March 19, 2020

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – March 19, 2020

Good Thursday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” Yup, you read that right – we’re going daily (for at least this week).

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.

A different sort of week:

Because of the quickly evolving situation, we are changing this newsletter to become a daily roundup of how our states are responding to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Every day this week, we will send an overview of the actions our governors have taken the day before. 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. 

Small Business Administration request:

  • Multiple states including PENNSYLVANIA formally requested the U.S. Small Business Administration to issue an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration for their respective state.  
  • Applications by NEVADA, and NORTH CAROLINA for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans were approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration.   

Business operations:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended the closure of downhill ski operations through April 6th. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT has ordered all indoor portions of large retail shopping malls, amusement parks, and bowling alleys to close. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR suspended all charitable gaming licenses and closed bingo halls.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS issued an executive order closing all bars and restaurants. Take-out, delivery, and drive-thru can continue.
  • MICHIGAN is extending the tax payment deadline for small businesses impacted by the pandemic. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ ordered all salons and spas to close until March 27th. All bars and restaurants were also ordered to close. 
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM ordered all casinos, race tracks, malls, recreational facilities, gyms, spas, and theaters to close. Bars and restaurants will be limited to takeout service and home delivery only.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO mandated that all businesses allow at least 75 percent of their employees to work from home.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced the state DMV will close. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced $5 million of the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Funds will be made available as small grants to small businesses.

Elections:

  • CONNECTICUT Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has asked that all voters be considered eligible for absentee ballots for the state’s April 28th primary. 

Schools:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an executive order today to waive, pending federal approval, this year’s statewide testing for California’s more than 6 million students in K-12 schools.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order for schools to end in person instruction on March 23rd and remain closed through April 17th.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS called on the U.S. Department of Education to waive many testing and attendance requirements for students for the remainder of the school year.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN ordered all higher-education institutions to move to online classes through April 28th. 
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that all public K-12 schools will be closed through April 3rd. 

Public gatherings:

  • COLORADO’s Department of Public Health also issued a public health order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS banned gatherings of more than 10 people. 

Health care:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order allowing Medicaid telehealth to cover audio-only services. 
  • CONNECTICUT’s Access Health CT announced a special enrollment period for uninsured individuals. The period runs through April 2nd. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY temporarily lifted regulations to expand access to telemedicine. 
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS requested that the Federal government expedite the release of personal protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile and pushed for “a steady and reliable supply” of testing materials as the outbreak intensifies.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK expanded access to telemedicine services.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the USNS Comfort will be deployed to New York harbor.
  • NORTH CAROLINA is offering drive-thru testing at select hospitals  and clinics. Efforts are expected to expand. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced the opening of a 250-bed emergency hospital in Salem, OR. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN directed all hospitals, outpatient clinics, and health care providers, including veterinarians and dentists, to cease all non-emergency procedures, in order to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), such as surgical masks, gowns, and gloves, for health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.

Child care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that workers on the frontline of the fight, including doctors, nurses, police, and firefighters will have access to emergency childcare.  
  • DELAWARE  issued guidance to non-public child care providers earlier this week recommending they stay open. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order to expand the capacity for child care services for health care workers, first responders, and other members of the essential workforce.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced new amendments and resources for the New Jersey’s Child Care Subsidy Program.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced restrictions on the number of people who can be in a child care setting. Centers may not operate with more than 10 staff present and more than 50 children present. 

Worker support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced the creation of the COVID-19 relief fund to help those who are unable to work during the business closures and small businesses that have been forced to close.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP) to provide financial relief for restaurants, bars and other hospitality industry businesses.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK waived the work search requirement and the 7-day wait period for approved unemployment insurance benefits. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation guaranteeing paid leave for workers under mandatory or precautionary quarantine. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE waived the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS issued an emergency order changing requirements for unemployment benefits. 

Emergency response legislation:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM took emergency action to protect Californians experiencing homelessness from COVID-19 including $150M in funding. 

Safety net services:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order to extend the eligibility period for important safety net services.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) will extend certification periods for all recipients of all public assistance programs for three months.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS sent a letter to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence requesting temporary changes to several federal programs.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the state Department of Social and Health Services will expand eligibility for the Family Emergency Assistance Program to include families without children.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA launched a new consumer-friendly website to provide useful information to Californians and inform them of actions they can take to further prevent the spread of the virus.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER is activating the state’s National Guard to assist with the state’s response. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER is in talks with Michigan companies about producing medical gowns and other needed items to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order extending the deadline for Michigan residents to pay back taxes and avoid foreclosure.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced a statewide moratorium on evictions of residential tenants for the next 30 days.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE called on utility providers to suspend disconnection tariffs for nonpayment; waive late fees or offering customers payment plans; and expand bill assistance programs.