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Govs On Deck – April 8, 2020

Govs on Deck

Good Wednesday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck” – the one thing keeping me aware of what day of the week it is. 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 amestoy@dga.net. 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.
Stay at home orders:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK extended his stay at home order through April 24th.  

Presidential Major Disaster Declaration:

  • MINNESOTA announced its requests for a statewide Major Disaster Declaration was approved by President Trump.  

Federal requests:

  • MONTANA’s Office of Public Instruction has secured 11 waivers for Montana’s local school nutrition programs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The most recent waiver enables Summer Food Service Program sponsors to operate open sites in areas approved by the OPI based on economic hardship, but that are not located in areas in which poor economic conditions exist. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that the state received approval from FEMA to provide housing alternatives, such as hotels, motels, and dormitories, for North Carolinians with unstable housing who may need to quarantine in response to or are at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19. 

Public gatherings:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY rescinded a previous executive order and replaced it with a new order that brings religious institutions and religious and non-religious funerals in line with the previous order that limited public gatherings to 10 or fewer people. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order closing all state parks and forests and county parks to further social distancing measures. 
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO extended the ban on gatherings of over five people through May 8th.

Schools:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK extended school closures through April 24th.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order waiving 2019-2020 statutory school year assessment requirements for eighth grade students and twelfth grade students who have not yet met the graduation assessment requirement due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order extending certain statutory deadlines for school districts with elections in May. 

Business operations:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order requiring the Department of Economic and Community Development to work in consultation with the Department of Public Health on the development of legally binding statewide rules for additional, mandatory protective measures for essential workplaces.
  • MAINE is working with farmers markets to create a new program that assists the markets in using wireless equipment to process transactions with federal food assistance. The program is designed to help farmers markets and direct-market farms acquire wireless electronic benefits transfer equipment to process Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK extended the closure of non-essential businesses through April 24th.  
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO extended business operations restrictions through May 8th.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced new efforts to support struggling small businesses including the Working Washington Small Business Grant of up to $10,000, business resiliency assistance, and forgivable loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

Health care:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order waiving the application fees for temporary permits for health care professions that are administered by the Department of Public Health and extending the duration of these temporary permits. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order allowing recent medical school and other medical profession graduates who are not yet licensed to participate in the state’s COVID-19 response.  
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order allowing  recent graduates with a degree in clinical mental health counseling and those who have recently completed an accredited graduate degree program in marital and family therapy to practice without a license for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS directed the Maine National Guard and the Maine Emergency Management Agency to work with Maine’s health care systems to open two alternative care sites in Portland and Bangor. The effort calls for a total of 100 beds to be set up at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland and at least 50 beds to be set up at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor as additional capacity for hospitals. 
  • MAINE’s Department of Health and Human Services plans to make $10 million in supplemental payments available to Maine hospitals, many of which are struggling financially as the pandemic forces the cancellation or postponement of non-critical surgeries and appointments.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS signed an executive order expanding access to health care by allowing all health care providers licensed by the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation, including psychologists, social workers, and physical therapists to provide services via telehealth as well as alleviates certain licensing requirements.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state will invest in private companies to bring rapid COVID-19 testing to scale and accelerate testing capacity.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO signed an executive order ensuring that hospitals provide data to the state regarding supplies, patients being treated for COVID-19, and testing. 

PPE / equipment supplies:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order to help the state procure necessary medical supplies to fight COVID-19. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that Connecticut manufacturers can now apply for grants of up to $75,000 to assist in the production of critical equipment and supplies needed to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.

Worker / family support:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS signed a proclamation addressing various issues related to unemployment and workers’ compensation and also deems health care workers and first responders who work for the state as essential for purposes of the federal Family First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced an agreement with the largest student loan servicers in New York to obtain relief for student loan borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Available relief includes 90 days of deferred monthly payments, waived late fees, no negative reporting to credit agencies, and enrolling eligible borrowers in available long-term assistance program.

Child care:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that CUB Foods and its parent company United Natural Foods Inc., in partnership with the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, has set up an ordering process specifically for child care providers.

Public communication efforts:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF’s advisory commissions are calling for the public to remain vigilant against hate after the Pennsylvania State Police reported it remains committed to preventing and investigating hate/bias crimes in Pennsylvania.

Response Task Forces / Volunteer efforts:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN convened the first meeting of her COVID-19 Medical Advisory Panel, a group of doctors, infectious disease experts, and medical professionals from across the state who will review the status of COVID-19 in the state and make recommendations to the governor on future response efforts.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE joined key nonprofits and local philanthropies today to launch a coordinated, statewide food relief fund called WA Food Fund that will help reach those in need in every corner of Washington. 

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order providing additional support for older adults and vulnerable young children by creating a 60-day waiver for In-Home Supportive Services program caseworkers to continue their work and be able to care for older adults, as well as individuals with disabilities.
  • CONNECTICUT’s National Guard will be joined by 85 soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve’s Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force to provide additional medical staff to Stamford Hospital. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER signed an executive order expanding eligibility for inmates’ medical furloughs by allowing the Illinois Department of Corrections to allow “medically vulnerable” inmates to temporarily leave prison for as long as the state’s disaster proclamation is in effect.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK issued a directive waiving the current requirement that local and county governments implement a $2 million emergency levy in order to access new funding coming to the state through the federal CARES Act.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK issued a directive providing clarification for notifying law enforcement, firefighters, emergency care providers, corrections officers, or ambulance service attendants, when possible, before contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19. The measure will allow first responders to take appropriate measures to safely perform their duties and avoid exposing other patients to the virus.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed an executive order releasing inmates who were scheduled to be released within the next 30 days early as a way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER signed an executive order allowing more flexibility in law enforcement training schedules during the state of emergency so that people training for new positions can pause their training and resume at a later date.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!