February 22, 2021

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – February 22, 2021

We’ve got a dreary Monday here in D.C., but at least there is a bright spot – today’s 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@SamNewton, 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:

Emergency declarations:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed the much-needed fourth renewal of his 90-day Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Vaccine distribution:

  • HAWAII will soon open COVID-19 vaccinations to those 70 and older. Currently, kūpuna 75 and older are eligible to get vaccinated.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced additional efforts to expand access to community-based vaccination sites at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and York College in Queens being established through a partnership with FEMA. 

Elections:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed legislation requiring county elections officials to mail ballots to every active, registered voter for elections that are held or declared in 2021.

Schools and students:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced “The Road Forward,” a series of coordinated policy initiatives that dramatically expand the Administration’s efforts to identify and address the academic and mental health impacts of COVID-19 on New Jersey students and educators. As part of this initiative, $1.2 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds will be made available to districts, including grants dedicated specifically to research-based instructional and mental health interventions. Additionally, the governor is seeking public comment and will submit a request to the U.S. Department of Education to waive federal requirements to administer statewide assessments this spring.  
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO released updated guidance for infection rates and testing protocols on college campuses. 

Relief packages:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM applauded the legislative passage of House Bill 11, a priority for economic relief that will now head to her desk for signature. The bill provides $200 million in grants to support New Mexico businesses to ease the hiring or rehiring of employees. Each business may qualify for up to $100,000 to be distributed in four quarterly payments.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE signed legislation that appropriates $2.2 billion in federal funding that has been allocated to states in response to the ongoing COVID emergency. The legislation takes effect immediately.

Other efforts:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order temporarily suspending certain regulations regarding tuberculosis testing. COVID-19 vaccines may interfere with the accuracy of tuberculosis testing. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF’s  Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs condemns the recent attacks on Asian Pacific Americans across the nation and calls for all Pennsylvanians to stand up against anti-Asian hate and racism in all forms.

Beyond COVID-19 

Severe weather:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take all necessary and possible steps to investigate the causes of the system failures during the recent extreme-weather event in Kansas and protect Kansans from natural gas and electricity price surges resulting from increased demand.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order declaring a state of energy emergency in Michigan to ensure adequate propane distribution over the coming days.  

Renewable energy:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK applauded California Public Utilities Commission’s action identifying additional renewable energy resources in southern Nevada to help it achieve its climate goals is a critical milestone in our regional approach to combating climate change. The move will also encourage economic growth and create much needed, well-paying job opportunities in both states. 

Economic development:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF unveiled his “Back to Work PA” plan, a plan to help bolster economic recovery efforts and position Pennsylvania for economic growth in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that power management company Eaton will invest $3.6 million to move production to its facility at 4200 Oakley Court in Henrico County. This investment will create 80 new jobs through the expansion of production capabilities and the addition of new lines for electrical component manufacturing.

Other efforts:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the New York State Department of Health is now accepting applications from businesses seeking to operate as cannabinoid hemp processors, retailers, or distributors.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced he is advancing legislation to strengthen the State’s enforcement of utilities to address systematic failures to prepare for and respond to extreme weather events, including the unacceptable performance of several electric and telecom providers during Tropical Storm Isaias last year. 

Things you learn doing this newsletter:

  • There are no native snakes found in HAWAII and it’s illegal to own them as pets on the island. Iguanas too. 

Stay safe, wear a mask, and wash your hands. See you all on Wednesday!