Chip in to protect our blue firewall!

If we want to stop the Republicans' dangerous agenda, defend reproductive rights, and protect our democracy, we have to keep pace with the GOP's millions in fundraising. Please don’t wait: rush your gift to elect Dem govs >>

Govs On Deck – August 10, 2020

Govs on Deck

Happy Monday, everyone and welcome to another edition of “Govs on Deck!” As a reminder, we are still sending out this newsletter on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Let’s get to it.


As always, 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 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:


Emergency declarations:


  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER extended the state of emergency declaration. 


Reopening efforts:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended the Protect Our Neighbors order another 30 days. During the Protect Our Neighbors phase, communities that meet certain criteria have fewer restrictions than under the Stay at Home and Safer at Home phases.
  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Public Health reported 13 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19. A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase. 


Public gatherings:


  • GUAM Gov. Lou Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order implementing additional safety measures, including the temporary closure of bars and taverns and limitation on gatherings, and issuance of temporary teaching certifications.
  • GUAM’s Department of Public Health and Social Services issued guidance on requirements of funeral homes and mortuaries that service wakes, visitations, viewings, and/or other funeral services. 


Face coverings:


  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that the Illinois Department of Public Health will file emergency rules for businesses, schools, and child care establishments regarding the use of face coverings and the size of gatherings. Businesses will receive a fine of up to $2,500 if they fail to comply. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER signed legislation that expands workplace protections. To directly protect workers in retail, the law adds a penalty for assaulting or battering a retail worker who is conveying public health guidance, such as requiring patrons to wear face-coverings or promoting social distancing. This provision sends the message that it’s vitally important for workers to be both respected and protected while serving on the front lines.


Elections:


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed legislation allowing counties to offer fewer in-person voting options as they hold the November election in the midst of the pandemic. The governor has already signed a law requiring counties to mail ballots to voters ahead of the November 3 election.


Business guidance:


  • NEW MEXICO’s Environment Department filed an emergency rule that requires employers to report positive COVID-19 cases to NMED within four hours of being notified of the case.


Business support:


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that $96 million in state grants have been awarded to 4,933 Pennsylvania small businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis and subsequent business closure order.


Schools/students: 


  • CALIFORNIA released guidance for colleges and universities to be able to resume on-campus classes and intramural sports.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that based on each region’s infection rate, schools across the state are permitted to open this fall. Every region’s infection rate is below the threshold necessary by the State’s standards to open schools. The Department of Health will review submitted reopening plans from school districts and notify districts of their status today.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER delivered opening remarks at the REAL(Remote Education and Leadership) Conference, a virtual conference of 1,300 educators from rural North Carolina focused on remote learning to help them be better prepared to teach throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.


Testing/contact tracing:


  • NEW JERSEY’s Department of Health unveiled an online dashboard highlighting New Jersey’s contact tracing efforts throughout the state.


Worker support:


  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order to reinstate protections for Michigan workers by prohibiting employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who make the responsible choice to stay home when they or their close contacts are sick.  The move comes after the federal government allowed federal pandemic unemployment assistance to lapse. 


Homeowner/renter support:


  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK signed legislation authorizing Nevada’s Supreme Court, Justice Courts, and District Courts to establish rules setting up an expedited program of alternative dispute resolution for evictions for any housing programs operated by a public housing authority.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced the creation of the Small Landlord Emergency Grant Program. The program, administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, will provide emergency grant funding to small property owners for COVID-19 related decreases in rent revenue for a four-month period between April and July 2020. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed an executive order extending the eviction moratorium for another 30 days.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced a temporary statewide moratorium on eviction proceedings in Virginia. The moratorium, which will begin on Monday, August 10, and remains in effect through Monday, September 7, halts all eviction proceedings related to failure to pay rent. Governor Northam requested this moratorium in a letter to Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Lemons on July 24.


Travel restrictions: 


  • GUAM’s Department of Public Health and Social Services issued an updated list of low-risk areas.


Special sessions:


  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that he will convene a special legislative session beginning on August 12th. 


Other efforts:


  • NEW MEXICO’s Tourism Department has launched the #StayHome Shop Local Online campaign to help boost the products of New Mexico True Certified merchants, artists, and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced long term care facilities with no reported COVID cases will be able to start welcoming visitors in select counties.


Beyond COVID-19 


Federal requests:


  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ appealed the decision by the federal government to deny a federal disaster declaration to help Minnesota rebuild after civil unrest damaged public infrastructure and caused extensive fire damage in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration approved his request to declare a disaster in Philadelphia after civil unrest from May 30 to June 8 caused millions of dollars in damages.


Criminal justice reform:


  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK signed two pieces of legislation addressing the state’s criminal justice system, including changes to law enforcement conduct and the rollbacks of certain provisions for police officers under investigation.


Economic development:


  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced a $3 million state investment that will help bring a new urban farming campus to Chicago’s south side. The $32 million project will transform a vacant brownfield parcel into a new Green Era Urban Farming Campus that will provide access to fresh food, renewable energy, and resilient growth for a community that has historically suffered from disinvestment and a lack of employment opportunities.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Prepac Manufacturing Ltd., a North American manufacturer of Ready-to-Assemble furniture will locate a new east coast furniture factory in Guilford County.


Education:


  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced nearly $100,000 has been awarded to 12 applicants through the Montana Farmer Student Loan Assistance Program, which was created to encourage Montana’s college-educated youth to pursue a primary career in farming or ranching.


Other efforts:


  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order creating the Food Security Council within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The Council is tasked with identifying and analyzing the origins of and solutions for food insecurity in Michigan and helping the governor work to ensure all Michiganders, no matter their socioeconomic status can put food on the table for themselves and their families.


Stay safe everyone, wear a mask, and wash your hands! See you on Wednesday!