April 24, 2020

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – April 24, 2020

Happy Friday, folks and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” We’re still here, we’re still reminding you what day of the week it is, 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.

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 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Want more examples? Send me an email and I can help you track down answers.

Stay at home orders:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that he will sign a modified version of the state’s stay at home order that will go into effect on May 1 and stay in place through May. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER extended his stay at home order through May 8th. 

Public health emergency orders:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM extended her public health emergency order until May 15th. 

Reopening efforts:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS outlined her vision for a gradual and safe reopening of Maine’s economy. Maine’s reopening will be driven first and foremost by public health considerations and guided by the following principles: protecting public health; maintaining health care readiness; building reliable and accessible testing; prioritizing public-private collaboration. Meanwhile, the Department of Economic and Community Development will solicit from representatives of industries and various sectors of Maine’s economy their ideas on how they can develop practical, reasonable, evidence-informed protocols that will allow them to safely resume operations or activities once the public health benchmarks are met.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ outlined next steps for the COVID-19 response in Minnesota to allow up to 100,000 workers to safely return to their jobs on Monday, April 27th. Prior to loosening restrictions for a given setting, businesses must: Create, share, and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that sets out the actions they are taking to ensure social distancing, worker hygiene, and facility cleaning and disinfection necessary to keep workers safe; Engage in health screening of employees and ensure that sick employees stay home; Continue to work from home whenever possible.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER unveiled additional details about his three-phase plan to reopen the state. In order to begin lifting restrictions, North Carolina needs to see progress in these key metrics: sustained leveling or decreased trajectory in COVID-like illness surveillance over 14 days; sustained leveling or decreased trajectory of lab-confirmed cases over 14 days; sustained leveling or decreased trajectory in percent of tests returning positive over 14 days; sustained leveling or decreased trajectory in hospitalizations over 14 days; increase in laboratory testing; increase in tracing capability; availability of PPE.

Public gatherings:

  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Natural Resources will reopen select state parks, recreation areas, fish and wildlife areas, and trails beginning May 1. Visitors to the reopened sites will be required to comply with social distancing guidelines and other COVID-19 best practices.

Business operations:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF’s administration issued guidance for all construction businesses and employees to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The construction industry is permitted to resume in-person operations starting Friday, May 1st.

Schools:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order extending the deadlines for local educational agencies to submit Local Control and Accountability Plans. Local educational agencies will publish a written report to their communities explaining how they are responding to COVID-19 and the steps they have taken to deliver high-quality distance learning opportunities, provide school meals in non-congregate settings, and arrange for supervision of students during ordinary school hours. They will also be required to explain the steps they have taken to meet the needs of low-income students, English learners, and foster youth. The order also waives required physical education minutes and annual physical fitness testing that requires on-site instruction. 
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced a new initiative by California and other states expanding eligibility for financial relief for students with commercially owned Federal Family Education Loan or privately held student loans.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ extended school closures through the end of the academic year.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO extended school closures through the end of the year. 

Health care:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order ensuring flexibility for the Department of Health Care Services and the Department of Social Services to continue providing mental health care services and programs.
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order temporarily suspending requirements for in-person signatures for people to obtain certain prescription drugs covered by Medi-Cal, and allowing for a 90-day extension for providers on cost reporting, change of scope of service and administrative hearings.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY issued a modification to his state of emergency declaration allowing the Public Health Authority to activate more out-of-state health care workers by allowing individuals who previously held a license to practice medicine in any United States jurisdiction, to provide health care services on a volunteer basis in Delaware.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that free drive-thru testing is now available by appointment to anyone who needs it in Louisville.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a new initiative to ramp up testing in African-American and Latino communities by using churches and places of worship in those communities as a network or possible testing sites. The governor also announced the expansion of diagnostic testing for residents of public housing in New York City.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM signed an executive order making it easier for Medicaid recipients to access medical care amid the current public health crisis by: eliminating copayments for individuals receiving coverage through the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security program; ensuring Medicaid members can obtain replacements for prosthetics, orthotics, and other durable medical equipment and supplies that are lost or damaged without requiring in-person verifications or paperwork; streamlining the process for admitting individuals to a nursing facility by suspending preadmission screening requirements; and allowing personal care, respite, and companion providers to work for up to 60 days, rather than the current 30 days, while background checks are conducted.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM extended the ban on elective medical procedures through May 1st.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS signed an emergency order relating to the operation of an alternative care facility at State Fair Park in West Allis. 

PPE / medical supplies:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order waiving requirements for signed delivery receipt from a Medicaid member for medical equipment, devices, and supplies. 

Worker support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provides an additional $600 weekly payment for unemployment insurance claimants, went live in the state. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced a temporary, $2-per-hour pay raise for direct care workers providing Medicaid-funded in-home behavioral health and long-term care services during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Family support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order to allow the granting of fair hearings to continue for California Children’s Services on grievances and appeals to take place by phone or video conference. 
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order exempting garnishment for any individuals receiving federal, state or local government financial assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including recovery rebates under the CARES Act. 

Child care:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York will provide child care scholarships to essential workers through federal CARES funding. Essential workers include first responders such as health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others who are needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that CARES funding will be used to purchase supplies for child care providers statewide who remain open, including masks, gloves, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula and food. Child care resource and referral agencies will receive grants totaling approximately $600 per provider.

Response task forces:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced the members who will serve on the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group – the panel of local health, business, workforce, and education experts organized by AdvanceCT that will consult with his administration and legislative leadership on the reopening of Connecticut’s economy and education system.

Public communication:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced a statewide public engagement strategy focused on Delaware’s economic reopening and recovery effort through a series of virtual Recovery Town Halls hosted by the Delaware Division of Small Business and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. 
  • NEW JERSEY’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness is leading the state’s efforts to combat COVID-19 disinformation, rumors, and scams that may impact residents and businesses throughout the state and provide the public with guidance regarding false and fraudulent information and activity stemming from the pandemic. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN launched a new phase of the state’s public awareness campaign to educate Oregonians about COVID-19. Safe + Strong focuses on community-centered outreach in 12 languages to connect people who are most at-risk of experiencing health disparities with the information, tools and resources they need to stay safe, healthy, and strong during the pandemic.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order granting a 60-day extension for customers on several DMV deadlines, including for recently expired drivers’ licenses and identification cards, as well as suspends late fees from being applied to expired vehicle registrations.
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order temporarily allowing retailers, particularly grocery stores, to provide bags to consumers without charge, and to pause redemption of beverage containers in-store. The order also allows certain posting, filing and notice requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act to be satisfied through electronic means.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order authorizing certain state agencies to promulgate and issue emergency rules extending the expiration date for certain licenses and other documents.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS amended and extended an executive order suspending certain statutes concerning criminal justice to provide the Colorado Department of Corrections with discretion to combat the spread of COVID-19 in state prisons.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order requiring all nursing homes and managed residential communities, including assisted living facilities, to provide daily status reports to the state using the existing Connecticut Hospital and Long-Term Care Mutual Aid Plan.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order waiving certain Medicaid prior authorization requirements and waiving Medicaid bed reservation requirements for residents who are on leave from intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the State Department of Health is partnering with Attorney General Letitia James to investigate nursing homes who violate executive orders requiring facilities to communicate COVID-19 test results and deaths to residents’ families.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a new directive requiring nursing homes to immediately report to the Department of Health the actions they have taken to comply with all DOH and CDC laws, regulations, directives and guidance.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM extended the closure of the DMV through May 11th and directed State Police to continue suspending the enforcement of motor vehicle inspections and take several additional measures through July 31.

Friday feelgood:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK and WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE revealed the masters behind their stylish haircuts.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!