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Govs On Deck – August 5, 2020

Govs on Deck

Happy Wednesday! Welcome to another edition of “Govs on Deck.” 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:

Interstate efforts:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS, MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMERNORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER, and VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced a major bipartisan interstate compact with the governors of Maryland, Ohio, and Massachusetts to expand the use of rapid point-of-care antigen tests to slow the spread COVID-19 and continue safely reopening the states.

Emergency declarations:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended the state of emergency declaration. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY extended the state of emergency declaration. 

Federal requests: 

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS and the state treasurer sent a letter urging members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation to provide additional funding in the next stimulus package in areas that will protect the health and wellbeing of Coloradans. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER issued a statement after President Trump granted her request that he authorize the use of Michigan National Guard forces for COVID-19 response through December 31, 2020.

Reopening efforts:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that he will extend his Phase Two order, including the statewide mask mandate, closure of bars to on-site consumption, and crowd size limits of no more than 50 people for at least another 21 days. 
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK and the Nevada Health Response team unveiled a new long-term mitigation strategy for the State of Nevada to help provide predictability and stability moving forward. The plan was developed recognizing the State of Nevada and the nation are still in response mode to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be for the foreseeable future. The virus is still infecting people and is likely to do so for the months ahead until a vaccine is developed.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced updates for Phase 2 and Phase 3 fitness guidance as part of Washington’s Safe Start phased reopening plan. 

Public gatherings:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced the decrease of the indoor gathering capacity limit. Indoor gatherings are now limited to 25 percent of a room’s capacity, but regardless of the room’s capacity, the maximum limit shall be 25 persons, down from 100 persons. For purposes of determining this limit, any private residence or residential unit shall be treated as a single room. However, this change will not be applicable to the following events: weddings, funerals, memorial services, religious services or celebrations, and political activities. These events may continue under the previous rules that limited these events to 25 percent of a room’s capacity, but with a limit of 100 persons.

Restriction enforcement:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order to direct state departments and autonomous agency heads to review the allocation of their resources to ensure that enforcement of COVID-19-related laws is a priority, such as limitations on capacity and the requirement to wear a mask when entering a Michigan business.


  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK signed legislation ensuring that Nevadans can vote by mail-in ballot in the November elections. The measure is designed to provide every active registered voter with a mail-in ballot they can use instead of showing up in person.

Business support:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced that the Small Business Recovery Loan Fund for New Mexico small businesses is open for online applications. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that more than $2.3 million has been awarded to support 61 businesses and residential landlords with COVID-19 related costs and expenses through the New York Forward Loan Fund.


  • 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 vs. 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.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY and the Delaware Division of Public Health announced that Delaware schools may open under a hybrid scenario next month, with a mix of in-person and remote instruction and significant safety precautions to limit transmission of COVID-19.
  • KENTUCKY First Lady Britainy BESHEAR announced a new program, Coverings for Kids, which helps Kentuckians to donate facial coverings directly to local school districts. 
  • KENTUCKY announced the state will provide expanded flexibility in the way school districts provide online instruction. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF is dedicating approximately $28 million to postsecondary institutions and adult basic education providers to assist them in implementing public health and safety plans and help them to resume operations in the fall.  

Health care:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order allowing any public employee eligible for enrollment into the State Health Benefits Program to immediately enroll upon hire, rather than waiting two months. Previously, under a previous executive order, the two-month waiting period was waived only for public employees hired specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Worker support:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed an executive order, creating the Rapid Workforce Training and Redeployment Training Initiative to assist Delaware workers and their families who have lost jobs and income due to the COVID-19 crisis. The workforce development program will initially be funded with $10 million of federal CARES Act funding. 

Family support:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Social Services will be providing $16.4 million in Emergency SNAP benefits to nearly half of Connecticut’s SNAP participants on Friday, August 14, 2020 – adding to the $84.5 million in emergency benefits disbursed in April, May, June, and July.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extension of a proclamation that protects CARES Act stimulus payments, as well as state and federal unemployment payments, from bank account garnishments for consumer debt.

Relief funds:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced that over $7.5 million in grant funding has been awarded through the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant programs. The grants are designed to aid small and medium-sized meat processors in responding to the COVID-19 crisis through the adaptation and advancement of meat processing infrastructure and capacity in Montana.

Inter-state travel:

  • CONNECTICUTNEW JERSEY, and NEW YORK’s regional travel advisory was updated and now also includes the State of Rhode Island. Meanwhile, Delaware and Washington, DC have been removed from the list.

Public communications: 

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER launched a new $5 million awareness campaign today to encourage Illinois residents to wear a face-covering every time they’re in public — because it only works if you wear it. Following the data-driven approach that has guided Illinois’ coronavirus response, the campaign uses local information to advertise on broadcast and cable television, radio, billboards, and social media to the communities with the greatest risk from COVID-19.

Beyond COVID-19 

Federal requests:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced he has requested a U.S. Small Business Administration disaster declaration that would free up low-interest loans to help property owners rebuild after civil unrest caused extensive property damage in the wake of George Floyd’s death. 

Emergency declarations:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY issued a state of emergency declaration to coordinate response and recovery efforts following the high winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and flooding due to Tropical Storm Isaias. 

Economic development:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM has signed tribal-state gaming compacts between the State of California and the Ione Band of Miwok Indians, the Mooretown Rancheria of Maidu Indians, the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation and the Tule River Indian Tribe of California. The governor has also concurred with the Department of the Interior’s decision to allow 40 acres in Tulare County to be placed in trust for the Tule River Indian Tribe of California, for the purpose of relocating the Tribe’s casino.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced four new low-interest loan approvals through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority that will support the purchase of new technology and equipment; construct new warehouses, distribution facilities, and business parks; and support the creation of new full-time jobs across the commonwealth.


  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the start of construction on Mount Aaron Village, a new affordable housing development on Genesee Street in Buffalo.

Other efforts:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced that the state has secured a Federal Management Assistance Grant from FEMA to assist with costs associated with fighting the Falling Star Fire in Stillwater and Yellowstone Counties.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO has directed the State Department of Public Service to investigate certain utility companies in wake of failed storm response.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation regulating waste from oil or natural gas in New York as hazardous waste.

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