Govs On Deck – April 9, 2021
Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck”! As a reminder, your favorite newsletter comes out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
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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. Want more examples? Send me an email and I can help you track down answers.
- ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that an additional 150,000 new first-dose vaccine appointments will be made available at the 11 state-supported mass vaccination operations in Cook and the collar counties and area pharmacies the week of April 12, as the State opens to universal eligibility for individuals 16 and older. The state will deliver more than a quarter of a million doses next week to Cook and county sites open to all Illinois residents on top of tens of thousands of newly available appointments at hospitals, local county sites, and other mass vaccination sites throughout the region.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the Cardinal Stadium COVID-19 vaccination site in Louisville has 11,000 appointments that Kentuckians can pre-register for.
- MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ, as a part of the broader statewide, ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves, MN’ campaign, launched an outreach effort focused on connecting workers in critical industries to the resources they need to get vaccinated. In the coming weeks, workers in priority frontline sectors will be vaccinated at community vaccination sites. The campaign kicks off its first week with workers in the foodservice industry.
- NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER joined bipartisan legislative leaders to release a PSA urging North Carolinians to get COVID vaccines now that all adults are eligible for vaccinations.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that the fifth community-based vaccination clinic in the state will open in Douglas County on April 13. The site will be located at the University of Wisconsin-Superior in the Wessman Arena.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced an administrative order which adjusts gathering limits for non-professional and non-collegiate indoor sports activities. The adjustment clarifies that athletes, coaches, up to two parents and guardians per participating athlete under the age of 21, and other individuals necessary for the practice or competition do not count towards the general indoor gathering limit, which is currently 25 persons. The order also allows retail businesses to permit customers to utilize self-service food, such as buffets and salad bars.
Schools and students:
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM invited eligible Virginia private schools to apply for funding from the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act approved by Congress in December 2020.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS and First Lady Kathy EVERS announced that Wisconsin and five other states were selected to work with the National Governors Association on strategies for equitably meeting the social-emotional needs of students and families during and beyond the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes as students and their families continue to confront fear, anxiety, trauma, isolation, and stress surrounding the ongoing pandemic in addition to increasing public concern across the country about persistent racial disparities and economic instability.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation that provides $15 million in federal COVID-19 relief aid for arts and cultural venues throughout New Jersey. The bill focuses on providing aid to arts and cultural organizations in need of support as a result of the public health emergency. The bill is part of a five-bill, $100 million relief effort aimed at helping New Jersey’s small businesses recover from the year-long pandemic.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York State will restore $600 million in retroactive general salary increases for state workers after having sacrificed their contractual raises as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced an allocation of more than $6.3 million in Growth and Opportunity for Virginia grants to help the Commonwealth continue addressing the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will support a total of 15 projects, including eight regional GO Virginia projects and seven projects through GO Virginia’s Economic Resilience and Recovery Program.
- CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced a $536 million funding plan to help improve California’s resilience to wildfires.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS joined the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control to discuss the state’s 2021 Wildfire Outlook and Preparedness Plan. The 2021 wildfire outlook forecast indicates that Colorado is expected to see above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation from now into August. These forecasted conditions are likely to lead to an earlier than normal start to the core fires in Colorado.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR submitted a request to President Biden asking that a Major Disaster Declaration be issued for some of the worst floodings in Kentucky history after unprecedented rainfall led to flash flooding, mudslides, and landslides across the commonwealth.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced his bipartisan legislative agenda in 2021 that focuses on enhancing pay for teachers and support staff, increased investments in higher education, fighting discrimination in auto insurance rates, closing Louisiana’s gender pay gap, and mandatory reporting for Title IX violations on college campuses. The governor also supports legislative efforts focused on making accommodations for pregnant or postpartum workers, mandating kindergarten, and reforming disciplinary procedures for members of law enforcement, among other things, including an increase in Louisiana’s minimum wage.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed legislation establishing the Health Care Affordability Fund, which is dedicated to reducing the cost of health insurance and medical expenses for working families. The bill also prohibits copays and other cost-sharing for people with insurance who seek behavioral health services.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law a humane measure that will provide terminally ill patients the ability to seek medical aid in dying.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE modified a proclamation to allow employers additional flexibility to seek medical verification from employees and to shift employees to health coverage alternatives.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law a measure guaranteeing paid sick leave to New Mexico workers, the importance of which has been magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Environmental protections and clean energy:
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed legislation allowing the state and Albuquerque/Bernalillo County to adopt environmental regulations more stringent than those at the federal level.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced $6 million in awards for four Accelerate Southern Tier projects and six innovative technologies that support New York’s clean energy goals.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed a pair of measures moving the state one step closer to providing New Mexico with the broadband capacity to connect all New Mexicans to reliable, high-speed internet.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation Board of Directors has approved more than $48 million in grants, interest-free loans, and low-cost loans to support vital drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across New York State.
Criminal justice reform:
- NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced the formation of the North Carolina Juvenile Sentence Review Board. The four-person advisory board, established by Executive Order 208, will review certain sentences imposed in North Carolina on individuals who were tried and sentenced in adult criminal court for acts committed before turning 18. The Review Board will make recommendations to the governor concerning clemency and commutation of such sentences when appropriate.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed a partial ban on no-knock warrants more than a year after the deadly police shooting of Breonna Taylor.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that five projects will be awarded $2.2 million for the construction or rehabilitation of mixed-use developments. The funding was raised through the sale of tax credits under the Mixed-Use Development Tax Credit Program, the proceeds of which are being used to fund the work of the Community Revitalization Fund Program.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced nearly $2.7 million in low-interest loans through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority for three projects that will help companies in Bucks, Franklin, and Luzerne counties expand their operations, renovate facilities, and create jobs.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed Senate Bill 1 from last month’s special session, an economic development measure that gives New Mexico an important tool to work with local governments and recruit large job-creating companies to the state.
- NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Pipeline Plastics Holdings, LLC will create 44 new jobs in Columbus County.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that STS Group AG will invest $39 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Wythe County’s Progress Park. The project will create 120 new jobs.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that SES will invest $17 million to merge its satellite and network operations at a new facility in Prince William County. The project will create up to 200 net new jobs by 2026.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Oransi will invest $5.6 million to establish its first manufacturing facility in the Plymouth Building at 113 Corporate Drive in the City of Radford. The project will create 101 new jobs.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF applauded President Biden’s gun safety executive orders and called on the state legislature to take action on gun safety measures he had proposed including safe storage to reduce shootings by children and others; red flag law that would temporarily remove guns from individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others; and background checks to close loopholes in firearm purchases.
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed a bill that will require electric utilities to take certain steps before exercising eminent domain to construct an urban electric transmission line in Kansas.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law extensive guardianship reform legislation, creating much-needed oversight of legal guardians and conservators that control medical, financial, residential, and other major life decisions of more than 6,000 New Mexicans who are aging or living with disabilities. Inadequate oversight of guardianship and conservatorship cases have left many of the most at-risk adults in this state susceptible to abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law three initiatives that will improve the quality of life for military families and veterans as they move to New Mexico.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law a measure that will help fire departments across New Mexico purchase essential equipment, including water tanks, firetrucks, and personal protective equipment.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, strengthening the protection of New Mexicans’ rights, privileges, and immunities as provided for in the bill of rights of the state constitution. The measure allows a person to litigate any deprivation of those rights, privileges, or immunities and prohibits the use of qualified immunity as a defense for depriving a person of those constitutional civil rights.
Stay safe, wear a mask, and wash your hands. See you all on Monday!