October 16, 2020

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – October 16, 2020

Ah, Friday. Time for another 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:

Schools and students:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York State will withhold funds for localities and schools in COVID-19 cluster zones that fail to enforce public health laws. 

Business support:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced that her administration has begun distributing the first round of financial awards to Maine small businesses and nonprofits through the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program. The program, backed by $200 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds, provides some financial relief for businesses and non-profit organizations that incurred business disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced details for a new $20 million grant program aimed at helping small businesses and non-profit organizations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order extending the filing deadline for 2019 Corporate Business Tax calendar year returns being filed under extension to November 16, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The previous filing deadline for calendar year returns being filed under extension was October 15, 2020.

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order increasing the Medicaid home health workforce and eliminating cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment for Medicaid enrollees.

Testing, tracing, and vaccination:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the state will provide 200,000 rapid test kits to New York City schools in “Yellow Zones.” 

Worker support:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced an expansion of Delaware’s DE Relief program, which provides direct grants to Delaware small businesses, and the Rapid Workforce Training and Redeployment Initiative, which provides rapid re-training for Delawareans who have lost jobs or income due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced $73 million in federal CARES Act funding to provide hazard pay to home health personal care attendants who served high-risk populations during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Family support:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Social Services today announced that it will provide $16.2 million in Emergency SNAP benefits to nearly half of Connecticut’s SNAP participants. 
  • NEW MEXICO’s Human Services Department announced that a new P-EBT hotline has been established for parents who have questions about eligibility or would like additional information about Pandemic-EBT benefits.

Housing support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order implementing a number of recommendations from the Special Eviction Prevention Task Force. The governor convened the Task Force in August to examine housing instability challenges due to COVID-19. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order extending a moratorium preventing New Jersey residents from having their utilities disconnected through at least March 15, 2021. The governor and legislative leadership further announced that $15 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund will be allocated to assisting low-income households in paying off utility arrearages.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced today that applications are now being accepted for the N.C. Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions Program, which will assist eligible low- and- moderate-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The new program seeks to promote housing stability during the ongoing pandemic by providing rent and utility assistance to prevent evictions and utility disconnections.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extensions of the eviction moratorium and public utility proclamations as COVID-19 continues to impact the finances of Washingtonians statewide. Both proclamations were extended to December 31.

Travel restrictions:

  • HAWAII’s Safe Travels Hawai‘i program has officially launched. Under the Safe Travels Hawai‘i program, travelers now have the option of taking a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test from a trusted testing partner, and if given a negative result for COVID-19, allowed to bypass the state’s 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Beyond COVID-19 

Natural disasters:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order concerning multiple fires statewide and authorizing the use of the Colorado National Guard to support firefighting operations throughout the state.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER’s request for a major disaster declaration for 15 North Carolina counties that were hit hard by Hurricane Isaias has been granted by the White House and FEMA.

Infrastructure:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a $6.3 million dollar ReConnect award to Emery Telecommunications & Video, Inc for Colorado to deploy fiber-to-the-premises network connecting 1,638 people, 91 farms, 52 businesses, three fire stations, and two post offices to high-speed broadband internet, covering over 206 square miles in the counties of North Dolores, South Dolores, South San Miguel, Egnar-North, East Dove Creek, and Lewis, Colorado. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced six communities were selected for the new Broadband Connectors Pilot program cohort. The joint pilot program will help provide technical assistance to help these communities apply for federal, state, and private-sector broadband expansion funds. 

Health care:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced the launch of the state’s official health insurance marketplace, Get Covered New Jersey, is now open to residents to browse health plans, compare prices and find out if they may qualify for financial help ahead of the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period that begins Nov. 1. 

Economic development:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that Kanata Blanket is moving its U.S. operations to Vandalia, Illinois. This new facility, which has already begun operations, is expected to add as many as 40-50 new jobs in the coming year. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY applauded the announcement of the Phase III expansion of the Bioscience & Technology Business Center at the University of Kansas and the introduction of the new KU Innovation Park. The Phase III expansion includes a new 70,000-square-foot facility, which will feature fully functional wet labs, offices, and collaborative spaces for its tenant startups. The facility will house 250 new high-tech jobs.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority has approved 16 grant requests to local governments totaling $4,511,075. The requests include commitments to create a total of 530 jobs, 164 of which were previously announced. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $91.3 million in private investment. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that RMC Advanced Technologies, Inc. will develop a new manufacturing operation in Newton.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Hamilton Drywall Products will create 34 new jobs in Union County.

Workforce development:

  • NEW JERSEY’s CEO Council, an informal coalition of CEOs from some of the state’s largest companies, announced today it has pledged to hire or train more than 30,000 residents by 2030 and spend an additional $250 million on procurement with state-based, diverse companies by 2025, and is challenging their peers in the business community to produce an additional 40,000 jobs and $250 million in local purchasing. Both efforts will focus on underrepresented communities of color and other underserved communities.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that more than $15 million has been awarded to 15 projects in Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Region through the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization Initiative. 

Clean energy:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONTMAINE Gov. Janet MILLS, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, RHODE ISLAND Gov. Janet MILLS, and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott issued a statement calling for reforms needed to achieve their states’ respective goals for clean, affordable, and reliable electricity.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the New York State Public Service Commission approved an expansion of the landmark Clean Energy Standard to refocus New York’s existing regulatory and procurement structure on achieving the goals laid out in New York’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
  • OREGON’s Department of Environmental Quality announced that the closure of Portland General Electric’s coal-fired power plant in Boardman, OR, represents a significant milestone in the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help avoid the worst effects of climate change.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced the formation of Virginia’s first offshore and onshore wind workforce training collaborative, the Mid-Atlantic Wind Training Alliance. The program will offer industry required certifications that are critical to the operations and long-term maintenance of wind projects. 

Juneteenth:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed into law legislation designating Juneteenth as an official public holiday in New York State. 

Other efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he has signed into law a property revitalization bill that will promote the revitalization of environmentally contaminated, blighted parcels of land and put them back into good use in a way that will benefit the local economy of towns throughout Connecticut while at the same time ensuring environmental integrity.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state’s request for federal assistance to help businesses and private non-profits in more than 60 counties recover from economic injury stemming from civil unrest that took place in Illinois between May 26 and July 30. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that over $9 million has been committed for projects to strengthen the state’s food supply system. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced more than $37 million in grant funding to 133 crime victim service providers across Kentucky.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of Domestic Violence Regional Councils that will address issues around domestic violence services and implement modern changes for improved survivor outcomes. Coordinated by the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the 10 Councils will provide valuable insight from a wide array of domestic violence stakeholders and experts who will help transform and modernize the delivery of services for victims, survivors, and their families.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN launched the Oregon Child Integrated Dataset (OCID) Project, a vital online resource to provide policymakers with a more complete picture of how state programs interact with Oregon children and families over time. OCID reaches across state data systems to combine data from five agencies to ensure accountability for the well-being of the children who touch state services.

Stay safe everyone, wear a mask, and wash your hands! See you on Monday!