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Govs On Deck – August 14, 2020

Govs on Deck

It’s Friday! 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 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.

Programming note: Get excited! Govs on Deck will be daily all next week. We’re coming at you with the content you know and love, plus events surrounding the DNC Convention featuring #DemGovs.

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:

Federal requests: 

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF sent a letter to Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation reaffirming his support for an extension of the federal $600 weekly unemployment benefit that expired last month. With Senate Republicans failing to pass a bill continuing the program, President Trump on Aug. 8 authorized a plan that will reduce and delay payments to workers in need, end the benefit for 30,000 Pennsylvanians and increase the burden on states.

Emergency declarations:

  • GUAM Gov.  Lou Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order placing Guam under the Pandemic Condition of Readiness 1 effective on Sunday through Saturday, August 29th.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.

Reopening efforts:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that Malheur County will move from Phase 2 back to Phase 1 status, effective Monday, August 17. Malheur County was placed on the County Watch List on July 3, and COVID-19 has been spreading rapidly in the county since then, even with additional support from state public health officials.

Face coverings:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS will extend the state’s mask mandate that is set to expire this weekend. 

Business support:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced $46 million in small business grants have been released to 2,655 small businesses located in over 400 individual cities and spread across 78 counties. The grants are the first round of the Business Interruption Grant program through which the State will award grants to a diversity of businesses, as well as business communities hit hardest by COVID-19 related closures. A substantial portion of the BIG program is dedicated to supporting childcare providers. 
  • KANSASGov. Laura KELLY has announced businesses will soon be able to apply for a total of more than $130 million in grants to serve those most affected by the pandemic and for companies that can expand broadband access in the state. 
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced that producers of maple sap used to make maple syrup are now eligible for direct financial relief to help offset the financial harm they have experienced due to COVID-19.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that businesses and nonprofit organizations in North Carolina that have experienced interruption due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic could qualify for up to $250,000 from a new state grant program.


  • MONTANA’s Disaster Emergency Services and the Montana National Guard Wednesday delivered personal protective equipment to the Butte School District as part of an effort to support schools as they prepare for the upcoming school year.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY and Department of Education Interim Commissioner Kevin Dehmer announced that New Jersey’s public and private school districts will be open for in-person instruction for the start of the school year. Public school districts can begin the school year via remote-only instruction if they cannot adequately meet critical health and safety protocols outlined in the state’s school reopening guidance, “The Road Back,” which was released in late June. 

Testing/contact tracing:

  • CONNECTICUT will extend financial support through late October for the broad testing of nursing home staff.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that the Virginia Department of Health will conduct a pediatric coronavirus disease serology study in Northern Virginia. Interim results from Virginia’s ongoing adult serology study show an estimated 2.4 percent of adults statewide have antibodies to COVID-19. The new pediatric study, completed in collaboration with Inova Health System, will measure the proportion of children and teens with antibodies to COVID-19

Worker support:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that Louisiana will pursue an option under President Donald Trump’s executive order that it believes will allow around 454,000 eligible unemployed Louisianans to get $300 a week in additional assistance through the federal government. 
  • NEW MEXICO’s Department of Workforce Solutions submitted an application to the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration for funding that would provide an additional $300 per week payments to New Mexicans receiving Unemployment benefits. U.S. Department of Labor guidance allows for existing Unemployment Trust Fund payments delivered by NMDWS to count as 25% matching funds for the program. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER sent a letter to North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger urging them to expand unemployment benefits for North Carolinians, which are currently among the lowest in the nation.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation that sets forth the parameters for the Washington COVID-19 Food Production Paid Leave Program. The program provides a $3 million fund to support workers in the food production industry who are unable to obtain leave through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. These workers are often ineligible for other forms of paid leave, even when exposed to COVID-19. 

Family support:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that the Illinois Department of Human Services has extended the deadline for Illinoisans to apply for nutrition benefits to August 31. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER issued an executive order extending proof-of-immunization and health assessment documentation deadlines for school and child-care facilities.

Travel restrictions: 

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR updated his administration’s travel advisory, which recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for Kentuckians who travel to states and U.S. territories that are reporting a positive coronavirus testing rate equal to or greater than 15%.

Relief funds:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced 15 Eastern Kentucky governments were approved for $3,891,092 in reimbursements from the CARES Act for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced today the Department for Local Government has been awarded an additional $6 million from the CARES Act through the Economic Development Administration. 
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced he will direct $10 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds to create the Live Entertainment Grant Program to provide long term viability for the live entertainment industry.

Task forces:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the creation of a COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity to help communicate issues about how the pandemic is affecting the state’s minority and marginalized populations.

Public communications:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS released a new COVID-19 PSA featuring Louisiana musician Jon Batiste, who serves as the bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS, encouraging everyone to wear a mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order suspending statutes to allow the operation of alternate care sites in Colorado. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced many nonprofits now have free access to the state’s new volunteer recruitment and management website, Volunteer Kentucky. The website, through Serve Kentucky, aims to provide efficient volunteer recruitment and management system, facilitating Kentuckians’ search for, and response to service opportunities within their communities. The site will also help better track volunteerism in Kentucky.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Growth and Opportunity for Virginia (GO Virginia) will award more than $5.5 million to support projects that will help address economic and public health challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The four regional projects and one statewide competitive project receiving funding are focused on strengthening the health sciences workforce pipeline, advancing new renewable energy ventures, and developing a regional services network for entrepreneurs.

Beyond COVID-19 

Economic development:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY congratulated Kubota and its subsidiary Great Plains Manufacturing on the announcement of a new manufacturing facility in Salina.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that three Kansas cities will receive Community Development Block Grants from the Department of Commerce to assist with commercial redevelopment efforts.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR and Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers hosted the first-ever virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda Thursday to celebrate the completion of Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program economic development and tourism-related projects in Perry, Floyd and Clay counties.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced Tomakk Glass Partners will make a $1.95 million investment to launch a glass manufacturing facility in Shreveport.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced an initiative to develop a first-of-its-kind corridor for connected and autonomous vehicles designed to improve transportation for communities in Southeast Michigan. A key goal of the project will be to design the corridor with a focus on closing long-standing gaps in access to transit and transportation across the region.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that 10 companies across the Commonwealth have graduated from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Leaders in Export Trade Program.


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM’s Administration and the U.S. Forest Service announced a new joint state-federal initiative to reduce wildfire risks, restore watersheds, protect habitat, and biological diversity, and help the state meet its climate objectives. The Agreement for Shared Stewardship of California’s Forest and Rangelands includes a commitment by the federal government to match California’s goal of reducing wildfire risks on 500,000 acres of forest land per year.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group, the entity responsible for the oversight, planning, and implementation of Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment settlement funds in Louisiana, has approved $204.7 million for a variety of projects aimed at helping the state continue its recovery from the 2010 oil spill. These projects, approved in two recent restoration plans, will assist in the development of Louisiana oyster beds, increase oyster production, improve the response effort for stranded dolphins and whales, and create approximately 1,200 acres of marsh in the upper Barataria Basin.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM’s administration condemned the federal rollbacks of methane regulations

Health care:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced $972,717 has been awarded to five addiction treatment service providers across New York State to enable them to purchase and operate mobile treatment vehicles. The goal of this initiative is to expand the availability and access to addiction treatment services in underserved regions of the state. Funding is administered by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports and was awarded through the federal State Opioid Response Grant.


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced recipients of a new round of funding for housing programs made available through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement fund. The governor named 214 housing and community development initiatives in 67 counties that will share a portion of the total $45.79 million in PHARE funding. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced awards totaling $42 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, $6.08 million in PennHOMES funding, and $12.6 million in National Housing Trust Funds for the construction of 36 affordable multifamily housing developments in Pennsylvania. The federal tax credits are administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and were approved by its board.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced more than $7 million in Community Development Block Grants for the counties of Brunswick, Floyd, and York and the towns of Blackstone, Glade Spring, La Crosse, and White Stone. The funding will support housing rehabilitation and business district improvements to assist low- to moderate-income individuals and households.


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced the Connecticut Department of Transportation has been awarded a $6.7 million federal grant to modernize the CTtransit bus facility in Stamford by providing accommodations for battery-electric buses, which will soon be used on the system.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Department of Transportation announced that multiple projects in the Decatur area are underway or starting soon and extending into 2021. The five projects represent a total investment of more than $35 million for the region, with nearly $30 million coming from his Rebuild Illinois capital program.

Law enforcement:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed a bill that bans the use of chokeholds by all law enforcement agencies in Delaware.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO and MINNESOTA were recognized by Results for America and the National Governors Association for their exemplary use of evidence and data to improve results for Coloradans.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation to further strengthen NJ TRANSIT’s paratransit services for individuals with disabilities. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a new social media campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking and help dispel common misconceptions about the crime and its victims. Starting this month, the Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking will begin sharing a series of graphics aimed at correcting these misconceptions along with information about how to report trafficking cases.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced $15.1 million in federal funding is being made available to New York State and county emergency management agencies to support planning and operational readiness for any type of disaster New York may experience.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS granted pardons this week to nine individuals. 

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