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Govs On Deck – April 10, 2020

Govs on Deck

Good Friday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck” – the one thing keeping me aware of what day of the week it is. We’re still here, we’re still daily, and we hope you are all safe and healthy.
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.
Stay at home orders:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT will extend the state’s stay at home order through May 20th. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER extended her stay at home order through April 30th.  

Emergency declarations:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order today extending the disaster emergency declaration for COVID-19 for an additional 30 days. 

Public gatherings:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY took legal action after the Kansas Legislative Coordinating Council voted to revoke her executive order temporarily limiting mass gatherings of 10 or fewer people.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that Natural Bridge and Cumberland Falls state resort parks will be closed to limit crowds.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS directed the Department of Natural Resources to close 40 state parks to limit crowds. 

Elections:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order directing the three local special elections that have been scheduled for May and June to be held as all-mail ballot elections. Local election officials can also make in-person voting available, to ensure every voter has an opportunity to vote, but only in a manner consistent with public health and safety, including appropriate physical distancing. 

Schools:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he plans to sign an executive order extending school closures through May 20th.  
  • MONTANA’s Superintendent of Public Instruction submitted two requests to Gov. Steve BULLOCK to address funding from the federal CARES Act as well as to request flexibility for local schools as they prepare for the end of the school year.

Business operations:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order modifying state laws surrounding the requirement for employers to be charged an “experience rating” so their unemployment premiums are not unduly increased because of the high number of claims caused by COVID-19. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order modifying multiple requirements for permits and operations requirements for businesses that remain closed during the pandemic. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that minority and women-owned businesses with 20 or fewer employees can now apply for a zero-interest line of credit up to $20,000.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded $14 million in small grants to over 700 small bars, restaurants, and hotels. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR issued an executive order allowing only one person from each household at a time to shop inside life sustainable business, like grocery stores. 
  • MONTANA’s Board of Milk Control adopted a Temporary Emergency Rule pertaining to dumped milk.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER signed an executive order requiring retail stores that are still operating to implement new social distancing policies to make shopping safer for customers and employees. 
  • WASHINGTON’s Department of Labor & Industries issued guidance to help grocery stores keep workers safe during pandemic.

Health care:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced a new program to provide doctors, nurses and other critical front-line health care workers access to no-cost or low-cost hotel rooms. Newsom also announced a partnership with United Airlines, which will provide free, round-trip flights for volunteer medical professionals who join the state’s health care workforce. The airline will connect essential workers and supplies to the areas where they are needed most during the COVID-19 pandemic with daily flights.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced a partnership of health care providers providing critical support, staffing and resources at the TCF Regional Care Center. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced five new testing facilities downstate, primarily in minority communities.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO made a public request to all New Yorkers who have recovered from COVID-19 to contact the state and donate blood. Individuals who have recovered from the virus may have convalescent plasma in their blood, which has antibodies against the virus and could help with the development of a treatment for the virus.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that the state has distributed its first Abbott ID NOW rapid testing instruments to rural Oregon hospitals. The point-of-care COVID-19 testing machines are capable of returning positive or negative test results in minutes. 
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO signed an executive order clarifying the state’s requirements around quarantine and isolation. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that the Army Corp of Engineers has officially been engaged by his administration and has already begun mobilizing at the Exposition Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park to begin the development of an alternative care facility.

PPE / equipment supplies:

  • CONNECTICUT has received a generous donation of hydroxychloroquine from Amneal Pharmaceuticals that will be distributed to acute care hospitals.. 

Worker / family support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that workers who are receiving unemployment benefits will begin receiving an extra $600 on top of their weekly amount, as part of the new Pandemic Additional Compensation initiated by the CARES Act. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order extending professional and occupational licenses for the remainder of the pandemic.  The measure also waives any late penalties or expiration fees, and it extends deadlines for continuing education requirements.  
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order temporarily allowing notaries and witnesses to do their jobs remotely, through audio-video communication technology.
  • KANSAS’s Department for Children and Families is relaxing restrictions on Kansans who are currently receiving or applying for food assistance.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR expanded the number of workers who can receive workers compensation if they are ordered to be quarantined to include military, active National Guard, child-care workers, grocery workers, corrections officers, domestic violence shelter workers, child advocacy workers, rape crisis center workers, postal workers and Department of Community Based Services workers.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced the selection of a vendor to provide at least 100 full-time operators to boost unemployment insurance call center capacity during a period of unprecedented demand
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order extending grace periods during which certain insurance companies, including health insurers, life insurers, and property and casualty insurers, will not be able to cancel policies for nonpayment of premiums.
  • NEW YORK’s Department of Labor launched a new, improved and more user-friendly unemployment benefits website.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the state will provide more than $200 million in emergency food assistance to more than 700K low-income households enrolled in SNAP.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER signed an executive order making it easier for employers to file a batch of unemployment claims, called an attached claim, on behalf of their employees.  

Response Task Forces / Volunteer efforts:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER created the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities which will provide the governor with recommendations on how to address the racial disparity. The task force will consist of leaders across state government and health care professionals from communities most impacted by the spread of coronavirus.  
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the “New York Loves” effort to coordinate all foundations, philanthropies, not-for-profits, charities and other entities that want to help or donate to the state. New York Secretary of State Rosanna Rosado and State Director of Nonprofits Fran Barrett will coordinate this effort and any resources that are collected, and will work with local governments that need additional help.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order extending deadlines for state severance taxes from April 15th to May 15th. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS approved the first grant from the Governor’s COVID-19 Response Fund, a $100,000 grant to the Three O’Clock Project that will help feed thousands of children through the summer across South Louisiana.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order removing barriers to remote transactions and estate planning by expanding the use of electronic signatures, remote notarizations, remote witness attestations and acknowledgments, and remote visitations. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order directing that certain-low risk individuals may be placed on temporary home confinement or granted parole if already eligible through an expedited process.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO will sign an executive order allowing out-of-state funeral directors to come in and help overwhelmed New York directors.  
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER signed an executive order setting public health and safety requirements for nursing homes during the public health emergency and encouraging other long-term care facilities to follow the same guidance.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF ordered the Department of Corrections officials to establish a Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration to help aid the department in the transfer of qualifying individuals to community corrections facilities or home confinement.

Friday feel good:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK signed a directive deeming the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and other magical creatures as essential.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY and Uber Eats announced a plan to donate $350,000 worth of free meals to healthcare workers and first responders throughout New Jersey.
  • NORTH CAROLINA First Lady Kristin COOPER and her daughter donated blood at a Red Cross blood drive. 

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!