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Govs On Deck – August 26, 2020

Govs on Deck

We’ve reached Wednesday and another edition of “Govs on Deck!” We’re back to our tri-weekly schedule, so keep an eye out for your favorite newsletter on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

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.

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.

What we’re talking about:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN published an op-ed on CNN on the important role governors play in securing this year’s general election. BROWN is co-chair of the DGA’s election protection initiative, Every State, Every Vote.

COVID-19 response:

Stay at home orders:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE approved a new “State-at-Home, Work-at-Home” order for the City and County of Honolulu that goes into effect on Thursday for the following two weeks.

Reopening efforts:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Department of Public Health announced new COVID-19 mitigation efforts will be implemented in Region 7, the greater Will and Kankakee County areas, beginning today.  Region 4, the Metro East region, which is already operating under additional mitigations, continues to report increasing COVID-19 positivity rates and will have until September 2nd at their current mitigation level before the state must move to impose further mitigation in the region. 

Face coverings:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed a modification to his state of emergency declaration, formalizing new face-covering requirements for children. 

Public gatherings:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced New York Fashion Week will take place September 13-17, 2020 in strict compliance with New York State health and safety guidelines, including outdoor events capped at 50 persons and indoor events at 50 percent capacity and no spectators.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced lower-risk, school-sponsored sports in all regions may begin to practice and play beginning September 21st. However, travel for practice or play will be prohibited outside of the school’s region or contiguous regions or counties until October 19th.


  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR reminded voters they now can go to to request an absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 general election, if they are concerned about COVID-19 and voting.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK rejected a request by Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske to more closely track individuals who collect and turn in mail ballots on behalf of other voters during the 2020 election, saying she has “attempted to use the emergency regulation process for what appears to be political reasons.”
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order to make modifications to this year’s primarily vote-by-mail General Election. The order makes the following modifications: Requires county clerks to publish a notice reflecting this year’s primarily vote-by-mail process; Permits county boards of elections to continue counting ballots every day until counting is completed; and requires election audits to be completed by December 4, 2020.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO issued an executive order to bolster and support New Yorkers’ right to vote. The order requires county boards of elections to take concrete steps to inform voters of upcoming deadlines, be prepared for upcoming elections, and help ensure absentee ballots can be used in all elections. 

Schools and students:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed a modification to his state of emergency declaration requiring Delaware schools to notify families if they become aware of positive cases of COVID-19 in their schools. 
  • KENTUCKY Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced a plan to allocate $8 million to provide “Last Mile” internet service to all Kentucky students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF is dedicating approximately $17 million to help 220 local education agencies, including school districts, to improve educational services for approximately 180,000 students at schools designated for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that every public school in Rhode Island will receive a walkthrough by a team of experts to make sure they are safe and prepared to reopen for classes as scheduled next month.

Business support:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER’s administration announced the opening of two new Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and ongoing support for another seven centers across Illinois. Supported by a $2 million state and federal investment, these new centers will help more small businesses compete for contracts with local, state, and/or federal government agencies where they can sell goods or services and in turn grow their business.

Testing and tracing:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an executive order allowing the California Department of Consumer Affairs, in consultation with the California Department of Public Health, to issue waivers permitting pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to conduct CLIA-waived COVID-19 tests, which detect the presence of the virus.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that Minnesota has partnered with the nation’s leading distributor of saliva testing to create plans for a new lab in Minnesota, expanding and diversifying testing capacity for Minnesotans, creating jobs, and slowing the spread of COVID-19.
  • NEVADA’s Department of Health and Human Services launched COVID Trace, the State’s digital contact tracing app designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA’s Department of Health and Human Services has 55 upcoming community testing events scheduled in Cabarrus, Chatham, Clay, Gaston, Jackson, Montgomery, Robeson, Rowan, Scotland, Wake and Wayne counties as part of the initiative to increase access to no-cost COVID-19 testing, particularly for African American, Latinx/Hispanic and American Indian communities that currently have limited testing sites. 

Worker support:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced that Hawaiʻi will apply to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance Program.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK authorized the State Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation to start the application process for the Lost Wages Assistance program, but added in a statement that “just because it’s the only option does not mean it’s the best option.”

Family support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an executive order enabling certain adoption paperwork to be completed remotely, and for birth parents known or suspected to be COVID-19 positive, waives the requirement that relinquishment for adoption and other acts related to the process occur in-person.

Homeowner and renter support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an executive order increasing the income-eligibility threshold for the Community Service Block Grant program to support economic and community development efforts in response to the pandemic and waiving certain requirements under state law so that additional Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding made available under the CARES Act can be used to maximize direct assistance to Californians most in need.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Illinois Housing Development Authority announced the opening of the state’s new Emergency Mortgage Assistance program to assist homeowners who have seen their income decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced new rules to provide protections and clarity surrounding evictions during the coronavirus crisis. Landlords now must give tenants 30 days’ notice of an intent to evict for nonpayment of rent and work to come to an agreement during that time. His administration is also dedicating $15 million of federal CARES Act money to create a Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund that will provide relief to eligible landlords.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced $175 million to help North Carolinians with rental and utility payment support in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF sent letters to the House and Senate urging the legislature to temporarily extend the existing moratorium and fix defects in Act 24 of 2020, a recently created program that helps renters and homeowners. The governor’s executive order that protects homeowners and renters from eviction or foreclosures is expiring September 1st. 

Travel restrictions:

  • CONNECTICUTNEW JERSEY, and NEW YORK’s travel advisory was updated and now includes Guam on the list of impacted locations. In addition, five states have been removed from the list, including Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maryland, and Montana.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau requesting cooperation in finding a solution to help Washington residents of Point Roberts. Due to the community’s geography, the approximately 1,300 Washingtonians residing there cannot travel by land to Washington without entering British Columbia and traveling through the Peace Arch Border Crossing. The border crossing was first closed to nearly all travel due to COVID-19 on March 21.

State budgets:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY released his revised budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021, including targeted cuts across State government, fair and equitable revenue raisers, an emergency borrowing proposal, and additional plans to invest federal funding received to date to help close what would have been a nearly $6 billion budget hole as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Relief funds:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM, First Lady Pamela NORTHAM, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Director and CEO Alex Nyerges announced 40 Virginia artists who will receive $5,000 grants through a special program to help visual artists impacted by COVID-19. The Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program, which launched in June, will distribute a total of $200,000 in funding.

Public communications:

  • MICHIGAN’s Department of Health and Human Services has launched a new statewide media campaign urging Michiganders to get their flu vaccine this fall and help prevent an outbreak of a second communicable disease.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an executive order waiving a time limit to allow individuals to continue receiving California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids benefits; permitting the Franchise Tax Board to share tax return information with the Department of Social Services, to inform individuals of CARES Act “Recovery Rebates” available to them; and increasing the health care capacity of home health agencies and pediatric day health and respite care facilities.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order temporarily suspending certain statutes preventing the issuance of marriage licenses when county clerk and recorder offices are closed due to COVID-19 and amended and extended an executive order temporarily suspending certain regulatory statutes due to the presence of COVID-19.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the commutation of sentences for hundreds of medically vulnerable inmates and inmates who are nearing the end of their sentence in an effort to reduce the chances of spreading the coronavirus.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF presented his fall legislative agenda for worker and family support and protections, COVID-19 recovery, and government reform. The initiatives were introduced to focus the General Assembly after a spring and summer of Republican efforts to curtail the administration’s efforts to manage the pandemic and keep the public safe.

Beyond COVID-19 

Emergency declarations:

  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency following protests in communities across Wisconsin. The state of emergency declaration comes as the governor released a statement regarding protests in Wisconsin last night.

Law enforcement:

  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced an executive order calling the Wisconsin State Legislature into a Special Session on policing accountability and transparency convening at noon on Aug. 31, 2020. The announcement comes after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot repeatedly in the back by a law enforcement officer in Kenosha. 


  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced that $20 million in CARES Act funding will be used to build out additional infrastructure across Delaware, gather strategic data through a statewide speed survey, and acquire equipment and services for families in financial need.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced he will propose legislation to hold utilities accountable for failures to effectively respond to future power outages.


  • ILLINOIS’ Housing Development Authority announced $10 million in funding is available to support affordable housing and community revitalization efforts in communities across the state. 

Health care:

  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Human Services announced the release of the Overdose Prevention Site Community Engagement Project Report and the next steps for Opioid Overdose Prevention Sites on Chicago’s West Side neighborhood.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation authorizing the use of opioid antagonists by additional people and entities for opioid overdose prevention. 


19th Amendment:

  • COLORADO State Capitol will light up in purple and gold tonight to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the largest voting-rights expansion in U.S. history. 

Other efforts:

  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Transportation announced that the application period for the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program is now open. This year’s program is the largest ever due to the passage of Gov. Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois and for the first time dedicates resources to communities with the greatest needs.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the fourth KANSASWORKS Statewide Virtual Job Fair has begun and will continue through Thursday, August 27.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY has proposed a $1,000 state-financed bond to be given to the majority of children born in New Jersey. The “baby bonds”, a $1,000 allocation, payable with interest when a child turns 18, is included in the amended state budget that the governor released on Tuesday.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced more than $17 million in federal funding has been awarded to 178 nonprofit organizations facing an increased risk of terrorism to strengthen the security of their facilities as well as enhance their overall preparedness.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM kicked off the Commonwealth’s 19th annual Checkpoint Strikeforce enforcement and public education campaign to combat impaired driving and prevent alcohol-related injuries and fatalities on Virginia’s roads. 

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