Govs On Deck – April 29, 2020
Good Wednesday 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.
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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:
- MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced she will extend the state’s stay at home order in the form of a new “Stay Safer at Home” executive order. The new order will continue to have Maine people stay at home with limited exceptions for already permitted activities, but will also allow Maine people to visit businesses or participate in activities that are deemed safe to open under Stage 1 of the reopening plan.
- CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM unveiled a 6-point roadmap to reopen the state. The full reopening of the state’s economy will hinge on enhanced testing and a statewide reshaping of businesses, hospitals and schools to further implement physical distancing.
- MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS presented her plan to gradually and safely restart Maine’s economy. The plan establishes four gradual stages of reopening, the first of which begins May 1st. The stages focus on the ability of a business to operate or an activity to occur in a manner that protects public health and safety. Progression through the stages will occur month-by-month, depending on the success of previous stages, and progression will be informed by epidemiological data, such as case trends and hospitalization rates, as well as health care readiness and capacity.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO outlined additional guidelines for the phased plan to re-open New York on a regional basis. Each region of the state – Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson Valley, Mohawk Valley, New York City, North Country, Long Island, Southern Tier and Western New York – must follow these guidelines as part of the reopening plan.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS is in D.C. today to meet with President Trump to discuss the state’s response to the pandemic.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF sent a letter to the members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation urging Congress to take legislative action to ensure access to SNAP benefits to those who need it now and during the recovery months that will follow. The USDA received a similar letter requesting reconsiderations for interpretations of SNAP which denied Pennsylvania’s request to allow college students to be counted towards their household’s benefit and determined that time-limited pandemic unemployment compensation would be counted as income, potentially disqualifying households that would have otherwise qualified.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS directed the Department of Natural Resources to re-open several state parks, forests, and recreational areas originally closed. The DNR will reopen 34 state parks and forests on May 1st under special conditions to help minimize overcrowding, allow for social distancing requirements, and to promote a safe and enjoyable experience for staff and visitors.
- CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that schools could restart in July or the beginning of August under his new six point plan to reopen the state, assuming positive trends continue.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR shared a new 10-point plan that aims to guide businesses as they prepare for a gradual reopening while continuing to keep all workers and patrons safe. The ten points include: continue telework where possible; phased return to work; onsite temperature/health checks; universal masks and other necessary PPE; close common areas; enforce social distancing; limit face-to-face meetings; sanitizer/hand washing stations; special accommodations; and a testing plan. Guidelines apply to most employers.
- NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced the Nevada Hospital Association is preparing to resume medically necessary procedures for care that has been delayed. Nevada’s Medical Advisory Team also supports the phased-in approach to resume limited medical and dental procedures under strict guidelines.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM signed an executive order reinforcing certain existing statutory liability protections for Virginia healthcare workers. Virginia’s code offers protections for healthcare workers and first responders in cases of emergency. This order clarifies that these statutes protect healthcare workers operating during the COVID-19 crisis.
Testing and tracing:
- DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY declared Sussex County a hot spot for COVID-19 and announced the initial schedule for the State of Delaware’s Coordination and Care community testing sites. Testing and outreach will occur in several Sussex communities that are at the center of Delaware’s COVID-19 epidemic.
- OREGON OSHA has adopted a temporary rule to increase protections for workers against the spread of coronavirus in employer-provided housing and in labor-intensive farm operations. The rule addresses the COVID-19 emergency in such housing and operations by strengthening requirements in three areas: field sanitation, labor housing, and transportation.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF’s administration is making immediate changes to the Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program to help ensure food banks are adequately supplied to meet the needs of Pennsylvania residents.
- RHODE ISLAND’s attorney general issued guidance today, reminding creditors, debt collectors and financial institutions that stimulus payments resulting from the federal government’s CARES Act are exempt from seizure or garnishment by debt collectors.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order allowing municipalities to extend the grace period for property tax payments due on May 1st to June 1st. The extension would provide much-needed relief to homeowners struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Response task forces / relief efforts:
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order creating a commission charged with advising the administration on the timing and preparation for New Jersey’s recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown. The Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission will be comprised of 21 members, all with a vast wealth of experience in health care, business, finance, academics, and economics.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the creation of the New York Forward Re-Opening Advisory Board to help guide the state’s re-opening strategy. The advisory board will include over 100 business, community and civic leaders from industries across the state.
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the launch of a new and comprehensive State of Kansas website for resources regarding COVID-19. The site, covid.ks.gov, is a centralized place for Kansans seeking resources and up-to-date information, as the state responds to, and recovers from damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic. The site is ADA compliant, mobile optimized and will be available in Spanish.
Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!