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Govs On Deck – August 20, 2020

Govs on Deck

Happy Thursday 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: 

What we’re talking about:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM received high praise for her address to the 2020 National Democratic Convention. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY, MAINE Gov. Janet MILLSMICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER, and NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM sat down for a conversation with RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO last night to talk about what it means, and takes, to be a woman executive. If you missed it, rewatch the panel 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:


  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that he will reject an emergency plan for the fall elections because it doesn’t expand mail-in balloting options for people quarantined because of the coronavirus pandemic or those at greater risk of serious harm from COVID-19. The decision by the Democratic governor will block the plan offered by Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin for the Nov. 3 presidential election and a Dec. 5 state election. The proposal needs backing from both the majority-GOP Legislature and Edwards to take effect.

Business support:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced a grant program of at least $100 million to assist Delaware small businesses and nonprofit organizations affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The DE Relief Grants program is a joint initiative of the State of Delaware and New Castle County and is funded by the CARES Act.

Schools and students:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced she is sending nearly $65 million in federal CARES Act funding to Michigan school districts, higher education institutions, and other education-related entities that have been most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The money is targeted towards the state’s economically disadvantaged districts, with $60 million targeted towards those students.

Testing and tracing:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that as of today, more than one million COVID-19 PCR-based diagnostic tests have been recorded in Connecticut.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the state’s partnership with Kroger to provide free, drive-through testing is being extended in Lexington.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO, in anticipation of flu season, directed the Department of Health to send a letter to county health departments to ensure localities have plans in place to perform flu and COVID-19 tests simultaneously.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued an update to Proclamation 20-57, “Concerning the Health of Agricultural Workers.” The proclamation now requires agricultural employers to test their workforce broadly when health officials identify an outbreak that passes certain thresholds.  

Worker support:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the state is applying for additional unemployment insurance assistance from the federal government. The governor said that on Thursday the Labor Cabinet will file an application for the Lost Wages Assistance Program that is being operated through FEMA. The state will provide the extra $100 using CARES Act money. 

Travel restrictions: 

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced a delay in the start of the state’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program to Oct. 1, 2020. This pushes the previously announced Sept. 1 date to October 1, 2020 at the earliest.  

Relief funds:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced 18 Central Kentucky governments were approved for $8,194,518 in reimbursements from the CARES Act for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19.

Other efforts:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that people living and working in 11 rural counties will get expanded high-speed internet service thanks to more than $12 million in grants awarded by his administration. The governor announced today the award of the 2019-2020 Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant and COVID-19 Recovery Act funding.

Beyond COVID-19 


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that California has secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant  from FEMA to help ensure the availability of vital resources to suppress the Carmel Fire burning in Monterey County.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order ordering temporary fire restrictions across the State to reduce the risk of new fires and protect health and safety. Restrictions include certain outdoor fires, fireworks, and explosives. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN declared a state of emergency due to the imminent threat of wildfire across Oregon. Much of the state is now in extreme fire danger, and red flag warnings have been issued for hot, dry, windy conditions and dry thunderstorms.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a statewide emergency proclamation today to ensure immediate response to multiple wildfires in Central and Eastern Washington, as well as the Olympic Peninsula. 

Climate change:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS signed two executive orders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance coastal resilience. Executive Order JBE 2020-18 formally establishes Louisiana’s first-ever Climate Initiatives Task Force, a group of stakeholders who will study and make recommendations to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions. Executive Order JBE 2020-19 provides steps to improve state government by coordinating adaptation efforts more comprehensively across state agencies under the leadership of the state’s first Chief Resilience Officer.

Health care:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF’s administration launched an online Mental Health Resources Guide intended to provide Pennsylvanians with a full complement of resources available to help everyone with their mental health needs.

Other efforts:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the New York State Department of Public Service has completed the first phase of its investigation in record time into utility preparation and restoration efforts related to tropical storm Isaias. As a result, the Department has sent Notice of Apparent Violation letters to four electric service providers — Con Edison, Orange & Rockland, PSEG LI and Central Hudson — and telephone, cable and internet provider Altice-Optimum that they now face steep penalties and must take immediate corrective actions so that similar failures are not repeated during the remainder of hurricane season. 

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