June 26, 2020

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – June 26, 2020

Happy Friday, folks. Welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck!”  We’re still here and we still hope you are all safe and healthy, but we are no longer daily (at least for right now). Instead, this newsletter will be going out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

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. Want more examples? Send me an email and I can help you track down answers.

COVID-19 response:

Federal response:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS issued a statement on the president’s Memorandum on the United States Lobster Industry, saying she is “pleased the President is beginning to recognize the harm his Administration’s policies have caused and now wants to take steps to rectify them.”

Regional efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONTNEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY, and NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a joint incoming travel advisory that all individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 self-quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. 

Reopening efforts:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced he is delaying the state’s transition into Phase 3 of the re-opening of the economy.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that every region of the state meets the health benchmarks to advance into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS formally extended Phase Two of reopening in Louisiana for another 28 days, as new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase across the state. The new order leaves in place occupancy and other restrictions of the previous Phase Two order and adds a crowd size limit of 250 to indoor gatherings.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced that the state’s business restrictions – allowing restaurants and salons, for example, to operate at partial capacity – will remain in place for now. They are set to expire on Wednesday.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, and the Southern Tier have been cleared to enter Phase 4 of reopening.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed amended green phase orders for the 12 counties moving to green starting today. With these orders effective there will be 66 counties in green and one county in yellow.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE sent a memo to local government officials explaining the state’s Safe Start Reopening Guide. The memo comes after the release of the guide for state agencies. The governor encouraged local governments to use the guidance as a resource as they work to develop their own Safe Start plans for reopening. 

Public gatherings:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that in Phase 4 of reopening, social gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed and indoor religious gatherings will be allowed at up to 33 percent of the indoor site’s capacity.

Face-coverings:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK issued a mandatory face-covering policy for all Nevadans and visitors.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that seven counties in Oregon are now under her face masks mandate until further notice. The order applies to everyone entering inside wherever the public is welcome.

Elections: 

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY issued a statement in support of the passage of legislation through the Delaware General Assembly that will expand vote-by-mail.

Business guidance:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE has approved the Honolulu mayor’s proposal to allow singing and/or playing of wind instruments at indoor and outdoor restaurants/bars, with some restrictions.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS released additional COVID-19 Prevention Checklists for businesses and activities to voluntarily resume on July 1 as part of Stage 3 of the Administration’s Restarting Maine’s Economy Plan.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order which sets guidelines for the safe return of professional sports, without a live audience. The order follows Major League Baseball’s announcement that a shortened 60-game season would begin on July 24 with players reporting for spring training at their home ballparks by July 1. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced his plan for indoor and boardwalk arcades, museums, aquariums, bowling alleys, shooting ranges, and libraries to reopen on July 2nd.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the state will delay plans to reopen shopping malls, gyms, and movie theaters.

Schools/students:

  • CALIFORNIA announced a new collaborative online campaign, “Advance SEL in California,” to engage educators, school leaders, and families in a wider conversation about how to advance, elevate, and spur action on Social and Emotional Learning. The initiative will first gather large-scale input through a forum called WikiWisdom, a virtual resource where educators, school leaders, and families can collaborate, interact with peers, and share best SEL practices to support students dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and over the long term. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced details of the framework to allow all students – in all school districts statewide – the opportunity to have access to in-school, full-time instruction at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, as long as public health data continues to support this model.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY joined a zoom call with Kansas teachers, Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers, and Representative Cindy Holscher to discuss ways to improve education access and continuous learning during COVID-19.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR released initial guidance for Kentucky schools looking ahead to opening this coming autumn. The interim “Guidance on Safety Expectations and Best Practices for Kentucky Schools” covers kindergarten through 12th-grade instruction in the commonwealth.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE unveiled the guidance for reopening in-person instruction at higher education institutions in the fall. 

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order allowing voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures to proceed under certain conditions.

Worker support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced a new customer service hotline and email for Kansans who have been affected by the recent duplicate payments. 

Family support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that the United States Department of Agriculture approved the Department for Children and Families’ proposal to offer Kansas food assistance recipients the option of purchasing groceries online using a Kansas Benefits Card.

Child care/summer programs:

  • CALIFORNIA First Partner Jennifer Siebel NEWSOM and Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday invite students, teens, and young adults across the state to join the #CaliforniansForAll Summer of Service. The initiative allows young Californians the opportunity to support organizations providing essential services and to receive recognition from the First Partner and California Volunteers, Office of the Governor for their commitment.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order authorizing the commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood to modify the enhanced health procedures required in child care facilities and day camps in order to permit the safe provision of adequate child care services while protecting children, staff, and their families.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced additional benefits within the Hero Relief Program to continue to support child care providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homeowner/renter support:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK signed an emergency directive that will gradually lift the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. He also strongly urged landlords and tenants to work together and collaborate on repayment plans. The directive lifts the moratorium in phases by allowing residential evictions and foreclosures to resume in full on September 1 for non-payment of rents and no-cause evictions. Late fees or penalties for non-payment of rent or mortgage payments may not be charged retroactively.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced that the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office is working on coordinating a statewide rental assistance program to help residential and commercial tenants, with the goal of having the residential program up and running by mid-July and the commercial program shortly thereafter. The program will be funded with $50 million of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds, with $30 million earmarked for residential rental assistance and $20 million set aside for the commercial rental relief program.
  • OREGON is distributing $70 million to help Oregonians with rental relief and energy assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that with the moratorium for eviction coming to a close on June 28th, he has asked Circuit Court judges to extend this date. He announced the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program to help struggling families cover rent and mortgage payments during the pandemic, which will launch on June 29th.

Relief funds:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued a proclamation of a budget emergency to make additional resources available to fund the state’s ongoing emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the availability of funding for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and other expenditures as necessary to support a potential hospital surge and provide necessary services to vulnerable populations.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced her administration is dedicating $35 million of Maine’s $1.25 billion in Coronavirus Relief Funding provided through the CARES Act to help local and tribal governments and other qualified entities cover costs incurred as a result of COVID-19.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced a plan to distribute $853 million in relief to communities across the state impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the availability of $20 million in CARES Act grant funding for cultural organizations and museums to offset lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown order.

State budgets:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY issued a statement thanking the General Assembly for their hard work and passage of the Fiscal Year 2021 operating budget.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY praised the State Finance Council’s approval of a $900 million loan today. The governor had called the meeting of the Council in response to Republican members delaying a vote that the governor said “could jeopardize the state’s economic health and the paychecks of thousands of state employees and teachers.”
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO signed a supplemental budget and other bills into law on Wednesday afternoon. The supplemental budget closed a $250 million funding gap.

Public communication:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM released tools, technology, and data that will allow scientists, researchers, technologists, and all Californians to better understand the impact of COVID-19. This includes the California COVID Assessment Tool, or CalCAT, a “model of models” that contains assessments of the spread of COVID-19, short-term forecasts of disease trends, and scenarios of the course of the disease from modeling groups across the country. The state is also making the source code of CalCAT available to the public. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS released new PSAs urging the people of Louisiana to remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families as the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the state. The First Lady also released a PSA encouraging parents to set good examples for children. 

Volunteer efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced the launch of ConnectiCorps, a new community service program set to launch in August that will help address the growing demand for essential services provided by Connecticut’s nonprofits in the areas of food security, housing, and anti-poverty assistance. It will offer an opportunity for high-impact service in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and will provide a modest income and a stipend for higher-education costs for young adults in Connecticut.

Inter-state travel:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced that all travelers arriving in Hawai‘i from out-of-state will be required to get a valid COVID-19 test prior to their arrival, and to show proof of a negative test result, to avoid the 14-day quarantine. The pre-travel testing program begins Aug. 1.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS released guidance to allow outdoor visitation at residential care facilities in order to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that clarifies the authority granted to allow boards of assessment appeals to extend deadlines to file tax assessment appeals to ensure that grand lists are completed on time, modifies regulations in order to extend by 180 days the date by which examinations for fire service personnel must be completed, and modifies regulations in order to waive for six months the requirement that customers appear in person to obtain a duplicate license or identification.
  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE deferred a scheduled three-percent tariff increase that would have been applied to port entry fees, vessel dockage, wharfage, pipeline tolls, and other fees associated with cargo and passenger operations at the state’s commercial harbors.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order extending a previous order that temporarily allows for e-signatures on official documents and remote notarization.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order which continues to allow certain state administrative hearings to be held by video conference or phone in place of in-person hearings. 
  • MONTANA’s Law and Justice Interim Committee will meet on June 30th to hear an update on the Department of Corrections’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that she will commute the sentences of 57 medically vulnerable adults in custody, due to their risk for significant health challenges should they contract COVID-19. This decision comes following the governor’s direction to the Oregon Department of Corrections to perform a case-by-case analysis of adults in custody vulnerable to COVID-19.

Beyond COVID-19 

Federal requests:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS sent a letter urging U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to deny a petition by Pew Charitable Trusts that would prohibit the use of vertical lines in the American lobster and Jonah crab fisheries in four areas of the New England coast.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF and a bipartisan coalition of 11 governors sent a letter urging the president and congressional leaders to make critical investments to ensure that all Americans have access to broadband internet connectivity, which they say is critical infrastructure that’s vitally important to our economic future and national security.

Law enforcement:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed an executive order banning the use of chokeholds by State of Delaware law enforcement agencies, including Delaware State Police and Capitol Police; increasing community engagement; requiring additional de-escalation and implicit bias training; and increasing the availability of crisis intervention services for law enforcement officers.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS  on Wednesday authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to support local law enforcement in Dane County in response to civil unrest in Madison. 

Racial justice:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order designating Phil Weiser, Attorney General of Colorado, as the State’s prosecutor, to investigate and, if the facts support prosecution, criminally prosecute any individuals whose actions caused the death of Elijah McClain.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order establishing the Governor’s Commission on Racial Equity and Justice. The Commission is tasked with studying issues of racial equity and justice in Kansas and will begin its work focusing on law enforcement-community relations.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced that she will dedicate $50,000 in funding from the Governor’s Contingent Account to support the work of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Maine Tribal Populations. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the Franklin Avenue and President Street Stations in Brooklyn will be formally renamed after Medgar Evers College. The new stations, Franklin Avenue-Medgar Evers College and President Street-Medgar Evers College will honor the historic contributions of the historically black CUNY college to the Brooklyn communities it serves and stand as a living tribute to Medgar Evers, the civil rights icon whose name the college proudly carries.

Criminal justice reform:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER signed a bill into law that will expand eligibility for expunging nonviolent criminal convictions after a waiting period and automates expungement of certain dismissed or “not guilty” charges. 

Elections:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order moving up the deadline by which presidential candidates need to request that their name be removed from the ballot for the August 11 primary, and moves up the date for the secretary of the state to choose by lottery the order of names on the presidential primary ballot. 

Business support:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB Pritzker announced the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved the state’s request for federal assistance to help businesses damaged during civil unrest in several northern Illinois counties. 

Economic development:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that Tuthill Corporation will open a new manufacturing site for Fill-Rite pumps and products in Lenexa.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced Porter Road Butcher Meat Co. LLC, a meat processor based in Princeton, plans to relocate and expand within Caldwell County with a more than $1.5 million investment expected to create 83 full-time jobs.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that Etheredge Industrial Services is creating a new machine maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility near Lake Charles. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Metalworx, Inc. will invest $7.6 million to relocate its headquarters and manufacturing functions from South Carolina to the former Core Fitness Complex in Grayson County. Virginia.

Environment:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER issued a statement applauding the Ingham County Circuit Court’s decision to grant Attorney General Dana Nessel’s motion for a temporary restraining order requiring Enbridge Energy to cease all transport operations of its Line 5.

Infrastructure:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the state’s largest-ever broadband expansion initiative. The $50 million in Connect Illinois grants will go to 28 projects across every region of the state. The $50 million in state grants will be matched by $65 million in nonstate funding for a total of $115 million, with plans to expand access for more than 26,000 homes, businesses, farms, and community institutions across Illinois.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed a bill into law that would expand an individual’s ability to practice an occupation in Colorado through the creation of an occupational credential portability program.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the Women’s Corporate Leadership Academy is now accepting applications for its first inaugural class this fall. The Academy will be a part of SUNY Empire State College, where its programs were developed by faculty and staff. The mission of the Women’s Corporate Leadership Academy is to prepare women for executive and board positions and to work with organizations across New York State to improve their gender representation. The governor first proposed the creation of the Academy in his 2020 State of the State agenda.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands! See you on Monday!