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Govs On Deck – August 3, 2020

Govs on Deck

I’m back! It’s Monday, it’s August, and we are coming at you with another edition of our famed “Govs on Deck” – the newsletter you may be able to live without, but why would you want to? 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.

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:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY extended the state’s public health emergency.

Business guidance:

  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced updates to the July 24 guidance for restaurants, taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries as part of Washington’s Safe Start phased reopening plan. Changes include clarification about which establishments can offer indoor seating, temporary outdoor seating guidance and counter-style seating clarifications. 

Business support:

  • NEW MEXICO’s Human Services Department has applied for federal approval to implement the Restaurant Meals Plan as a means of continuing state assistance to businesses that have been impacted by the economic crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Worker support:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced the launch of a new source of financial assistance for agricultural workers who must self-quarantine to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Oregon Worker Quarantine Fund will provide up to two weeks of financial relief to agricultural workers 18 and older, regardless of immigration status. Additionally today, the Oregon Health Authority launched the Community Partners and Outreach – Protecting Oregon Farmworkers Program.

Relief funds:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced an investment of $1 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to significantly and quickly expand services to help reduce the disproportionately large racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 in Maine.This funding will expand education, prevention, and eligibility for services currently supported by the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Generally, it will include individuals referred to DHHS by communities at elevated risk of COVID-19. It will support temporary wrap-around services such as food as well as referrals to existing child care, health care, and income support programs. 
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK and First Lady BULLOCK, in partnership with Montana No Kid Hungry, announced a total of $212,500 in grant funds for continued operation of food support programs in the wake of COVID-19.

Special sessions:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN will convene a Special Session of the Oregon Legislature on Monday, August 10, 2020 to rebalance the state budget by addressing the state revenue shortfall created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Other efforts:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order temporarily extending certain statutory deadlines across state government that require review and action by agencies before a specified deadline. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA’s Department of Health and Human Services released a Request for Applications for regional partner organizations to administer an innovative new program to support individuals in targeted counties who need support like food and transportation to successfully quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extension of 25 proclamations today in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The extensions were approved by the state Legislature.

Beyond COVID-19 

Emergency declarations:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER  declared a state of emergency to issue transportation waivers to allow trucks and supplies to move to where help is needed. The state Emergency Operations Center – already activated for COVID-19 – has activated for the storm as well, and state and local response teams are at the ready. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM declared a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Isaias

Racial justice:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced the membership of the Governor’s Council for Racial Justice, an advisory group tasked with counseling the administration and monitoring state institutions, holding them accountable for taking action to end systemic racism and ensure that all persons receive fair and equal treatment and opportunities.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced the creation of the Racial Justice Council. The council is an advisory group to the governor with subgroups focused on criminal justice reform and police accountability, health equity, economic opportunity, housing and homelessness, and environmental justice/natural resources. The council will also provide principles and recommendations that center racial justice to the governor to inform the 2021-23 Governor’s Recommended Budget.

Law enforcement:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he has signed into law policing reform legislation formed to increase accountability for law enforcement whose actions do not represent the values of the state and to increase public trust with police officers. The long-term issue came back to the forefront this spring in the wake of the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among many others, by some police and law enforcement.

Gun violence:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the Department of Health has launched a violence data dashboard to collect data on the scope, frequency, geography and populations affected by violence in Pennsylvania. The creation of the dashboard was a mandate in the governor’s 2019 Executive Order to Reduce Gun Violence.

Health care:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation that will increase affordability and expand access to health care by creating state-level subsidies to lower the cost of health insurance for residents purchasing coverage on the Marketplace this fall. 

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that the state has secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant from FEMA to help ensure the availability of resources to fight the Apple Fire burning in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The FMAG will also assist local, state and tribal agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75-percent reimbursement of their eligible fire suppression costs.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation explicitly granting the Department of State the authority to discipline real estate professionals found to have violated provisions of the state Human Rights Law by revoking or suspending their license. The bill further reinforces the State’s commitment to combating housing discrimination and strengthens the abilities of the Secretary of State to discipline licensed professionals for discriminatory behavior.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation extending the look back window for victims to file claims under the Child Victims Act, regardless of when or how long ago the alleged abuse occurred. 

Ice cream:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation authorizing the manufacture and sale of ice cream and other frozen desserts made with liquor in New York State.

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