Govs On Deck – April 15, 2020
Good Wednesday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” 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 email@example.com. 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.
- TODAY Wednesday, April 15, at 3:00 PM ET – DGA’s Every State, Every Vote co-chairs OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN and Stacey Abrams will join Stand Up America Founder and President Sean Eldridge on a press call to urge Congress to immediately provide $4 billion in election assistance funding for states to protect voters’ rights during the coronavirus pandemic. Members of the media interested in joining the call should RSVP to Ryan Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order extending the duration of limitations on in-person contact for the 2020 elections and the secretary of state’s operations.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS signed a proclamation postponing the state’s presidential primary again until July 11th and postponing the state’s July 25th election until August 15th.
- CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM unveiled six key indicators that will guide the state’s thinking for when and how to modify the stay-at-home and other orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The indicators include the ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed; the ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19; the ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges; the ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand; the ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing; and the ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.
- OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN introduced her framework for a plan to restart public life and business while maintaining healthy communities. The framework sets specific prerequisites based on science, which Oregon communities must meet to begin reopening, and also outlines the actions Oregon must take to move forward.
- MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS signed a proclamation extending Maine’s state of civil emergency for another thirty days through May 15th.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue urging him to immediately publish a plan to support agriculture producers, food processors, workers, and local food systems, regardless of size of operation.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order enabling the State Board of Education to waive requirements as needed to allow districts and schools to focus on the delivery of instruction and associated student services.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced that the state is receiving $89 million in federal funding for its schools and colleges hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK released a report produced by state epidemiologists examining 377 cases of COVID-19 in Montana that helps the state understand who is impacted by the new virus, how it spreads, and patient outcomes.
- NEW MEXICO has launched a portal with more COVID-19 data specific to positive cases and testing in the state. The data dashboard includes county-by-county breakdowns of positive cases by age, gender and ethnicity as well as reporting about testing by county.
- RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that HealthSourceRI is extending their special open enrollment period through April 30.
PPE / medical supplies:
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order waiving certain requirements related to state contracts in order to expedite the procurement of essential goods and services, including personal protective equipment.
- CONNECTICUT is partnering with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and its affiliate CONNSTEP to facilitate collaboration between the state’s manufacturers that are retooling their operations to make critically needed medical equipment and supplies, and the health care institutions that are experiencing specific shortages.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER thanked CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM for sending 50 ventilators to the state.
- RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO signed an executive order dictating that, beginning Saturday, all employees of customer-facing businesses, office-based businesses, manufacturers and nonprofits, must wear cloth face coverings when they are at work; businesses must provide face coverings for their employees; all customer-facing businesses must take steps to remind customers to wear face coverings.
- ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced he is suspending laws that permit the service of a garnishment summons, wage deduction summons, or a citation to discover assets as part of consumer debt collection proceedings to protect individual’s stimulus money for food, shelter, and transportation as it was intended. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation also issued Best Practices to Illinois licensed lenders encouraging them to work with struggling borrowers during the pandemic to extend the time for payment, waive late charges, and defer collection measures.
- NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK instructed the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation to backdate all unemployment claims to March 13, 2020. The governor also announced specific filing days based on individuals’ last names.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation expanding the protections of the Family Leave Act to allow employees forced to take time off to care for a family member during the COVID-19 outbreak with up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave in a 24-month period without losing their jobs.
- NEW JERSEY’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development has made a series of moves – from upgrading computer technology to adding personnel and boosting phone capacity – to get unemployment claims processed faster and customers’ questions answered quicker.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation suspending statutes that permit collection of consumer debt judgments, including bank account and wage garnishments and waives accrual of post-judgment interest on consumer debt judgments during the period of this order. This order is designed to protect consumer assets, including federal stimulus checks, from consumer debt collections.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order directing the state’s Department of Human Services to access additional federal Child Care Development Block Grant dollars to support emergency child care for families of employees of critical businesses and critical government services as well as temporarily suspends the child care licensing fees.
Response Task Forces / Volunteer efforts:
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels made a $1 million gift to the Team Kentucky Fund.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced additional details of a statewide effort in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health’s Virginia Medical Reserve Corps to recruit medical and non-medical volunteers in the fight against COVID-19. It is estimated up to 30,000 volunteers are needed to provide support for the expected surge in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
- CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order addressing the release and reentry process at the Division of Juvenile Justice by calling for all discharge and reentry hearings to be held via videoconference.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order suspending the in-person attendance requirements for property assessment appeals.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order waiving licensing requirements to temporarily allow security services or businesses to employ security officers who are not licensed in Connecticut but are licensed in another state, to address a shortage of available security officers. This applies only to unarmed security officers.
- CONNECTICUT’s Department of Revenue Services is extending the filing and payment deadlines of certain returns until July 15, 2020.
- DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY issued a modification to his state of emergency order requiring stricter guidelines in nursing facilities and requiring these facilities to immediately ensure they are in full compliance with the Public Health Authority guidance. Nursing facilities must check Division of Public Health guidance at least daily to ensure they are complying with the most current guidance and adjust their policies, procedures, and protocols accordingly.
- MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ and his appointed commissioners are taking pay cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is also instituting a hiring freeze on all executive branch positions.
- NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced that 700 additional Nevada National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will join the state’s COVID-19 response. This brings the total number of Nevada National Guardsmen on military orders to support the state’s response to about 800, the largest state activation in Nevada National Guard history.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order extending various deadlines associated with rulemaking for state agencies until 90 days following the end of the public health emergency. The order additionally allows for any rules or emergency rules that would expire during the current public health emergency to be extended until 90 days following the end of the public health emergency.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation waiving certain statutory barriers for renewing or extending commercial driver licenses and commercial learner permits in order to align with the federal statutes waived by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation suspending statutes of limitations for all crimes and waiving the 1-year limitation on raising post-conviction challenges in criminal convictions. The order is designed to allow more time for prosecutors to file criminal charges and also to allow more time for those convicted of crimes to challenge those convictions in court.
Fascinating look at history:
- NEVADA’s Health Response Team released a report on how the efforts of the state today echo lockdown efforts during the 1918 Influenza Epidemic in the state.
Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!