September 21, 2020

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Govs On Deck, Latest News

Govs On Deck – September 21, 2020

It’s Monday. 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@JerusalemDemsas, 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:

Federal action:

  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE and MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER issued a joint statement after reports that the Trump administration rejected a plan to send hundreds of millions of cloth face masks to every U.S. household in April  — starting with especially hard-hit areas in their states — to help families and frontline workers save lives and fight the spread of COVID-19.

Reopening efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS amended and extended the Safer at Home executive order, which includes the last call order. The last call order will now take effect, based on what level a county is in according to the COVID-19 dial.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that Region 7, which includes the greater Will and Kankakee County areas, returned to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan.
  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Public Health reported 24 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19.  A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that Umatilla and Morrow Counties have succeeded in reducing the spread of COVID-19 sufficiently enough to be removed from the County Watch List. She also announced that Morrow County’s application to move to Phase 2 of reopening has been approved, effective immediately.

Public gatherings:

  • NEW MEXICO’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s State Parks Division announces the reopening of overnight camping in most State Parks beginning October 1st.

Schools and students:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Education Commissioner announced that the Connecticut State Department of Education is rolling out two new data collections to promote transparency and make data-driven decisions that support stronger student engagement and participation during the 2020-21 school year. The weekly collection of Learning Models and Enrollment, as well as the monthly collection of Student Membership and Attendance, will allow CSDE and districts to evaluate and monitor attendance and participation trends that are essential to student achievement. Whether students are learning in-person or in a hybrid or remote model, the information will be used to establish systems that reach and engage all students in a way that keeps them connected with their teachers and their schools.
  • HAWAII’s Department of Health released benchmarks, including COVID-19 case counts, that will help determine when schools should open or close.

Business support:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Rebuild VA, the $70 million economic recovery fund launched in August, is expanding its eligibility criteria to allow more small businesses to apply.

Long term care facilities:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced the state will move to quickly implement new guidance from the federal government easing restrictions on visits to nursing homes during the COVID pandemic.

Worker support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed a bill further expanding access to the California Earned Income Tax Credit to ensure all California tax filers, specifically undocumented ITIN filers who are otherwise eligible, may qualify for the CalEITC and the Young Child Tax Credit. Expanding the CalEITC will provide a critical boost to undocumented and mixed-status families across the state and stimulate the economy in the midst of the COVID-19 recession.
  • CALIFORNIA’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health will move forward with emergency statewide standards to address what worker advocates have been calling “an occupational health emergency.” A seven-member board voted unanimously to begin creating standards that would require employers to take stricter precautions against COVID-19.

Travel restrictions:

  • GUAM Gov. Lou Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order regarding the utilization of quarantine and isolation to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Other efforts:

  • DELAWARE First Lady Tracey Quillen CARNEY and members of the End Childhood Hunger Task Force announced recipients of “First Chance” awards. The award recipients consist of leaders and teams that stepped up to keep feeding Delaware children when school buildings had to close from mid-March through June due to COVID-19.

Beyond COVID-19 

Federal requests:

  • PENNSYLVANIAFirst Lady Frances WOLF sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture and Congressional Leadership, urging both federal entities to continue to work together to further extend and fully fund child nutrition program operations throughout the entire 2020-21 school year. The letter was also signed by CALIFORNIA First Partner Jennifer Siebel NEWSOMCOLORADO First Gentleman Marlon REISDELAWARE First Lady Tracey Quillen CARNEYHAWAII First Lady Dawn AMANO-IGEILLINOIS First Lady MK PRITZKERKANSAS First Gentleman Dr. Ted DAUGHETYKENTUCKY First Lady Britainy BESHEAR, Massachusetts First Lady Lauren Baker, MINNESOTA First Lady Gwen WALZMONTANA First Lady Lisa BULLOCKNEW JERSEY First Lady Tammy Snyder MURPHYNORTH CAROLINA First Lady Kristin COOPERRHODE ISLAND First Gentleman Andy MOFFITVIRGINIA First Lady Pamela NORTHAMWASHINGTON First Lady Trudi INSLEEWISCONSIN First Lady Kathy EVERS, and Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon.

Natural disasters:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS urged everyone to prepare for heavy rainfall and the threat of storm surge and flooding in certain regions of the state due to Tropical Storm Beta. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS declared a state of emergency in advance of Tropical Storm Beta, which could impact Louisiana in the coming days, allowing the state to assist local governments with their response needs. 
  • OREGON’s Department of Environmental Quality extended an air quality advisory for Northwest, Central, Eastern, and some parts of Southern Oregon due to smoke from fires in Oregon and California.

Infrastructure:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced $4,755,270 in grants from the Delta Regional Authority to update infrastructure, expand broadband and health care access, improve economic development opportunities, and more in communities across Western Kentucky.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM celebrated the launch of Virginia’s first zero-emission electric buses and ceremonially signed a new law that provides dedicated funding for the first time in Hampton Roads Transit’s history.

Anti-discrimination: 

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO directed the Hate Crimes Task Force to assist an investigation into anti-semitic and anti-black graffiti found on a New York University building. 

Education:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded more than $7.5 million to develop technology-enhanced learning centers at five Vernon Parish schools that serve thousands of families supported by the U.S. Army’s Fort Polk. 

State budgets:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN issued vetoes of several line-item appropriations in order to preserve funding for the state’s ongoing emergency wildfire response efforts and maintain a balanced budget.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that he has signed two bills to protect animal welfare in California. The first officially ends the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in California by closing a loophole in current law, while still allowing pet stores to partner with shelters and rescue organizations to showcase animals for adoption. The second requires shelters and animal control agencies to microchip all dogs and cats with current information before releasing them to adoptive owners or an owner seeking to reclaim them.

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