Govs On Deck – August 7, 2020
It’s Friday! 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.
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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.
- MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS extended the State of Civil Emergency for thirty days through September 3, 2020.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF again called on Congress to extend the $600 federal unemployment benefit.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS, NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK, OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN, and WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced that their states will be working together on telehealth issues. The effort builds on a previous announcement regarding COVID-19 re-opening.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS released a statement of support after Judge Janice Clark’s ruling in the 19th Judicial District to uphold the mask mandate, bar restrictions, and limits on gatherings to no more than 50 that he implemented on July 11 in response to the impact of COVID-19 statewide.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS signed an extension of his order keeping Louisiana in Phase Two and extending his statewide mask mandate, the closure of bars to on-premises consumption, and the limitation on gatherings of more than 50 people for at least another 21 days, through Friday, August 28.
- NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that North Carolina will remain paused in Safer At Home Phase 2 for another 5 weeks as students and staff return to schools, colleges and universities, and the state doubles down on efforts to decrease COVID-19 numbers.
- OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that Lake County has succeeded in reducing the spread of COVID-19 sufficiently enough to be removed from the County Watch List. This brings the total number of counties on the Watch List to nine.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR extended the state’s mandate requiring face coverings in some situations for another 30 days, citing its success and continued importance in flattening the curve of novel COVID-19 cases in the commonwealth.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order requiring the use of masks at child care centers and camps.
- MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK issued a directive to ensure all eligible Montanans can safely vote in the 2020 November general election by allowing counties to expand voting by mail and early voting. Whether or not they provide mail ballots, all counties will be required to offer in-person voting opportunities and take precautions to ensure Montanans have the option to register or vote safely.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that the Wisconsin National Guard will assist local election officials as poll workers for the August 11, 2020, primary elections across Wisconsin.
- RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that as of Wednesday, bars will not be allowed to operate past 11 PM.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced the state is making available an additional $160 million in funding for school districts to safely reopen, assist them with costs associated with responding to COVID-19, and support local operations for the 2020-21 academic year.
- PENNSYLVANIA’s Department of Health and Department of Education jointly recommended that Pre-K–12 school and recreational youth sports be postponed until at least Jan. 1, 2021, to protect children and teens from COVID-19.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced approximately $10.5 million to Career and Technical Education Centers to assist them in implementing public health and safety plans and help them to resume operations. CTC Equity grants provide funding to support effective continuity of education programs such as summer and other expanded programming, and industry credential assessments for students enrolled in CTCs negatively impacted by COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
- RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO and the departments of Health and Education will release a playbook for school reopening that provides responses to a range of scenarios in school.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced new recommendations from the Washington State Department of Health for resuming in-person instruction in public and private K-12 education for the upcoming 2020–2021 school year. Similar to the state’s county-by-county phased approach to reopening, the plan allows local health departments and school districts to decide if and how they will allow students back in the classroom.
- NORTH CAROLINA’s Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management has distributed approximately 3.5 million cloth face coverings, 4.5 million procedure masks, and significant amounts of additional PPE to targeted settings across the state. The ongoing PPE shipments support operations including schools, nursing homes, first responders, agricultural facilities, child care facilities, and courthouses.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state will continue covering the costs of COVID-19 testing for staff in the state’s nursing home facilities, managed residential communities, and assisted living services agencies for at least an additional two months.
- MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced that he will direct up to $20 million in funding to the Montana University System to support its fall semester COVID-19 strategy for testing students.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced the launch of COVIDWISE, an innovative exposure notification app that will alert users if they have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Virginia is the first state in the country to design a COVID-19 app using Bluetooth Low Energy technology developed by Apple and Google, which does not rely on personal information or location data. Users opt-in to download and utilize the free app.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced more than $32 million in financial assistance to the University of Wisconsin System and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The effort is funded by CARES Act dollars provided directly to Wisconsin. UW System will receive $24 million toward its COVID-19 plan, helping campuses to test symptomatic students, those who have had close contact with symptomatic students, and students living in residence halls. Under UW System’s plan, state funding will help purchase 276,000 tests, 246,000 of which will be allocated to campuses, and 30,000 of which will be held in reserve by UW System for peaks or shortfalls. The funding will also help cover personal protective equipment and staff for administering tests.
- NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK signed legislation a bill that will help provide more flexibility to the Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation to help connect claimants to benefits faster and will extend the number of weeks Nevadans are eligible for additional benefits through this crisis, using only federal funds.
- NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced a new rapid response effort to address the backlogs remaining within the unemployment insurance systems to be led by Barbara Buckley, Majority Leader of the Assembly from 2001-2007, and Speaker of the Nevada Assembly from 2007-2010.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the federal government has awarded $6.4 million to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet as part of the CARES Act. The money will go to 16 regional agencies serving 79 Kentucky counties.
- HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced that the inter-island travel quarantine will be reinstated, in part, on Tuesday, Aug. 11.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM issued a revised executive order requiring quarantine for individuals arriving into the state of New Mexico, incorporating adjustments for those leaving the state for urgent medical and family needs.
- RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that anyone traveling into Rhode Island from 33 hot zone states will have to provide a negative Covid-19 test or must quarantine. Travelers checking into a hotel or any kind of a rental property will “need to sign a certificate of compliance, verifying that they have had a negative test result, or that they intend to quarantine for 14 days while they are here.”
- NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK released a statement that the Nevada Legislature for their work after they adjourned the 32nd Special Session which addressed significant policy issues that could not wait until the regularly scheduled legislative session.
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY toured the Kansas State University Biosecurity Research Institute to learn more about its work fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, including through potential vaccine development, medicine discovery and understanding how animals may be affected by the virus.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced guidance that allows long-term care facilities to offer visitation and other activities. Many long-term care facilities were forced to curtail social activities for residents and visitors earlier this year due to COVID-19. The announcement does not constitute an immediate reopening of all long-term care facilities, however. The plan goes into effect August 12, and even after it becomes effective, individual facilities must meet additional parameters before re-opening.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he was notified that the State of Connecticut has received the approval of a presidential emergency declaration in response to damage from Tropical Storm Isaias.
- MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that Minnesota businesses that sustained extensive property damage in the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd are now able to apply for disaster assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF requested that the U.S. Small Business Administration grant a disaster declaration in Philadelphia to provide assistance in the form of low-interest loans for homeowners, businesses, and eligible non-profits after numerous arson fires due to civil unrest caused millions of dollars in damages from May 30 through June 8.
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that Urban Outfitters’ Inc. new 880,000-square-foot omnichannel distribution center will be located on ancillary land at Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County. The partnership between the State of Kansas and Philadelphia-based URBN will create up to 2,000 new jobs and invest approximately $350 million in Kansas over several years.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the approval of five project loans from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority totaling $7,230,900 for wastewater and sewer system improvements in the cities of Bardstown, Calvert City, Dawson Springs, Lewisburg, and Whitesburg.
- ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced 15 Illinois community colleges will receive more than $103.5 million to expand existing facilities and construct new buildings, among other projects.
- ILLINOIS’ Department of Innovation & Technology announced the publication of a new website to provide a consolidated resource for STEAM in Illinois.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order recognizing racism as a public health crisis and taking initial steps to address it within state government. Under the directive, the governor asked MDHHS to make health equity a major goal, as well as required implicit bias training for all state employees.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order which established the Black Leadership Advisory Council. The Council will in an advisory capacity to the governor and develop, review, and recommend policies and actions designed to eradicate and prevent discrimination and racial inequality in Michigan. The governor also signed an executive directive recognizing racism as a public health crisis.
- NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK issued a proclamation to formally name racism as a public health crisis. Given Nevada’s diverse population as a minority, majority state, this call to action raises awareness so Nevada does not perpetuate poor health outcomes due to systemic racism during and after the pandemic.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that, as the state continues to recover from the impact of Tropical Storm Isaias, he has activated the Connecticut National Guard and approved the deployment of teams to assist utility companies in the ongoing statewide power restoration efforts.
Stay safe everyone, wear a mask, and wash your hands! See you on Monday!