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Govs On Deck – April 7, 2021

Govs on Deck

It’s Wednesday, it’s sunny (at least in DC), and it’s time for another edition of “Govs on Deck”! As a reminder, your favorite newsletter comes out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

As always, questions or suggestions? Send me a note at You can find us all on Twitter too – @A_Tall_Turner@CEAmestoy@SamNewton, and @andersonkayjay.

We want this to be helpful, so let us 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.

COVID-19 response:

Vaccine distribution:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that the state has reached an agreement with Alameda County and Contra Costa County to continue to operate the RingCentral Coliseum vaccination site.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that an eight-week Pilot Community Vaccination Site will open in Pueblo County next week to accelerate COVID-19 vaccinations in Pueblo and rural communities throughout southern Colorado at high risk of infection.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced that Delaware’s COVID-19 vaccination program is open to Delawareans aged 16 or older.
  • ILLINOIS is deploying rapid response vaccination teams and additional resources to six counties this week in response to early warning signs of COVID-19 resurgence. 
  • ILLINOIS will receive an additional $124 million in funding from the CDC to further expand its robust COVID-19 vaccination program, including more than $90 million for the state and $33 million for the city of Chicago.
  • ILLINOIS is sending rural vaccination teams to six counties this week, with the capacity to vaccinate more than 8,000 people with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This program is seeing promising results, vaccinating more than 4,700 people in the first two weeks of operation.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that all Kentuckians 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for individuals 16 and older; the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for individuals 18 and older.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS and FEMA announced a partnership to launch a groundbreaking mobile vaccination unit that will provide COVID-19 vaccinations to people in rural and under-served communities across Maine.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced the launch of two mobile vaccination units to support equitable distribution of COVID19 vaccine in rural and tribal areas where limited medical infrastructure exists. The mobile units arrived in Nevada on Saturday and their first vaccination event was on Tuesday.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced that all individuals ages 16 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination on April 19. New Jersey’s phased vaccination rollout has successfully administered 4.7 million doses of vaccine to essential frontline workers, educators, high-risk groups, and other eligible adults who live, work, or study in the state. With 1,796,798 adults already fully vaccinated, New Jersey is on track to meet the governor’s goal of fully vaccinating 4.7 million adults by June 30. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the start of the statewide “Vaccinate NY” ad campaign to encourage all New Yorkers to get vaccinated. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA opened vaccine eligibility for Group 5. This means anyone 16 years and older who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination is eligible to get one.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that all Oregonians over the age of 16 will be eligible to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine on April 19. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA is now in Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination plan.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that Madison’s COVID-19 mass vaccination site at the Alliant Energy Center will receive federal support beginning April 7. In coordination with state and local partners, FEMA Region 5 will provide federal staff and support services to administer vaccinations. Wisconsin has committed to providing up to 7,000 weekly first-dose vaccines from the state’s allocation for the site. This federally-supported mass vaccination clinic will have the capacity to vaccinate 1,400 people per day.

Reopening efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM outlined the state’s next step in the COVID-19 pandemic recovery, moving beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. On June 15, California will fully open its economy if two criteria are met: If vaccine supply is sufficient for Californians 16 years and older who wish to be inoculated; and if hospitalization rates are stable and low.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced updates to county risk levels. Effective April 9 through April 22, there will be 14 counties in the High Risk level, six at Moderate Risk, and 16 at Lower Risk. 

Schools and students:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed legislation requiring that all unified school districts in Kansas will now provide a full-time, in-person attendance option for all students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12.

Business support:

  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced more than $46 million to support an estimated 9,300 small businesses across Wisconsin which will receive a $5,000 grant through the successful ‘We’re All In’ grant program. The announcement comes as the WEDC also announced a new report, ‘Wisconsin Tomorrow: Building an Economy for All,’ outlining the state’s post-pandemic economic recovery and calling for investments in the economic well-being of all Wisconsinites, including small business support.

Testing and tracing:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are urging Michiganders to get tested for COVID-19 upon returning from Spring Break in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order requiring the temporary suspension of certain statutes and rules to expand the healthcare workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities due to the presence of COVID-19. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS amended an executive order related to the temporary suspension of certain statutes to increase the Medicaid home health workforce and eliminate cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment for Medicaid enrollees. The amendments continue statutory suspensions for cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment for Medicaid enrollees and direct and indirect health care services costs, while allowing the other provisions to expire.

Housing support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation has begun distributing relief funds to applicants of the Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance program to ensure families still under financial strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic can stay in their homes, stay warm, and stay connected.

Travel restrictions:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY and the New Jersey Department of Health issued new COVID-19 travel guidance. Given the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 for both residents who travel outside the state and for visitors into the state, New Jersey continues to strongly discourage unvaccinated individuals from engaging in non-essential interstate travel at this time. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE updated Proclamation 20-83 to clarify that, in addition to requiring compliance with CDC restrictions related to international flight travel, all other types of travel, including intrastate travel, should also follow CDC guidance and requirements. This is a technical update to conform the proclamation to the governor’s previously revised travel advisory.

Other efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order permitting all voters in any election, primary, or referendum held prior to May 20, 2021, to vote using an absentee ballot, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed an executive order creating the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Fraud Detection and Prevention Task Force, which will coordinate between state and federal entities to detect, investigate, prosecute and prevent unemployment insurance fraud in Kentucky.

Beyond COVID-19 

State budgets:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced an agreement on the FY 2022 New York State Budget. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS will this week host the fourth of six virtual Badger Bounceback Live Sessions to discuss his 2021-23 budget proposal. As highlighted in a video message from the governor, the listening session will cover topics such as ensuring every kid has access to a high-quality, public education, providing mental health supports for students at schools, special education reimbursement rates, expanding access to early childhood education and childcare, and investing in our higher education institutions.  

IT infrastructure:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced a major step forward in the effort to modernize the state’s Unemployment Insurance system at the Kansas Department of Labor. The agency issued its request for proposal for modernizing the over 40-year-old computer system. 


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that his administration is opening new rounds of funding under two state grant programs that will help with the costs associated with implementing needed security infrastructure improvements and upgrades to emergency communications systems at schools throughout Connecticut.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed historic legislation ending credits for impact aid payments in the public school funding formula, providing school districts with federally impacted land access to more than $60 million to better serve their students, including many Native Americans. In addition, a recurring $67 million appropriation from the general fund ensures that no district will be financially harmed from the change.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law a measure establishing an office within the Developmental Disabilities Council to advocate for the educational rights of students seeking special education services.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed legislation establishing the Family Income Index, an innovative strategy to direct additional funding to schools with concentrated poverty, which is known to contribute to low academic performance.

Health care:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER signed legislation that provides a path to reopen the Westlake Hospital in Cook County. 

Family support:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed legislation that dramatically expands both the Low-Income Comprehensive Tax Rebate, or LICTR, and the Working Families Tax Credit, making more New Mexicans eligible for the benefits and increasing the benefits they will receive. The new law expands the Working Families Tax Credit to taxpayers without Social Security numbers and to taxpayers as young as 18 years old and also increases the value of the credit. For the 2021 and 2022 tax years, the Working Families Tax Credit will be worth 20 percent of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. Beginning in 2023, it will be worth 25 percent of the EITC.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law Senate Bill 140, an important measure that updates and modernizes New Mexico child support law, bringing it into federal compliance and delivering more child support for New Mexico kids.


  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity announced the recipients for the 2020 Community Development Block Grant for Public Infrastructure. A total of $18.2 million will be awarded to 34 communities across the state, enabling cities and towns in non-metropolitan areas to make repairs to shared water and sewer infrastructure that will enhance safety and quality of life for those who live there.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE sent a letter to members of the Washington congressional delegation that details his priorities for infrastructure and clean energy in federal infrastructure legislation through the president’s “American Jobs Plan.”

Anti-discrimination efforts:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law measures that prohibit discrimination, discipline, or disparate treatment of New Mexico students based on their hairstyle or cultural or religious headdress.

Criminal justice reform:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN appeared before the House Committee on Judiciary to urge her support for a set of bills aimed at increasing police accountability. Among those bills is HB 2162, which was a recommendation of the Governor’s Public Safety Training and Standards Taskforce.

Economic development:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS celebrates the announcement that Fidelity Investments plans to hire 375 new employees based in Colorado as part of the financial services corporation’s goal to bring on 4,000 additional employees over the next six months. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that Nextworld plans to expand its Greenwood Village headquarters. The multifaceted Nextworld project includes a substantial investment in an expanded Greenwood Village campus that will serve as the hub for more than 300 new Colorado jobs. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS, Port of New Orleans President and CEO Brandy D. Christian, and Lineage Logistics President and CEO Greg Lehmkuhl announced the company will build a $42 million expansion of its Jourdan Road cold-storage facility in New Orleans East, where Lineage plans to create 50 new direct jobs.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that American Racing Headers & Exhaust, Inc. will locate a new manufacturing facility in Stanly County. The company will invest $4.37 million and add 63 new jobs as it relocates its operations to the Charlotte region.

Other efforts:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER signed legislation that codifies longstanding benefits in the Chicago firefighter pensions system. The bill ensures firefighters are treated fairly by fulfilling promises made to firefighter pensioners.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that, through a bipartisan effort, funding has been appropriated for the Office of the State Medical Examiner to reopen its Northern Kentucky office. The Northern Kentucky medical examiner’s office has been closed since March 2018.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY NJ TRANSIT Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett, and local officials marked the beginning of testing of the first of 25 new ALP-45 dual-power locomotives manufactured by Alstom during a ceremony that was held on Track A at Newark Penn Station. 

Stay safe, wear a mask, and wash your hands. See you all on Friday!