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Govs On Deck – August 21, 2020

Govs on Deck

Happy Friday, everyone! 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.

What we’re talking about:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEARMICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMERMINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ, and WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS joined Stacey Abrams for a conversation about progress in red and purple states. If you missed the panel, you can rewatch it 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:

Emergency declarations:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE extended the COVID-19 emergency period through September 30th.

Reopening efforts:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that two counties—Marion and Wasco—have succeeded in reducing the spread of COVID-19 sufficiently enough to be removed from the County Watch List. Meanwhile, Jackson County has been added to the Watch List. This brings the total number of counties on the list to eight.


  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed into law sweeping election reforms that will make it easier for New Yorkers to vote and be counted in November. The three-part package includes new measures allowing absentee ballot applications to be submitted to the Board of Elections immediately, expanding the necessary protections to allow a voter to get an absentee ballot due to risk or fear of illness including COVID-19 and ensuring all absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day or received by the Board of Elections without a postmark on the day after the election will be counted. Ballots with a postmark demonstrating that they were mailed on or before Election Day will be counted if received by November 10.   

Business guidance: 

  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSEE issued updated guidance for museums, bowling, and agritourism; updated guidance for outdoor recreation.

Business support:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program. The program, backed by $200 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds, will provide financial relief for businesses and non-profit organizations that incurred business disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools and students:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Public Health and State Department of Education have developed a framework and key metrics based on a combination of considerations to guide local district decision-making on the use of remote versus in-person learning for the fall. This includes indicators of the spread and prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, as well as the physical and operational ability of schools to implement strategies to mitigate spread.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the state is dedicating approximately $20 million to help 678 local education agencies, including school districts, to provide education services for students with disabilities who may have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts and may face additional challenges through the new academic year. The funding includes $15 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund and $5 million from the Department of Education’s federal funding through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Testing and tracing:

  • MAINE Department of Health and Human Services and MaineHealth announced the launch of five new “swab and send” COVID-19 testing sites, further expanding access to reliable and timely testing for Maine people and visitors.

Worker support:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the state’s application to bring in additional federal money to aid unemployed Kentuckians has been accepted.

Homeowner and renter support:

  • NEW MEXICO’s Community Development Council, composed of Lujan Grisham administration officials and appointees from across the state, will invest more than $13.3 million of Community Development Block Grant CARES Act funds in emergency housing assistance for low- and moderate-income New Mexicans. The state Department of Finance and Administration is slated to receive two installments of Community Development Block Grant Cares Act funding. Those funds are required to be used to benefit low- and moderate-income persons and to respond to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed an executive order extending the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures an additional month, until September 20th. This measure extends protections already in place for commercial tenants and mortgagors in recognition of the financial toll the pandemic has taken on business owners, including retail establishments and restaurants. 

Relief funds:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced $37 million in support for 12 additional counties to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will be made available to counties in three separate tranches under one Memorandum of Agreement. The 12 counties include: Atlantic; Burlington; Cape May; Cumberland; Gloucester; Hunterdon; Mercer; Morris; Salem; Somerset; Sussex; and Warren. These counties were ineligible for Coronavirus Relief Funding because their populations are below 500,000.

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 CZU August Lightning Complex Fire burning in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties.

Economic development:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority has approved 18 grant requests to local governments totaling $4,847,243. The requests include commitments to create a total of 590 jobs, 296 of which were previously announced. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $103 million in private investment.  
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Continental Structural Plastics, a leading manufacturer of automotive and heavy truck composite components, will expand its operations in North Carolina to create 61 jobs.

Health care:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Health has released a request for applications for the PA Primary Care Loan Repayment Program. This program provides funding to recruit and retain primary care providers working in areas where there are shortages of healthcare practitioners.

19th Amendment:

  • WISCONSIN First Lady Kathy EVERS delivered the Democratic Radio Address on the centennial celebration of women’s suffrage and the ratification of the 19th Amendment. 

Other efforts:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed an executive order creating the Delaware Resilience Fund Program to assist Delaware families and communities devastated by tornadoes and other severe weather this month.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the U.S. Small Business Administration approved the state’s request for federal assistance to help Illinois residents recently impacted by flash flooding. The declaration stems from a July 15 storm that dumped at least eight inches of rain within a three-hour time period on the Woodford County town of Roanoak. The approved SBA disaster declaration makes low-interest loans available to eligible homeowners, renters, non-profits and businesses in Woodford, La Salle, Livingston, Peoria, Tazewell, McLean and Marshall counties.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS joined local and state officials to cut the ribbon on a recently completed $30 million levee-enhancement project in Jefferson Parish, the first in a series of projects that will protect the greater Lafitte-Barataria-Crown Point community from tidal surge flooding and other extreme weather events.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER released a statement following Michigan’s agreement to a $600 million settlement of the civil lawsuits brought against the State of Michigan by Flint residents after the water supply for the City of Flint was switched to the Flint River on April 25, 2014.  
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER’s request for a disaster declaration for small businesses and homeowners facing damage from a tornado that struck as Hurricane Isaias has been granted by the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

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