November 13, 2020

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – November 13, 2020

Happy Friday…the thirteenth… Welcome to this 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, 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:

Legal actions:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS issued a statement praising a court ruling that upheld his COVID-19 mitigation efforts following a petition filed by some Republican members of the Louisiana House of Representatives to overturn the mitigation strategies.

New mitigation efforts:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced additional COVID-19 mitigation efforts for Region 5 (Southern Illinois), Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties), and Region 8 (Kane and DuPage counties).
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced 94 red zone counties and implored Kentuckians to follow red zone recommendations and school recommendations.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced updated COVID-19 micro-cluster focus areas in New York State. Based on data metrics, Port Chester’s yellow zone will transition to an orange warning zone. The Governor also announced new yellow precautionary zone focus areas in Staten Island and Tioga County. Based on progress controlling COVID spread, the yellow precautionary zone in Steuben County will be removed.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced the addition of four counties—Baker, Clackamas, Union, and Washington—to the Two-Week Pause on social activities to help stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 where community transmission is on the rise. These four counties join Jackson, Malheur, Marion, Multnomah, and Umatilla Counties on the pause, announced Friday. The pause measures will be in effect for two weeks, from Nov. 11 through Nov. 25.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS delivered a primetime address, calling for unity and working together in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor’s address comes as Wisconsin had yet another record-breaking day in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced an executive order that includes new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. The order advises Wisconsinites to stay home, urges precautions Wisconsinites should take to stay safe if they have to leave their home, and encourages businesses to take additional steps to protect workers, customers, and the surrounding community.

Face coverings:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the state would be extending Colorado’s statewide mask order for an additional 30 days.

Public gatherings:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences will be limited to no more than 10 people. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that North Carolina’s indoor mass gathering limit will be lowered to 10 people in an effort to drive down North Carolina’s key COVID-19 metrics. Executive Order 176 will go into effect on Friday, November 13, and will be in place through Friday, December 4.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced a 10-person limit for indoor and outdoor gatherings, and all social gatherings will be limited to members of three households or less. Capacity limits for receptions related to weddings, funerals, and similar events will be instituted through a phased approach, but will eventually lead to a 25-person cap. In addition, such receptions and similar events may not take place between 10 pm and 4 am.

Elections:

  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the modification of proclamation 20-28 regarding the Open Public Meetings Act to ensure election canvassing boards are able to conduct work related to the 2020 general election. 

Sports leagues:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS,New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY, RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO, and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott issued a joint statement on the suspension of interstate youth hockey.
  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Public Health today released updated comprehensive sports guidance incorporating sports to be played in the winter season for both interscholastic leagues, recreational, and private leagues for youth and adults.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order prohibiting all interstate games and tournaments involving indoor sports, up to and including the high school level. 

Schools and students:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced the first round of Response, Innovation, and Student Equity Fund awardees. In September, the governor announced the $32.7 million RISE fund supports high-needs school districts, charter schools, and public institutions of higher education to address the learning challenges related to the economic, social, and health impacts of COVID-19 in a manner that creates sustainable innovations that improve student learning, close equity gaps, and enhance operational efficiency for pre-K-12 through higher education.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced a new allocation of $22 million in federal CARES Act dollars to support Virginia’s private institutions of higher education. This funding is proportionate to recently announced CARES Act funding for public institutions and will be used to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts at Virginia’s private non-profit colleges and universities.

Business support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade announced #ShopLocalColorado to support Colorado small businesses in advance of the holiday shopping season. 
  • CONNECTICUT’s CARES Small Business Grant Program has begun accepting applications from small businesses. The program will provide small businesses and nonprofits that have a 2019 annualized payroll of less than $1.5 million or 20 or fewer employees with a one-time grant of $5,000. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced $10 million in funding to support small businesses affected by the pandemic.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced a commitment of at least $60 million in additional CARES Act funding to the fulfillment of grants under Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.

Business restrictions:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that all bars and restaurants must end dine-in service between 10 pm and 4 am. Indoor capacity will be capped at 150 people, and may not exceed 50 percent of an establishment’s total capacity. Bar counter service will be closed for seating and service in all establishments besides those that only have counter service. In counter-service only establishments, patrons can line up with masks and then return to their table. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order permitting municipalities and counties to impose additional restrictions on the hours of operation of non-essential retail businesses, food and beverage establishments, and recreation and entertainment businesses after 8:00 p.m. The order prohibits municipalities and counties from imposing restrictions that prevent dining establishments from arranging for the pickup or delivery of goods or otherwise limiting their scope of operations.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order declaring that restaurants, bars, clubs, lounges, and other businesses that serve food or drinks will not be able to operate their indoor premises between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.  Outdoor dining can continue after 10:00 p.m., as can takeout and delivery services. Casinos will not be able to serve food or drinks between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., with the exception of room service delivered to guest rooms and takeout. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order prohibiting seating at the physical bar in the indoor areas of bars and restaurants during all operating hours, among other seating restrictions. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that bars, restaurants, and gyms or fitness centers, as well as any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment, will be required to close from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Restaurants will still be allowed to provide curbside, food-only pick-up or delivery after 10 p.m., but will not be permitted to serve alcohol to go. The State Liquor Authority will issue further guidance for licensees as to what sales are continued to be permitted.

Testing, tracing, and vaccination:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state has launched its official COVID-19 exposure notification app, COVID Alert CT. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that 11 contracts have been awarded in conjunction with the Kansas COVID-19 Unified Testing Strategy supported with SPARK funding.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that the state is providing COVID-19 tests to colleges and universities across North Carolina to help bolster schools’ student testing efforts in advance of Thanksgiving and holiday break.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced that Dr. Ed Marcuse and Dr. John Dunn will represent Washington in the multi-state COVID Vaccine Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. Inslee announced the Western state workgroup in October in coordination with CALIFORNIAOREGON, and NEVADA

Family support:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Virginia will allocate $7 million in federal CARES Act dollars to Virginia food banks to help Virginians who rely on food assistance.

Travel restrictions:

  • CONNECTICUT’s travel advisory was updated and now includes the states of Maine and New Hampshire on the list of impacted locations. No locations were removed from the list.
  • NEW JERSEY’s travel advisory was updated to include Maine and New Hampshire, bringing the total to 45 states and territories. 

Relief funds:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Virginia will allocate $25 million from the federal CARES Act to fund monthly retainer payments for day support programs that provide services for Virginians with developmental disabilities. These programs offer day support, community engagement, and community coaching to individuals who are receiving Medicaid’s developmental disability waiver services.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced a new allocation of $60 million in funding from the federal CARES Act to support municipal utility relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced in the coming days he will be introducing new COVID-19 response legislation to provide more support for Wisconsinites. He also once again called on Congress to pass legislation providing additional resources to states across the country.

Special sessions:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that he will convene a special session of the Minnesota Legislature. Amid climbing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, the governor intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days to ensure that the state can continue to quickly respond to the pandemic.

State budgets:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS presented his budget proposal for FY 2021-22 to the Joint Budget Committee of the General Assembly, including a stimulus package for the current fiscal year FY 2020-21.  

Public communications:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER launched a new awareness campaign today to encourage residents to take safety precautions throughout the upcoming holiday season to protect themselves and their families — and ultimately save lives.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment will bring on an additional 100 AmeriCorps members to serve in the COVID-19 Containment Response Corps in staggered nine-month terms over the next year.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order extending all COVID-19 executive orders to February 9, 2021.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order extending agency and municipality orders of concurrent duration with public health and civil preparedness emergencies to February 9, 2021.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extension of 27 proclamations in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond COVID-19 

Health care:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed the 12th renewal of his January 2018 opioid disaster declaration to help the state fight the then-burgeoning opioid and heroin epidemic. 

Climate change:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced a renewable energy initiative for the Gulf of Mexico, with plans to harness Louisiana’s strengths in offshore energy production for the development of wind power, the nation’s No. 1 source of renewable energy.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ Energy Office and Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future released a new report offering a detailed analysis of the momentum within Maine’s clean energy economy, and how the sector is emerging as a source of economic growth and workforce opportunities to help the state’s recovery from the economic disruption of COVID-19.

Racial justice:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS amended an executive order he signed in July designating Attorney General Phil Weiser as the State’s prosecutor, to investigate and potentially prosecute any crimes related to the death of Elijah McClain in Aurora, Colorado in August 2019. This amendment further defines the breadth and scope of the Attorney General’s authority to investigate and prosecute offenses arising from this matter. 

Economic development:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that ispace, inc has selected Colorado as the location for its newest office. The company will open its new U.S.-based workplace in the Denver metropolitan area.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he has approved more than $11 million in state funding for grants through the Small Town Economic Assistance Program that will be awarded to 94 small towns across Connecticut for various infrastructure improvement projects. This is the first time since 2016 that the state has awarded STEAP funding.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLYannounced that the State of Kansas has officially surpassed $2 billion in new capital investment in 2020. This investment is brought by new economic development projects driven by the governor’s administration and the Kansas Department of Commerce.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Wolf and Flow X-Ray, a medical imaging manufacturer, will create 68 new jobs in Edgecombe County.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that SPIG Industry, LLC, a manufacturer of highway guardrails and guardrail end terminals, will invest $7.9 million to expand its operation in the Bristol-Washington Industrial Park in Washington County. 

Workforce development:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced a new campaign, Never Underestimate You!, for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, an effort to boost education and employability among adults.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS and Chancellor Larry Clark of Louisiana State University Shreveport announced a more than $3 million agreement to advance student careers in technology.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS and Fidelis Infrastructure co-founders Daniel J. Shapiro and Bengt Jarlsjo announced their portfolio company Grön Fuels LLC is studying the feasibility of a renewable fuel complex at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. 
  • OREGON’s OSHA has launched a free training resource as part of PESO, a bilingual program that helps English-speaking employers train and talk about workplace safety and health with Spanish-speaking workers.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced new apprenticeship programs in Southcentral and Southeastern Pennsylvania in water treatment, abatement, and industrial manufacturing and mechatronics.

Infrastructure:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY and Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz announced the recipients of more than $6 million in funds provided by two programs that invest in technology and local community transportation needs.

Veteran services:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER joined Senator Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and the Illinois Capital Development Board, to commemorate the opening of the new Chicago Veterans’ Home. The home is the first state veterans’ retirement facility to open in 20 years and the first to serve the Chicagoland area.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Illinois Department of Human Services announced that the State of Illinois will join the Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide, a national effort that champions mental health support and preventative services for Veterans. The State is dedicating $2 million to the initiative, in partnership with the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR joined Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Lt. Col. (Retired) Keith Jackson and Humana executives to announce that over the next four years, the health care company is committed to hiring 600 veterans and 150 military spouses in Kentucky.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced an innovative program to hone the entrepreneurial skills of veterans who start a business in the state.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER, LARA Director Orlene Hawks, Adjutant General, and DMVA Director Major General Paul Rogers, and MVAA Director Zaneta Adams announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation that supports military personnel, veterans, and their families by reducing barriers to professional licensure. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that five suburban metro area counties have received federal designation for ending veteran homelessness. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed the Outdoor Rx Act requiring the New York State Division of Veteran’s Services to review issues relating to veterans’ ability to access state parks, lands, and facilities. The Outdoor Rx Act is the first step in identifying how New York State can better address the needs of veterans adjusting back to civilian life through outdoor activity. This legislation takes effect immediately. 

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that he has granted 22 pardons, 13 commutations, and four medical reprieves.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed a bill clarifying when employees that are denied employment during a summer or holiday break are eligible for unemployment benefits by setting forth a standard for determining whether there is a reasonable assurance of reinstatement after the break.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation that protects citizens’ rights to free speech and petition by deterring abusive “strategic lawsuits against public participation,” known as SLAPPs.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the approval of six projects through the Municipal Assistance Program to assist local governments with planning for zoning, coordinating emergency services, and creating comprehensive plans.

Stay safe, wear a mask, and wash your hands. We’ll see you on Monday.