June 4, 2020

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – June 4, 2020

Good Thursday afternoon, everyone 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.

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’s request to extend the use of Michigan’ National Guard to combat COVID-19 has been approved by President Trump.

Emergency declarations:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF renewed his COVID-19 disaster declaration.

Stay at home orders:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that he would allow the amended stay-at-home order to expire at midnight tonight. The-stay at-home requirements were only in effect for counties in the red phase.

Reopening efforts:

  • HAWAII’s Department of Land and Natural Resources has relaxed the emergency restrictions imposed for commercial and recreational boating and ocean recreation. Commercial and recreational boating can now include up to ten people on a vessel at one time. Commercial water sports operators, like surf schools and kayak rental companies, can also resume operations with the same restrictions – a limit of 10 people including crew or staff.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced details about Phase 2 of reopening, under her framework for building a safe and strong Oregon. There are 31 counties that can apply now to enter Phase 2 on Friday, June 5th.

Elections:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order to ensure that Californians can exercise their right to vote in a safe, secure, and accessible manner during the upcoming general election. The order ensures in-person voting opportunities are available in sufficient numbers to maintain physical distancing and requires counties that are unable to comply with current law to provide three days of early voting. It also requires ballot drop-box locations be available between October 6 and November 3, while also allowing counties to consolidate voting locations, with at least one voting location per 10,000 registered voters.

Business guidance:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order permitting outdoor dining starting on Monday, June 15th, with an accompanying executive directive from the New Jersey Department of Health that lays out health and safety standards that food or beverage establishments are required to follow. Additionally, a special ruling by the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control will temporarily permit establishments with liquor licenses to expand their licensed premises into outdoor areas that are either contiguous or non-contiguous to their permanently licensed premises.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced outdoor dining at restaurants will be permitted in phase two of reopening. Restaurants in the seven regions that have already entered phase two can reopen for outdoor dining beginning today. Outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated.

Business support:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS and the secretary of the Louisiana Economic Development announced an e-commerce initiative to empower the online performance of Louisiana’s small businesses. The goal of LASmallBizOnline.com – with support from Shopify, a leading global commerce company – is making Louisiana firms more competitive during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools/students:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that school districts will be permitted to hold in-person graduation ceremonies beginning July 6th, following certain guidelines, including a requirement that they are held outdoors, limited to a maximum of 150 people in attendance (including graduates), and proper social distancing protocols must be followed.
  • CONNECTICUT’s State Department of Education has released guidance to every school superintendent in the state detailing rules for operating in-person summer school programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rules state that in-person summer school programs can begin on July 6th, provided that locations comply with certain requirements and that health and safety plans are reviewed with the district’s local director of public health and school medical advisor, if applicable.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced a group of 25 leaders in health care and education to serve on the COVID-19 Return to Learn advisory council. The group of experts includes educators, parents, and students who will work closely with the governor as she continues to put the health and safety of our students and educators first.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN will address all of Oregon’s 2020 graduating students in a virtual commencement speech on June 14. The commencement address, titled “Celebrating the Class of 2020,” will broadcast on Oregon Public Broadcasting Radio and OPB TV.

Health care:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced she will be rescinding an executive order which provided temporary enhancements to the operational capacity and efficiency of health care facilities, effective immediately.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced she will be rescinding an executive order which provided temporary relief from certain restrictions and requirements governing the provision of emergency and medical services.
  • MICHIGAN’s Department of Health and Human Services issued an epidemic order allowing expanded visitation in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and doctor’s offices.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced a series of recommendations and actions from Manatt Health’s rapid review of New Jersey’s long-term care facilities to address systemic challenges in long-term care and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and reduce impacts of future outbreaks. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that Erie County is now eligible to resume elective surgeries and ambulatory care.

Testing and tracing:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the Department of Health reached its testing goals in May with more than 283,000 COVID-19 diagnostic test results reported to the department. The department achieved its 2 percent testing goal for the month by more than 11 percent. In addition, beginning Friday, June 5, various Walmart and Quest Diagnostics drive-thru testing locations across the state will provide testing for residents living in areas with fewer testing sites. 

Homeowner/renter support:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS and MaineHousing announced today an extension of the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. The rental assistance program, established in April, allows households that meet certain income and ability to pay requirements to receive a one-time, up to $500 payment in rental assistance to be paid directly to their landlord. With the extension, the program now covers rent for the months of April, May, or June. 

Relief funds:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced the fourth round of COVID Relief Fund grants. This round of funding provided a total of $2.97 million to 145 community-based organizations serving Coloradans who are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 
  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Transportation today announced that it has been awarded $224.3 million in federal COVID-19 funding from the Federal Transit Administration to help cover expenses for rail and bus operations in the state.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the Office of State Fire Commissioner will be working to enact recent legislation to provide $50 million in direct financial relief to fire and emergency medical service companies negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Other efforts:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that he has reached an agreement with legislative leaders to avoid the need for the General Assembly to return in a special session to resolve budget matters.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced she will be rescinding an executive order which extends certain FOIA deadlines due to COVID-19 on June 11th.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!