Govs On Deck – April 16, 2020
Good Thursday 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.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that his administration has agreed to continue close discussions with neighboring Indiana and Ohio in the fight against COVID-19, with an eye toward eventually coordinating plans to reopen the states’ economies.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF, and WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he work quickly with Congress to support additional resources for all states and localities so that they can address budgetary shortfalls that have resulted from the COVID-19 crisis.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced the key indicators that are guiding Colorado’s process for ongoing updates to policies, guidance, and requirements on statewide social distancing measures. These will be used to get the state through COVID-19 pandemic while minimizing loss of life and further economic disruption.
- NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER laid out a path forward for eventually easing certain COVID-19 restrictions while still protecting North Carolinians from a dangerous second wave of the virus. In order to ease restrictions, the state needs to make more progress in three areas: testing, tracing and trends.
Stay at home orders:
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY has extended her stay at home order through May 3rd.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT submitted a supplementary request to President Trump for enhanced federal financial support toward the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM encouraged people to vote by absentee ballot in the New Mexico primary election, which will be held June 2nd. The governor said the secretary of state will mail out absentee ballot application forms to voters. Each voter will have to respond to the application to actually receive an absentee ballot.
- OREGON’s Department of Environmental Quality has expanded a grant program to help small repair and reuse businesses as part of the department’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak by broadening eligible costs covered through the Repair and Reuse program to include employee retention.
- PENNSYLVANIA’s Secretary of the Department of Health signed an order directing protections for critical workers at essential businesses. The protections include requiring that masks are provided to employees and worn, requiring customers to wear masks, and implementing cleaning procedures if there is a confirmed case at the business.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM extended business closures and a ban on gatherings of more than ten people through May 8th.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS signed a proclamation closing K-12 schools through the end of the academic year.
- NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK signed an emergency directive granting the authority of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to temporarily waive or suspend laws or regulations that would place an undue burden on students’ ability to graduate from high school on-time. In addition, it allows the State Board of Education to approve amendments to districts’ work-based learning plans.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order granting hospitals and health care providers more flexibility to expand the trained medical personnel available to provide health care services within inpatient facilities in response to COVID-19.
- CONNECTICUT’s Insurance Commissioner announced that front-line health care workers in Connecticut and Massachusetts may soon be eligible to receive up to $25,000 of life insurance at no cost.
- CONNECTICUT’s Insurance Department announced that fully-insured plan health plan members, including those with high-deductible health plans, can now receive COVID-19 testing and treatment with no out-of-pocket costs. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are also fully covering COVID-19 testing and treatment without any cost-sharing.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the first stage of a unique testing regime, starting with frontline health care workers. The Co-Immunity Project will focus on comprehensive testing, centered on antibodies and developing donor plasma resources.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed an executive order requiring all people in New York to wear a mask or a face covering when out in public and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on public transportation.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state will begin conducting antibody tests, prioritizing frontline health care workers, first responders and other essential workers, beginning this week. Using a new finger prick method the state will test up to 2,000 New Yorkers per day.
- RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that a new dashboard to track the state’s response has launched on the state’s Department of Health website.
PPE / medical supplies:
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state will give 100 ventilators to Michigan and 50 ventilators to Maryland.
- CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM directed the Employment Development Department to launch a new call center that will operate seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Staff at the Unemployment Insurance Branch will be increased and the EDD will expedite access to the Work Share program to avert layoffs. The EDD will also stand up a one-stop shop for individuals applying for unemployment insurance and the new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
- CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced an unprecedented $125 million statewide public-private partnership to provide financial support to undocumented immigrants impacted by COVID-19 who are ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits and disaster relief due to immigration status. California will provide $75 million in disaster relief assistance and philanthropic partners have committed to raising an additional $50 million.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that a new software improvement at the Connecticut Department of Labor was launched that will significantly increase the speed at which unemployment claim applications can be processed.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order extending expanded capacity for child care services for health care workers, first responders, and other members of the essential workforce until May 13th. The order provides temporary and limited relief from certain regulatory restrictions regarding child care services and facilitates the use of certain property for child care services.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced an additional $70 million in Child Care and Development Block Grant funding through the federal CARES Act to further support the provision of child care for essential personnel.
- MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed the fourth legislative package passed this month to help Minnesotans weather the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation ensures that when temporary sites are set up to deliver health care in Minnesota, Medicaid and MinnesotaCare enrollees will be able to receive care in those settings. The legislation also ensures that anyone who is uninsured will be eligible for coverage for COVID-19 testing and 100% federal reimbursement for the clinic visit, as well as clarifies that telephone visits are considered telemedicine.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS signed legislation aimed at ensuring the state will receive roughly $2 billion in federal aid to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, the governor said the bill is a step in the right direction but “falls short of what is needed to address the magnitude and gravity of what our state is facing”.
Response Task Forces / Volunteer efforts:
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that there is more than $1.8 million raised or pledged to the Team Kentucky Fund.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced the creation of Resilient Louisiana, a state commission charged with examining Louisiana’s economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic and making recommendations for more resilient business-related activities and commerce in the coming months.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the creation of a COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity that will help communicate issues with how the pandemic is affecting the state’s minority and vulnerable populations.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order temporarily suspending the statute concerning fire bans in order to provide boards of county commissioners with broader discretion and greater flexibility to implement restrictions on open burning.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order waiving the moratorium on Medicaid beds at certain long-term care facilities to help implement the state’s nursing home surge plan that includes the designation of certain long-term care facilities as COVID-19 recovery centers.
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order bringing the state’s adult-care homes in line with other occupational licensing exemptions the governor issued. All state agencies working or collaborating with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services shall extend renewal deadlines for any occupational or professional license, certificate or registrations as needed.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order establishing procedures in long-term care facilities to protect the health and safety of both their employees and residents.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed an executive order requiring nursing homes to report positive COVID-19 cases and deaths to the families of those who are living in the nursing home facility within 24 hours. The order will include adult home and other assisted living facilities.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed an executive order allowing individuals assisting with the COVID-19 response or individuals who have been displaced due to COVID-19 to stay in a hotel in New York City for more than 28 days without becoming a tenant.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the Department of Revenue is offering taxpayers increased flexibility, additional time to meet their tax obligations, and a pause on several of its standard enforcement actions.
- RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced a new website, RIHavens.com, that connects those in need of a safe space to quarantine with hotel rooms across the state offered at significantly discounted rates.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE signed a proclamation and an accompanying commutation order giving the governor and Department of Corrections greater authority to more quickly and expeditiously release individuals from DOC facilities.
Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!