October 19, 2020

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – October 19, 2020

Hello, Monday, my old friend. 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:

Reopening efforts:

  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Public Health reported 34 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that Lane County has been added to the County Watch List, bringing the total number of counties on the Watch List to five.

Public gatherings:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that a limited number of fans will be able to attend Toronto FC’s last regular home season game at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford on Sunday, November 1, against Inter Miami FC.

Elections:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed an executive order authorizing the Delaware National Guard’s 166th Cyberspace Operations Squadron to assist in the 2020 election security efforts. The Squadron’s unique cybersecurity capabilities will assist in protecting Delaware’s elections infrastructure.

Business guidance:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that ski resorts can reopen with 50 percent indoor capacity and with strict health and safety protocols under state-issued guidance starting Friday, November 6.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that movie theaters outside of New York City can reopen at 25 percent capacity under state guidance starting October 23. No more than 50 people are allowed in front of each screen in each movie theater at once. Theaters can only open outside of New York City in counties that have COVID-19 positivity rates of less than 2 percent on a 14-day average and do not have any cluster zones. Theaters will be subject to rigorous state guidance and enforcement.

Business support:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF urged the Pennsylvania General Assembly to act on funding small businesses while the body is in session this week.

Testing, tracing, and vaccination:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group held its first meeting last week. The group was created to advise the administration on preparations for a COVID-19 vaccine, including the optimization of a statewide vaccine distribution strategy, and communicating critical medical information about the vaccine with the state’s residents.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO outlined New York State’s new “micro-cluster” strategy to tackle COVID-19 hot spots that may come with the Fall and Winter weather. The micro-cluster strategy is predicated on three principles: refined detection, specific and calibrated mitigation, and focused enforcement.

Worker support:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed emergency rules to clarify workers’ compensation coverage for health care employees and first responders who have tested positive for COVID-19. The emergency rules apply to workers in the medical industry, including hospitals, medical care facilities, and emergency medical services, as well as law enforcement, fire safety, and others.

Relief funds:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state will be providing up to $9 million in grants to certain nonprofit arts organizations in the state to help them recover more quickly from the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that $30 million in CURES funding has been allocated to welcoming centers across Illinois to support the state’s most vulnerable communities facing challenges as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. $18 million in funding will go towards housing and utility assistance for families in need, $4.5 million will be used to support employment and job training services and $4 million in funding will be used to provide healthcare education. The remaining $2 million will go towards a multilingual effort to reach Illinois residents eligible to receive support and $1.5 million will be used for technical assistance.

Public communications:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Public Health launched a new weekly, color-coded COVID-19 alert map for every city and town in the state, identifying the average daily case rate per 100,000 population over the last two weeks. The new weekly alert level is also accompanied by municipal-level guidance on recommended actions for individual residents, institutions such as schools, houses of worship, community organizations, municipal leaders, and local health directors.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced the launch of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Transparency website, providing oversight and public confidence in the expenditure of federal recovery funds as the State continues to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order authorizing the executive directors of certain state agencies to promulgate and issue emergency rules extending the expiration date of licenses and other documents for an additional thirty days due to the presence of COVID-19.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed emergency rules allowing the Michigan Employment Relations Commission and the Michigan Public Service Commission to conduct remote hearings to protect Michiganders and frontline workers. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed a bill that provides for a temporary freeze on cost-of-living salary adjustments for certain public officials, including the governor, lieutenant governor, state treasurer, auditor general, attorney general, commissioners of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, heads of departments, judges, and members of the General Assembly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF vetoed a bill that would endanger public health and safety by allowing restaurants to open up to full capacity without regard for state and federal COVID-19 mitigation guidelines.

Beyond COVID-19 

Natural disasters:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that the president has approved California’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the state’s emergency response to wildfires across the state and support impacted residents in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Siskiyou counties.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that President Trump has approved his request for federal assistance related to Hurricane Delta. 

Housing:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the release of $30.7 million in the fifth round of awards for Homekey. The most recent round of Homekey awards goes to three jurisdictions for three projects totaling 210 units. 

Infrastructure:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that the state is releasing $50 million in funding for the second round of matching grants through Connect Illinois, the state’s $420 million statewide broadband expansion plan. 

Economic development:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY celebrated the announcement of two new Amazon fulfillment centers in Kansas City, KS, and Park City. Each site will contain a new one-million-square-foot fulfillment center, and in total, will create more than 1,000 full-time jobs, starting at a minimum of $15 an hour.

Other efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT  announced that at the request of Mayor Luke Bronin, he is directing the Connecticut State Police to provide the Hartford Police Department with additional resources to target a recent increase of gun violence in the state’s capital city.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR joined fitness icon Jake Steinfeld, chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils, and students and staff from three Kentucky schools for a virtual ribbon cutting for new, state-of-the-art $100,000 DON’T QUIT! fitness centers at each school.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ released a statement applauding the bipartisan passage of the Bonding Bill.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the deployment of 16 rail cars to the Atlantic Beach Reef during the third year of New York’s historic expansion of artificial reefs off the shores of Long Island. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced actions aimed at reducing food insecurity among community college students, older adults, and disabled New Yorkers. These actions include expanding SNAP eligibility to up to nearly 75,000 low-income college students enrolled in career or technical education course work and shortening the SNAP application for those on fixed incomes in an effort to encourage greater enrollment among eligible older adults and disabled individuals.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that the Department of the Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Program returned more than $67.8 million in unclaimed property to Virginians in fiscal year 2020, representing over 111,000 asset accounts. New virtual outreach has been implemented this year to assist individuals with filing their claims amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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