.

Stay at home orders:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE approved another two-week extension of the “State-at-Home, Work-at-Home” order for the City and County of Honolulu, which will now end September 24.

Face coverings:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR extended the commonwealth’s mandate for face coverings in some situations for another 30 days.

Elections:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended and amended an executive order concerning changes to 2020 election activity to limit in-person contact while allowing the elections to proceed safely and without interruption to the Secretary of State’s operations. This order temporarily suspends the requirements for any notarization or handwritten signature in any rules, regulations, or forms regarding the certification or acceptance of the nomination, selection, or appointment. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS filed a memorandum in the lawsuit regarding COVID-19 protections for the November presidential election asking the judge to direct Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin to implement the same election plan that was used for the recent elections in July and August. That plan, which was crafted by the Secretary of State and supported by the Governor and a majority of the Louisiana Legislature, offered expanded absentee voting by mail for more Louisianans affected by COVID for the upcoming elections in November and December.
  • NEW MEXICO’s Secretary of Health Kathy Kunkel issued a public health order establishing social distancing restrictions for polling places during the fall election season.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a public awareness campaign to ensure New Yorkers know all the ways they can vote in November’s election, including voting early, voting absentee, or voting in person on Election Day. The governor issued an executive order requiring boards of elections develop a plan to allow a registered voter to drop off a completed absentee ballot at a board of elections, early voting location, or election day voting location, without requiring they wait in line with in-person voters, to help minimize delays during in-person voting and promote contactless voting.

Business support:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced the new Montana Working Capital program which builds off the Montana Loan Deferment program by allowing Montana businesses to take out a new loan to support economic recovery. The Montana Working Capital program will allow Montana businesses to take out a new loan to be used for payroll, employee benefits, lease or rent, inventory, utilities, and insurance. 

Business guidance:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order extending the previously enacted prohibition on the sale of alcohol by certain permittees that do not sell food through at least September 26, 2020, unless earlier modified or terminated.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed a modification to his state of emergency declaration formalizing the latest restrictions around bar service in Delaware beach communities and requires that businesses more strictly enforce face-covering requirements among their employees. 
  • MICHIGANGov. Gretchen WHITMER signed two executive orders reopening Michigan’s gyms and pools in those regions where they remain closed and allowing for organized sports practices and competitions to resume in those regions where they remain restricted, subject to strict protections meant to limit the spread of the virus.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced an administrative order that prohibits smoking in the indoor areas of any casino or casino simulcasting facility that are open to the public.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM issued a revised executive order amending occupancy limits for hotels. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced casinos and video lottery terminal facilities will be allowed to reopen starting today with a 25 percent occupancy limit.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced malls in New York City will be allowed to reopen starting today with a 50 percent occupancy limit. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that restaurants may increase indoor occupancy to 50 percent starting September 21.

Schools and students:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced a public-private partnership to expand access to broadband services for students for the upcoming school year. 
  • CONNECTICUTGov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order enabling the Commissioner of Education and Commissioner of Early Childhood, in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Health, to issue binding guidance, rules, or orders, including for the wearing of masks or face coverings, for the operation of schools or childcare settings that each deems necessary to respond to COVID-19.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that teachers, school staff, and childcare providers across the state have received access to their free COVID-19 saliva test, totaling more than 250,000 tests. The saliva tests are part of the Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year.
  • NEW MEXICO school children will eat for free through December under a decision announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Schools may continue serving free meals to all children through the end of the year or until funding runs out.
  • NEW MEXICO’s Public Education Department announced that school districts and charter schools in 25 New Mexico counties have been cleared to begin a hybrid model of learning that allows students from pre-K through fifth grade to come to school two days a week wearing face masks and staying at least 6 feet away from others.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of “The COVID-19 Report Card”, an online dashboard that tracks real-time COVID-19 infections and testing operations of every New York school and school district. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of a SUNY system-wide COVID-19 case tracker dashboard. The centralized dashboard will provide real-time, up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases, testing, and quarantine and isolation space availability across SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities to more efficiently monitor, respond to, and contain the virus.

Health care:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY toured COMCARE of Sedgwick County Children’s Services to discuss how the pandemic has impacted COMCARE and other Community Mental Health Centers, and how her administration can help local partners increase access to mental health services for Kansans.
  • KENTUCKYGov. Andy BESHEAR signed an executive order that extends previous orders allowing pharmacists to dispense 30-day refills. The current executive order was set to expire Sunday at midnight, the new order is effective for 30 days beginning September 6.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK and First Lady Kathy SISOLAK received their annual flu shots and urged Nevadans to do the same. 

Testing and tracing:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that the state will begin to release the names and locations of active outbreaks in Kansas.
  • NORTH CAROLINA’s Department of Health and Human Services launched the NC Medicaid Optional COVID-19 Testing program, which will reimburse Medicaid providers for costs associated with COVID-19 testing of people without insurance.

Worker support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced her administration’s grant application for FEMA’s Lost Wages Assistance program received federal approval and an award of $63 million to assist Kansans who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed legislation that appropriates $2.8 billion in supplemental funding from federal revenues awarded by FEMA to cover a temporary $300 per week enhanced federal payment for eligible Michiganders receiving unemployment benefits.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed two executive orders aimed at continuing to protect frontline workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, and long-term care facilities. One order continues to require stores to provide two hours a week of reserved shopping time for vulnerable populations, to protect consumers and employees at grocery stores and pharmacies. The second order will carry on protections for both staff and residents by requiring strong health and safety precautions such as testing, cleaning and disinfecting, PPE, and social distancing.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation requiring all public employers to create plans to adequately protect workers in the event of another state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease. The plans would apply to both the state and localities, including school districts. Plans must be submitted to unions and labor-management committees within 150 days, and plans need to be finalized on April 1, 2021.

Family support:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services will extend a partnership with HelloFresh, the world’s leading meal kit delivery company, to combat food insecurity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. HelloFresh will provide over 200,000 fresh meals to veterans, military families, and other residents in New York City who are experiencing food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The program builds on the successful Nourish New York initiative, a multi-agency effort to reduce food insecurity and support food producers during this unprecedented time. 

Child care:

  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced an additional $30 million of federal CARES Act dollars are being directed toward supporting early care and education providers. The additional funds will allow the Department of Children and Families to conduct an additional round of Child Care Counts payments.

Homeowner and renter support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the launch of the “Housing is Key” campaign aimed at connecting renters and landlords experiencing economic hardship due to COVID-19 with helpful information and resources. The campaign will be run by the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and kicks off with a new website and social media ads targeting vulnerable communities.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order providing relief to public utility customers to mitigate, respond to, and recover from the current economic disruption due to the presence of COVID-19. 
  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced the launch of the State of Hawai‘i Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program. This program provides assistance for Hawai‘i renters who have experienced a reduction in income because of unemployment or a reduction in work hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are at risk of eviction. Funded by Federal CARES Act appropriations, the program provides at-risk renters with assistance in making monthly rent as well as financial counseling.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR updated the state’s executive order on evictions to reflect the Center for Disease Control’s moratorium on residential evictions through December 31st.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the launch of the Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund website, teamkyhherf.ky.gov, where Kentuckians now can visit and apply for assistance. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed an executive order stopping New York City’s annual tax and water lien sale in an effort to protect homeowners as the COVID-19 public health crisis continues.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF called on the General Assembly to fix a state relief program to prevent many families from becoming homeless and enact a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until the end of the year. 

Travel restrictions:

  • CONNECTICUTNEW JERSEY, and NEW YORK’s regional travel advisory has been updated to now include Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, and West Virginia on the list of impacted locations. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been removed from the list.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM issued a revised executive order amending the mandatory quarantine for individuals arriving into the state of New Mexico, exempting travelers and residents arriving from states with lower COVID-positivity rates while retaining the quarantine requirement for those arriving from high-risk states. 

Relief funds:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced the sixth round of COVID Relief Fund which awarded 78 individual applications for a total of $1,778,050. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced today the launch of a $5 million COVID-19 Cultural Organization Grant Program aimed at assisting Wisconsin cultural organizations that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

State budgets:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER signed the Coronavirus Relief Act but said the state legislature should have gone further to protect North Carolinians. 

Public communications:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Department of Health and Human Services launched the “Whatever Your Reason” campaign, a new statewide public campaign to encourage every North Carolinian to wear a mask in our collective fight against COVID-19.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order extending consumer protections against price gouging through March 4, 2021.
  • COLORADOGov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order directing the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes concerning juvenile justice, regional centers, and behavioral health due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order renewing and extending all of the unexpired executive orders that were issued under the March 10, 2020, public health and civil preparedness emergency declarations through November 9, 2020, unless an order already has a specific expiration date, in which case the specific expiration date will remain in place.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed a modification to his state of emergency declaration, combining all active COVID-19 restrictions into a single order. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extension of 26 proclamations today in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The extensions were approved by the state Legislature.

Beyond COVID-19 

Wildfires:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an emergency proclamation for the counties of Fresno, Madera, and Mariposa due to the Creek Fire; for San Bernardino County due to the El Dorado Fire; and for San Diego County due to the Valley Fire. 
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK issued an executive order declaring a state of fire emergency due to extremely hazardous wildland fire conditions throughout Montana.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced that the state has secured Federal Management Assistance Grants from FEMA to assist with costs associated with fighting the Huff Fire burning in Garfield County, the Bobcat Fire burning in Musselshell and Yellowstone Counties, and the Snider and Rice Fires burning in Rosebud County. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN approved an emergency conflagration declaration for the Beachie Creek, Lionshead, and Holiday Farm Fire.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN approved an emergency conflagration declaration for the Almeda Fire in Jackson County, near the communities of Talent, Phoenix, and Medford.

Legal actions:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Great Falls Tuesday against the United States Postal Service and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for what he calls “unlawful actions that have directly harmed Montanans by impeding the flow of mail.” It appears Bullock is the first governor to attach his name to a lawsuit against DeJoy after several attorneys general filed suit against DeJoy in August.

Federal requests:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott are calling on President Donald Trump to reverse the re-imposition of a 10% tariff on imports of non-alloyed unwrought aluminum from Canada, citing the negative impact on manufacturers and supply chain businesses in northern New England.

Economic development:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced her strong push to land the new U.S. Space Command headquarters in Kansas. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR and executives from Wilde Brands Inc. announced plans for a $9.78 million, 50-job production and distribution facility in Clark County.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER and Huntington Bancshares Inc. announced a $5 billion, five-year lending, investment, and philanthropic commitment to help improve financial opportunities for Michigan businesses, consumers, and communities. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that the United States Golf Association plans to create a multi-building research and testing campus in the Village of Pinehurst.

Infrastructure:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY and the Department of Transportation commissioner announced that the Federal Highway Administration has awarded an additional $150 million of Federal funding to the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced five new projects that will expand high-speed internet access for residents in three rural counties.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced $18 million in public transit grants for Wisconsin communities.

Health care:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Illinois Department of Human Services announced that the state has received $36.7 million in federal funding to fight the opioid crisis. Funding expands prevention, treatment, recovery, and overdose response initiatives across the state.
  • NEW JERSEY’s Human Services commissioner and Health commissioner announced the state is sending 11,352 free doses of the opioid-overdose antidote naloxone to 179 Emergency Medical Services teams throughout New Jersey.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an emergency proclamation to free up additional energy capacity amid extreme temperatures across California.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced new academic collaborations with three State University of New York colleges that will help drive solutions to benefit local and statewide solid waste management and recycling. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE sent a letter directing the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to initiate a new rulemaking relating to wolf management.
  • WISCONSIN First Lady Kathy EVERS announced that “Women Who Inspire,” a program of the Committee to Celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of Wisconsin’s Ratification of the 19th Amendment, will highlight Vanaya Grice, Milwaukee, as the final feature on the Committee’s website.

Stay safe everyone, wear a mask, and wash your hands! See you on Friday!