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Govs On Deck – August 17, 2020

Govs on Deck

Happy Monday and happy Convention week! Welcome to another edition of “Govs on Deck!” We’re back to being daily this week so get excited. 

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.

DNC Convention – #DemGovs schedule: 

    • Convention programming: 9:00 – 10:00 PM ET 
      • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO to address the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Watch HERE.
      • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER to address the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Watch HERE
  • Wednesday, August 19th
    • 6:45 – 7:15 PM ET
      • DGA Virtual Grassroots Fundraiser featuring MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER and OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN. Reserve your spot HERE. Press may RSVP to
    • 7:30 – 8:30 PM ET
      • Bold Leadership: Women Governors Leading the States featuring KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLYMAINE Gov. Janet MILLSMICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMEROREGON Gov. Kate BROWNNEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM and RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO. Watch HERE
    • Convention programming: 9:00 – 10:00 PM ET
      • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS to address the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Watch HERE.
      • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM to address the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Watch HERE.   
  • Thursday, August 20th
    • 7:00 – 8:00 PM ET
    • Convention programming: 9:00 – 10:00 PM ET
      • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM to address the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Watch HERE.

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:

Reopening efforts:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Illinois Department of Public Health are announcing new COVID-19 mitigation efforts that will be implemented in the Metro East area beginning Tuesday, August 18. Region 4 is now reporting three consecutive days of a test positivity rate of 8 percent or higher, triggering implementation of mitigation efforts as outlined in the state’s COVID-19 Mitigation Plan.
  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Public Health reported 14 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for novel coronavirus disease.  A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK signed a directive formally adopting the Road to Recovery: Moving to A New Normal plan, which was announced publicly on August 3, and outlined the state’s transition to a long-term, focused mitigation strategy moving forward. The hallmark of the New Normal Plan is utilizing targeted strategic mitigation measures at the county level using State and local data and assessments to best help slow the spread of COVID-19 within those specific communities.

Public gatherings:

  • CONNECTICUT  Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz at the request of Gov. Ned LAMONT – in her capacity as acting governor – signed an executive order that permits the Commissioner of DECD to issue or amend Sector Rules to establish size limits for private gatherings of people who do not live in the same household, regardless of whether such gathering has been organized by a business.

Face coverings:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended and amended an executive order requiring Coloradans to wear face coverings. 
  • CONNECTICUT  Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz at the request of Gov. Ned LAMONT – in her capacity as acting governor – signed an executive order that required the wearing of face coverings in public places in Connecticut, with a similar order that requires anyone declining to wear a mask or face covering because of a medical condition to have documentation of the condition. It also contains provisions for people with disabilities to obtain such documentation without facing a significant burden.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced that four million free masks are being provided to Michigan residents who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 through a partnership involving the state, Ford Motor Company and FEMA. Low-income residents, seniors, schools and homeless shelters will benefit from the MI Mask Aid partnership that is part of the Mask Up Michigan campaign.


  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR and Secretary of State Michael Adams announced a bipartisan agreement to allow Kentuckians to exercise their right to vote in the November General Election while protecting their health during the ongoing global pandemic. The plan covers absentee voting by mail, early voting, and Election Day voting. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order to create a modified vote-by-mail election for the November 3rd General Election. The order suspends the sending of sample ballots and requires that each county’s elections officials send VBM ballots with pre-paid postage to all active registered voters for the General Election. Additionally, every voter will have the option to either return their ballot through a secure drop box or turn in their ballot at a polling location on Election Day. The administration is working with the Department of State to implement a new online voter registration system where New Jersey residents will have the opportunity to register to vote. The online system will launch on September 4, 2020.

Business guidance:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced bowling alleys throughout New York will be allowed to reopen starting Monday with strict safety protocols in place. 


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that every eligible local educational agency in California has applied for and is receiving a portion of the $5.3 billion in learning loss mitigation funds secured through the state budget he signed in June. 
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order directing state agencies across government to bridge the digital divide, building on the state’s efforts to provide computing devices and hotspots to students across the state.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER, Sen. Mike Shirkey, Sen. Jim Ananich, Rep. Lee Chatfield, and Rep. Christine Greig issued the following joint statement after reaching a bipartisan deal regarding the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education announced that the Administration will award $150 million in federal CARES Act funds to New Jersey’s public and private colleges and universities to help offset costs incurred as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Testing/contact tracing:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed a revised executive order on jails and prisons Saturday that requires adoption of testing protocols for Michigan Department of Corrections facilities, and requires that jails adopt comparable protocols in order to transfer prisons to state facilities.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of a pilot program to detect the presence of COVID-19 in wastewater, designed to establish an early indicator system to forecast virus spread in communities. 
  • NEW YORKGov. Andrew CUOMO announced that after New York’s contact tracing program identified several new clusters at farms linked to seasonal workers who recently traveled to New York, the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture & Markets will dispatch mobile testing teams to farms in rural counties across the state, as well as assist with access to isolation housing where needed for workers who test positive. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the State University of New York has been approved by the New York State Department of Health to undertake pooled surveillance testing for COVID-19 – an innovative method where numerous samples can be run as part of one test. 

Family support:

  • NEW MEXICO’s All Together NM Fund, launched by Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM in collaboration with the New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations, contributed an additional $500,000 to food banks and pantries statewide.

Travel restrictions: 

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER issued a warning to residents about traveling to Missouri. New data from Saint Louis University researchers suggests many people have been traveling across the river for fun. So much so that Pritzker posted a message on his Facebook page, “Missouri may be more ‘open’ today, but if you cross the border and let your guard down, you’re putting the future of the Illinois economy at risk.”

Special sessions:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM unveiled his administration’s key priorities for the upcoming Virginia General Assembly special session, set to begin on Tuesday, August 18th. Priorities include addressing Virginia’s biennial budget, which has been severely impacted by the ongoing global pandemic, and several measures to advance equity, reform policing, and protect the safety, health, and welfare of Virginians during this crisis.

Beyond COVID-19 

Civil rights:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM named her three appointees to the New Mexico Civil Rights Commission, established through legislation approved this summer.

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