June 3, 2020

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – June 3, 2020

Happy Wednesday, folks and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” We’re still here and we’re still daily. We hope you are all still safe and healthy.

Guess what?! Today is the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Govs on Deck! I’d like to take this moment to thank the academy, the cast and crew… But seriously, we launched this newsletter to encourage more gov content in national news. What has happened over the last year, and particularly these last few months, has made this resource feel even more critical than we ever could have imagined. I hope everyone who reads it feels similarly. Now, if you need me, I will be popping bottles in my apartment.

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.

Federal responses: 

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER called on the federal government to help states like Michigan ensure and promote widespread testing for COVID-19 in testimony delivered remotely before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The governor also highlighted the aggressive action Michigan has taken in the fight against COVID-19, including the state’s efforts to secure personal protective equipment for frontline workers, expand testing capacity and eligibility, and address health disparities in communities of color.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER publicly shared a letter responding to RNC officials in regard to the convention scheduled in Charlotte for August. 

Public emergencies:

  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO extended the public health emergency to June 29th. 

Reopening efforts:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced that Phase 2 of Delaware’s economic reopening will begin on Monday, June 15. Retail establishments, restaurants, and other businesses that were permitted to open at 30 percent of stated fire capacity in Phase 1 may expand to 60 percent of stated fire occupancy in Phase 2.  
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the Capital Region has been cleared to begin phase two of reopening. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced Western New York is entering phase two of reopening. New York City is still on track to enter phase one of reopening on June 8th.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed an executive order allowing low-risk, outdoor recreational activities and businesses providing such activities to open in regions that have met the public health and safety metrics required for phase one.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM presented the second phase of the “Forward Virginia” plan to continue safely and gradually easing public health restrictions while containing the spread of COVID-19. The governor also amended a previous order directing Northern Virginia and the City of Richmond to remain in Phase One. Most of Virginia is expected to enter Phase Two on Friday.

Public gatherings: 

  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order limiting all social gatherings to no more than 25 people. 
  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order reopening all public parks and beaches.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that, under Phase 2,  the maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase from 10 to 50 people.

Business guidance:

  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order allowing businesses and places of worship to resume operations provided it does so at no more than 50 percent occupancy or up to ten people.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER signed legislation allowing for the sale of cocktails by bars and restaurants with liquor licenses for pickup and delivery. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order allowing bars and restaurants to expand outdoor dining to Trunk Highway right-of-way space, where commercial activity is normally restricted. This action will help provide flexibility for businesses without existing outdoor dining space and help improve public health by allowing more space for distancing in outdoor dining.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that under Phase 2,  restaurant and beverage establishments may offer indoor dining at 50 percent occupancy, fitness centers may open indoor areas at 30 percent occupancy, and certain recreation and entertainment venues without shared equipment may open with restrictions. These venues include museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and outdoor concert, sporting, and performing arts venues. Swimming pools may also expand operations to both indoor and outdoor exercise, diving, and swim instruction.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued guidance for library operations, including plans to resume service through the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, in Phase 1 and Phase 2, and drive-in theater operations for Phase 2.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued guidance further clarifying requirements for the agricultural industry. 

Business support:

  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order launching the Guam Small Business Pandemic Assistance Grant Program.

Schools/students:

  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order continuing the closure of all K-12 schools through the end of the public health emergency.

Health care:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state has received approval from FEMA to provide crisis counseling to those who have been impacted by COVID-19.  

Testing and tracing:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state is partnering in a statewide project to quantify the spread of COVID-19 within the state by conducting a seroprevalence study of 1,400 randomized, representative Connecticut residents. The project will identify, through blood samples, people who have developed antibodies to COVID-19, a sign of prior infection. 

PPE and medical supplies:

  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order addressing the critical shortage of PPE. The order allows the Guam Department of Health and Human Services to develop and adopt temporary guidance related to the distribution, importation, and sale of specific PPE.  
  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order requiring masks to be worn at all times outside of exercise or eating and drinking.

Worker support:

  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order launching pandemic unemployment assistance and federal pandemic unemployment compensation programs. The order suspends certain unemployment benefit requirements including the work search requirement.  

Family support:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state is partnering with philanthropic organizations in an effort to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable residents in the state and are otherwise ineligible from receiving assistance through federal pandemic relief programs, including those from within the undocumented community. This includes $2.5 million in state funding that will be made available to provide rental assistance to those who are ineligible for similar aid by the CARES Act. Additionally, the philanthropic organization 4-CT, which was created with the express purpose of providing emergency assistance to the state’s residents during the current pandemic, will be making $1 million available to Connecticut families who are excluded from existing federal relief programs. These funds will be made available through a novel solution – the 4-CT Card – which will provide direct, one-time payments to families. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services announced they have ordered all auto insurers in Michigan to issue refunds or premium waivers to consumers as a result of the coronavirus.

Homeowner/renter support:

  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order placing a moratorium on all evictions and foreclosures until the end of the public health emergency.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK extends emergency directive placing a moratorium on evictions through June 30th.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE extended protections for renters today as COVID-19 continues to impact the finances of Washingtonians statewide. The proclamation extends the prior eviction moratorium for 60 days (through August 1), and makes modifications to the prior moratorium.

Child care/summer camps:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order modifying the number of children that a child care program can serve during the civil preparedness and public health emergency from 30 to 50 without needing to obtain approval from the Office of Early Childhood. Any facility caring for more than 50 children will need to obtain approval. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced that under Phase 2 of Delaware’s economic reopening, child care facilities will be allowed to open for all Delaware families with restrictions on group sizes and additional social distancing and cleaning protocols.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that summer day camps statewide can open on June 29th. The state will make a decision on sleep-away camps in the coming weeks.

Task forces/response teams:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the Corporation for National and Community Service will mobilize more than 800 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members to support the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 response. The national service members will conduct contact tracing and other work important to helping Colorado reopen and getting people back to work. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY’s Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce Executive Committee reviewed and approved a proposal to distribute $400 million to local governments to help address the health and economic challenges inflicted by COVID-19. This is the first action of the SPARK Taskforce, which is charged with distributing over a billion dollars in federal funds Kansas received under the CARES Act.

Relief funds:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the award of nearly $9 million in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response Supplement funds to 66 Kansas communities. Grants were available in two categories – Economic Development and Meal Programs. Economic Development grants provide communities with funding to help local businesses retain jobs for low-to-moderate-income people by covering working capital expenses such as inventory, wages, and utilities. Meal Program grants can be directed toward organizations such as Meals on Wheels, local food banks or to support organizations providing meals for children affected by the loss of school meal programs.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced support for a bipartisan agreement to advance the economic recovery of the state and indicated that she will sign the legislation. The governor vetoed a previous version. 

Inter-state travel:

  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order requiring anyone entering Guam to be able to prove they have been tested for COVID19 within the last week and are negative. Anyone who cannot prove this must be quarantined upon arrival.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!