April 1, 2020

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – April 1, 2020

Good Wednesday afternoon, happy April (finally?), and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” We’re still here, we’re still daily, and we hope you are all safe and healthy.

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.

A different sort of week:

Because of the quickly evolving situation, we are changing this newsletter to become a daily roundup of how our states are responding to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Every day this week, we will send an overview of the actions our governors have taken the day before. We want this to be helpful, so let me 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.

Stay home orders:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER extended his stay at home order through the end of April. 
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS issued a stay at home order through the end of April.  
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK issued a stay at home order that will last through April 30th.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF extended his stay-at-home order to cover the entire state.

Federal requests:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS urged the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security requesting automatic extensions of work authorizations for all DACA recipients whose grants expire in 2020. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER’s request for use of Michigan National Guard for humanitarian purposes was approved by President Trump. 

Presidential Major Disaster Declaration:

  • PENNSYLVANIA announced that its request for a statewide Major Disaster Declaration was approved by President Trump.   
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS requested that the president issue a major disaster declaration for the state. 

Public gatherings:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order giving the commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection the authorization to ban visitors from entering state parks and other lands under the agency’s control after the property has reached a capacity adequate to supporting implementation of social distancing policies.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS issued a proclamation making clear that funeral services can and should be conducted as expeditiously as possible and that the 10-person limit applies for those services.
  • RHODE ISLAND Department of Environmental Management announced the temporary closure of Rhode Island state parks and beaches starting April 3rd. 

Business operations:

  • NEW JERSEY’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development is urging employers to keep employees on the payroll throughout the pandemic and to take advantage of a 100 percent, dollar for dollar, payroll tax credit provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 
  • RHODE ISLAND’s Superior Court will start a business protection program. Under the Business Recovery Plan, the court will supervise and provide protections for Rhode Island businesses so they can remain operational, access new working capital and pay debts. 

Schools:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order requiring the continuation of payment for public school staff, including reemployment if staff has been laid off.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order requiring the continuation of funding for boards of education and the preservation of student transportation services and special education providers.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER expanded the closure of K-12 schools through the end of April. 
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ stay at home order extends school closures through May 1st.
  • MONTANA received federal waivers to cancel state and federal testing, accountability, and reporting requirements.

Health care:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed an executive order easing restrictions on nurses who live out of state and making it quicker to obtain a license. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS issued a proclamation that eases medical licensure laws to make it easier for healthcare professionals out of state to come to Louisiana to practice.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order extending recertification dates for current medical cannabis patient enrollments set to expire over the next several months; allows any patient to request a temporary caregiver so they are able to send someone to pick up medication on their behalf; and allows medical cannabis patients to practice social distancing with curbside delivery and telephone pharmacist consultations.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK issued a directive allowing hospitals and related facilities to receive financing to remain open and acquire the supplies needed to respond to COVID-19. The directive will allow health care, medical, and related facilities to receive financing under the Montana Facility Finance Authority Act for operating expenses connected to COVID-19. The Directive will allow facilities to receive immediate financial support to continue operating during the emergency.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a new hospital network Central Coordinating Team that will help facilitate a more coordinated and strategic approach among the state’s healthcare system.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of an online portal that will help connect hospitals and healthcare facilities across the state with the nearly 80,000 healthcare workers who have volunteered to work on a temporary basis.
  • OREGON announced it expects a shipment of personal protective equipment today from FEMA. Oregon COVID Response Team will ensure delivery to all 36 counties and 9 tribes.
  • RHODE ISLAND announced guidance that all healthcare workers in all hospitals and nursing homes (as well as home health workers) should be wearing masks at all times when engaged in direct patient care. 
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO is asking trained medical and behavioral health professionals not currently working full time to sign up as volunteers at www.RIresponds.org.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced the State of Wisconsin Emergency Operations Center is opening two state-run voluntary isolation facilities in Madison and Milwaukee and is providing guidance to local communities throughout Wisconsin. 

Worker support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order ensuring that Kansas can draw down millions in federal dollars under the federal CARES Act to support unemployed workers during this crisis. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced that the state tax filing deadline will be extended to July 15th. 

Homeowner / renter relief:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that his administration has reached an agreement with over 50 credit unions and banks in Connecticut to offer mortgage relief to the state’s residents and businesses. The agreement includes a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments, relief from fees and charges, no new foreclosures, and no negative impact on credit scores for accessing relief. 
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK issued a directive prohibiting landlords from terminating a lease or refusing to renew or extend the terms of the current lease agreement; prohibiting late fees and other penalties due to late or nonpayment; prohibiting rent increases no previously agreed upon; prohibiting landlords from seeking damages in court; stopping the involuntary sales of homes, foreclosures, liens placed on residential properties or late fees charged due to inability to pay mortgage payments on time. 
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK signed a directive prohibiting the suspension of utilities during the emergency, including electricity, gas, sewage disposal, water, telephone, or internet services, and prohibiting late fees for bills due.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK signed a directive requiring public housing authorities to extend deadlines for housing assistance recipients and requiring the Commissioner of Banking, along with the Montana Department of Commerce, to identify tools that could be used to bring Montanans relief from the threat of residential foreclosure, and to promote housing stability.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER signed an executive order prohibiting utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic. The order applies to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the state is taking steps to assist distressed Washington homeowners who are unable to make their mortgage payments due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions.

Response funds / volunteer efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced the creation of a charitable organization to raise new support for the state’s nonprofit organizations that are serving those impacted by the pandemic. 

Response funding:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK has set a Board of Examiners meeting for today to approve $6.25 million from the Disaster Relief Fund to purchase supplies to fight the coronavirus. 

PSA campaigns:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the “Stay Home. Save Lives. Check In.” campaign urging all Californians to check in on their older neighbors with a call, text or physically-distanced door knock to make sure they’re ok. In addition, the state is urging local non-profits and faith-based organizations to call to check in on all of the older Californians in their networks.

Inter-state travel restrictions:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK issued a travel advisory for the State of Nevada, urging visitors or returning Nevadans to self-quarantine and monitor their health for 14 days after arriving or returning to Nevada.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced a statewide hotline in coordination with the non-profit local 2-1-1 systems, so that Californians have a one-stop shop to answer their questions and get assistance during this crisis. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed an executive order allowing critical workforce sectors to rehire previously retired workers to fill key roles like law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical service personnel, park rangers and corrections officers.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order placing a temporary restriction on non-essential veterinary procedures.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order extending the licenses of peace officers, firefighters, and private security personnel and defers continuing education requirements for peace officer licenses that are set to expire soon.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO directed One World Trade Center to be lit red, white, and blue in recognition of the ongoing national effort to combat COVID-19. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE signed a proclamation waiving the post-retirement statutory work limitations for PERS, LEOFF, and PSERS to allow experienced employees to return to work for essential jobs, including in medical, public health, law enforcement and other critical positions. It also allows experienced employees in essential positions who are nearing retirement to remain in their positions.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. EVERS issued an emergency order suspending several administrative rules for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 while maintaining critical services the agency provides.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!