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Govs On Deck – April 21, 2020

Govs on Deck

Good Tuesday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” We’re still here, we’re still reminding you what day of the week it is, 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.
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 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Want more examples? Send me an email and I can help you track down answers.
Stay at home orders:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF extended his statewide stay at home order to May 8th. 

Reopening efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that based on modeling data, the state will move from its “stay at home” phase to “safer at home” when the original order expires on April 27th.  The Safer at Home phase will no longer order individuals to stay home, but still strongly encourage them to do so. Vulnerable populations and seniors must continue staying home except when absolutely necessary and K-12 school districts and postsecondary institutions will continue to suspend normal in-person instruction until the end of the school year.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO outlined her vision for safely reopening Rhode Island’s economy including six key indicators to measure the state’s readiness: Has the rate of spread continued to decrease? Does the state have the capacity to quickly identify community spread on an ongoing basis before a major outbreak occurs? Does the state have necessary supports in place for vulnerable populations, and for anyone in quarantine? Does Rhode Island’s healthcare system have the capacity and the PPE to handle future surges? Do businesses, schools, child care facilities, faith leaders, and recreational spaces have plans for long-term social distancing? Is the state prepared to reimpose measures, or reclose certain sectors of the economy, if it becomes necessary?
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced Wisconsin’s “Badger Bounce Back” plan which outlines important criteria for the state to be able to reopen its economy in phases and includes steps to make sure workers and businesses are prepared to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Federal requests:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY reiterating the call that the next federal relief package urgently needs to include direct cash assistance to states. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO called on the federal government to provide hazard pay for essential public workers on the front lines, proposing a 50 percent bonus for these workers. 

Business operations:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that public and private residential and non-residential construction may resume statewide starting on May 8th. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) today began accepting orders by phone for curbside pickup at 176 locations. Phone orders can be placed between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., or until reaching a store’s maximum order capacity each day. Curbside pickups will be scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. within a few days of order placement.

Schools:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced new cross-sector partnerships to support the state’s distance learning efforts and help bridge the digital divide. The partnership includes funding for internet access for hundreds of thousands of families and laptops for over 70,000 students. The state’s Public Utilities Commission will commit, $30 million to help school districts ensure that families have Internet access and computing devices for distance learning while the State Transportation Agency will partner with the City of Sacramento to convert and deploy seven transit buses to be used as super hotspots
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR advised all schools to remain closed through the end of the academic year.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that SUNY is distributing more than 8,800 laptops and Chromebooks to students in need who are currently completing their spring semester coursework online.

Health care:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced a partnership with the developers of the How We Feel app in an effort to anonymously provide scientists with critical health information and symptom descriptions needed to understand the spread of COVID-19.
  • LOUISIANA’s Department of Health issued a revised order for medical and surgical procedures allowed during the public health emergency to include procedures needed to treat an emergency medical condition; to avoid further harms from an underlying condition or disease; and for time sensitive conditions. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced a partnership with CVS Health to provide drive-through rapid COVID-19 testing in Dearborn. 
  • NEVADA’s National Guard began assisting Washoe County Health District COVID-19 sample collection capability Friday at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center with about 30 medical support personnel.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced that United Airlines and Delta Airlines, in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Health, are offering free round-trip flights to health care workers coming to New Jersey to help with the state’s efforts to fight the virus.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state is launching a new partnership with Ready Responders to bring health care services, including COVID-19 diagnostic testing, to residents of public housing in New York City.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that the state is taking big steps to increase COVID-19 testing capacity throughout the state. Working with the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network, the state has grown the number of labs performing COVID-19 tests from just eight labs one month ago to 36 labs as of today.

PPE / medical supplies:

  • ILLINOIS received a second shipment of personal protective equipment flown in from China to help the state battle the coronavirus outbreak. The shipments were arranged by Gov. JB Pritzker.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced that the state had secured 5,000 nasal swabs from FEMA. The state will distribute the swabs to providers throughout Montana to be used for testing for COVID-19.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced that more than 10 million pieces of personal protective equipment from the state stockpile have been distributed across the state. 
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced that, as of Sunday, the state had shipped 618 total orders of personal protective equipment to counties, emergency responders, shelters, regional medical centers, pueblos and more.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state will deliver 500,000 cloth masks and 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to public housing communities.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that the Oregon National Guard will distribute approximately 395,000 pieces of personal protective equipment to all long-term care facilities across Oregon.

Worker support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY is directing the Kansas Department of Labor to evaluate all of its processes and procedures for handling workers compensation claims filed by law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical service providers and health care workers that are reasonably related to the pandemic. The KDOL will draft and submit a temporary regulation and prepare potential legislation designed to create workers compensation coverage for our first responders and healthcare workers who contract COVID-19 while assisting in the State’s response to the pandemic.
  • NEW YORK’s State Department of Labor announced the launch of a new application for New Yorkers to apply for traditional Unemployment Insurance or the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. This one-stop-shop for unemployment benefits will connect New Yorkers with the benefits they deserve faster, without requiring them to call the Department of Labor.

Family support:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Social Services announced that the second round of emergency SNAP benefits were delivered to nearly 108,000 households .
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that the state has been approved for the new Pandemic-EBT program, to help families purchase food for children impacted by school closings due to COVID-19. The program provides a benefit on an EBT card to North Carolina families whose children are eligible for free and reduced lunch at school. 
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that the state has been approved to issue Pandemic-EBT benefits to SNAP and non-SNAP households with one or more children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced price meals at school due to COVID-19 school closures. 

Domestic violence prevention:

  • NEVADA’s Eighth Judicial District Court has launched an online guided application for domestic violence temporary protective orders. The online application offers a step-by-step guide to complete a request for a domestic violence temporary protective order from the court. Upon completion of the form, applicants are instructed to email their completed application directly to the court clerk for processing, or to efile it. Upon submission, the applicant will be set for a telephonic hearing. 

Response Task Forces / Volunteer efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Office of the Arts announced that two grant programs have been created to help local artists negatively impacted by COVID-19:
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHIMTER signed an executive order creating the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities which will act in an advisory capacity to the governor and study the causes of racial disparities in the impact of COVID-19 and recommend actions to immediately address such disparities and the historical and systemic inequities that underlie them. 
  • NEW YORK’s Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and the New York State Council on Women and Girls announced the creation of a COVID-19 maternity task force to examine the best approach to authorizing and certifying additional dedicated birthing centers in an effort to provide mothers a safe alternative to already stressed hospitals amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The task force will make recommendations to Governor Cuomo by the end of the week.  
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the creation of the Reimagine NY Task Force to improve systems in downstate New York once the state is no longer on pause. The Task Force will be led by the state and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and will be comprised of other local elected officials and housing and transportation experts.

Other efforts:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced she will take a 10% pay cut during the COVID-19 pandemic and has asked her executive staff to take a 5% cut as well.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed legislation establishing flexibility on property tax deadlines, allows remote public meetings and notarization of documents so online vehicle sales can resume. 

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!