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Govs On Deck – December 11, 2020

Govs on Deck

Happy Friday, folks, and welcome to another edition of “Govs on Deck!” As a reminder, your favorite newsletter comes out 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, 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:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that he intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days to ensure that the state can continue to quickly respond to the pandemic.

New mitigation efforts:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed the fourth revision to the omnibus emergency order, announcing additional capacity restrictions for businesses, including retail, restaurants, and gyms. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced new, targeted measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 including a modified stay at home order, requiring all individuals in Virginia to remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. 

Face coverings:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced new, targeted measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 including an expanded universal mask requirement.

Public gatherings:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that public health restrictions will change Monday, including recommending that indoor social gatherings have no more than eight people from a maximum of two households. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced stricter mitigation efforts, including prohibiting indoor gatherings of more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced new, targeted measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 including limiting all social gatherings to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. 

Business restrictions:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that public health restrictions will change Monday, including that restaurants and bars can reopen at 50% capacity. Service must stop at 11 p.m.; establishments must close no later than 12 a.m. Venues, event spaces, and theaters can also reopen at 50% capacity. Professional services can operate with up to 50% of employees working in-person; however, all employees who can work from home must do so.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that public health restrictions will change Monday, including that gyms, fitness centers, pools, and other indoor recreation facilities can operate at 50% capacity. Masks must be worn while exercising.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced stricter mitigation efforts, including suspending in-person dining and alcohol sales, capping all in-person business operations at 50% capacity, prohibiting the indoor operation of gyms and fitness facilities, as well as indoor recreation and entertainment businesses.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced new, targeted measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 including continued limits on dining establishments. 

Business support:

  • MAINE’s Department of Marine Resources, with support from Gov. Janet MILLS, is launching a branding and promotion initiative to celebrate Maine Seafood and to help consumers find and enjoy it in the comfort and safety of their home. With $1,000,000 of the $20 million CARES Act relief funds allocated by NOAA for Maine’s commercial fishing and seafood industry, the Maine Seafood branding and promotion initiative will help this growing population of home-bound seafood enthusiasts discover the superior taste, quality, and variety of seafood from Maine.
  • OREGON’s OSHA has developed an interactive online training course to allow employers a free and flexible resource to help them comply with rules aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus in the workplace. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that the $100 million Rebuild VA economic recovery fund has awarded grants to 2,500 Virginia businesses and nonprofits whose normal operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that Wisconsin will be making up to $3.25 million of federal CARES Act funding available to Wisconsin’s nine ethanol producers. The support aims to help offset some of the significant losses experienced by the industry earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools and students:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that public health restrictions will change Monday, including continuing remote instruction for all private and public middle and high schools until January 4th. Elementary schools can return to in-person learning once their county is out of the red zone.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced a $2.5 million grant to implement, scale-up, and enhance evidence-based interventions that accelerate students’ academic progress and reduce learning loss among New Jersey students that has resulted from school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced stricter mitigation efforts, including suspending in-person extracurricular school activities and K-12 school and youth sports.

Health care:

  • NEW MEXICO’s Department of Health announced two new public health emergency orders in response to the ongoing public health crisis and the resulting unsustainable strain on health care providers and hospitals. The first order temporarily limits non-essential surgeries. The second recognizes the activation of “crisis care” standards by outlining credentialing processes for COVID-19 health care providers.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that the U.S. Department of Defense will deploy approximately 45 U.S. Army medical personnel to assist the state’s efforts to combat COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

Testing, tracing, and vaccination:

  • COLORADO’s Unified Coordination Center completed the drill to test its ability to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to a distribution facility from Denver International Airport. In a four-hour end-to-end drill, the Pfizer vaccine arrived at Denver International Airport where it was loaded onto a secure vehicle and driven to Vail Health, one of several distribution centers across the state. 
  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE laid out the first steps of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination effort. This includes plans to distribute an expected 81,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations in December to high-risk health care workers and long-term care facilities across the state.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order requiring COVID-19 testing in certain adult care homes, to enhance efforts to keep COVID-19 from entering and spreading through nursing homes.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced a commitment of $6.8 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds to fund the public-private partnership with Westbrook-based IDEXX Laboratories for COVID-19 testing. This partnership has more than quadrupled Maine’s capacity for detecting the virus. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order creating the bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission within the Department of Health and Human Services to help raise awareness of the safety and effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, educate the people of the state, and help protect the health and safety of all Michigan residents.  
  • NEVADA’s Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public and Behavioral Health is expanding the capabilities of the COVID Trace app by launching Exposure Notification Express through a partnership with Apple and Google. Nevada is the first jurisdiction to launch both ENX and have an application using the technology. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extension and modification of a previous proclamation, giving pharmacies the flexibility they will need to store and access COVID-19 vaccines and treatments in locations outside of their pharmacies. 

Worker support: 

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced that her administration will provide certain individuals who are unemployed due to COVID-19 with a one-time direct relief payment of $600 through the state’s newly-created Pandemic Relief Program 

Family support:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Social Services announced that it will provide $16.9 million in Emergency SNAP benefits to more than half of Connecticut SNAP-eligible households on Wednesday, December 16 – adding to the $157.2 million in emergency benefits disbursed in April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November.

Relief funds:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced that the Administration has committed all of Maine’s $1.25 billion in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Fauquier County, Pulaski County, and Roanoke County will each receive a grant of $20,000 from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund Planning Grant program to support local agriculture and forestry initiatives amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Special sessions:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that he will convene a special session of the Minnesota Legislature beginning on Monday, December 14, 2020, to provide much-needed relief to small businesses, workers, and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Other efforts:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed an executive order prohibiting price-gouging, extending a previous order. This order will remain in effect for the duration of the state of emergency.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER published an op-ed saying that help is on the way, but that the ongoing threat must be taken seriously. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued COVID-19 public transportation safety guidance. 

Beyond COVID-19 

Climate change and clean energy:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS and the United Kingdom’s Minister of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the RT Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation between the State of Maine and the UK to pursue ambitious advancement in clean energy technologies and mutually achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century or sooner.
  • OREGON’s Department of Environmental Quality, Klamath County Public Health, and local partners have been awarded a $1,839,947 million Targeted Airshed Grant by the U.S. EPA. 
  • WISCONSIN’s Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change released its report. The report includes 55 climate solutions across nine sectors that will lay the foundation for the state to better adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change, while also seeking environmental justice and economic opportunities in renewable energy and conservation.  


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT issued a challenge to all Connecticut school districts to increase by at least five percent their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion rates among the Class of 2021.


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that more than 327,000 Pennsylvanians will gain access to high-speed internet service through the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction.

Economic development:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced a new Pretzels, LLC production facility in Lawrence. The company announced plans to build a 150,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Venture Park.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR and leaders from EnviroFlight LLC announced the company’s plans to add 40 jobs in Maysville with a nearly $20 million expansion.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR and executives from Protective Life Corp. announced the company will relocate its core site in the greater Cincinnati region to Covington. The initial move to RiverCenter Towers in downtown Covington will bring approximately 100 well-paying jobs to Kentucky in 2021. As the company grows over the next decade, leaders expect to more than double that employee count.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the New York Power Authority’s Board of Trustees has approved 11 economic development awards which will support more than 620 jobs across the state and spur more than $127 million in private capital investments. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Integro Technologies Corp. will create 30 new jobs, over five years, in Rowan County with a $2.67 million investment for additional assembly, logistic solution prototyping, and manufacturing space in Salisbury. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that eHealth Technologies, Inc., will invest $375,000 to establish a new customer support center in Scott County. This initiative will create 160 new jobs. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS  celebrated the newly-approved Enterprise Zone for the Molson Coors Beverage Company as part of the company’s continued commitment to the state that will move 377 new family-supporting jobs to Milwaukee and enable the company to retain 1,290 jobs in total in Wisconsin for a minimum of the next eight years.

Workforce development:

  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Central Management Services announced the new Native American Employment Plan Advisory Council, developed to increase employment and promotion opportunities for Native Americans in Illinois. The council held its first meeting this week and will examine the prevalence and impact of Native Americans employed by the State government and the barriers faced by Native Americans who seek employment or promotional opportunities in State government.

Racial justice:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that her Commission on Racial Equity and Justice has released to the public their initial report on law enforcement and policing in Kansas. In June of 2020, the governor signed an executive order establishing the Governor’s Commission on Racial Equity and Justice. The Commission was tasked with studying issues of racial equity and justice in Kansas. It began its work focusing on law enforcement and policing.

Other efforts:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY released the fourth annual report of the Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board. Governor Carney established GEAR by Executive Order in February of 2017 to identify ways for the state government to operate more efficiently, improve the delivery of state services, and provide cost savings over the long term.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the appointments in his administration to coincide with the anniversary of The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced her intention to appoint Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers to become the 41st Kansas State Treasurer when Congressman-elect Jake LaTurner vacates the position in January.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that the collaborative process between 12 timber and forest products companies, the Oregon Small Woodlands Association, and 13 environmental and fisheries organizations to amend Oregon forest practices is moving forward. That process was established by the historic Memorandum of Understanding brokered by the governor in February. 

Holiday cheer:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM and First Partner Jennifer SIEBEL NEWSOM will host the 89th Annual California State Capitol Virtual Tree Lighting Ceremony. The celebration, which is an annual tradition dating back to the early 1930s will be entirely virtual this year. The event will highlight California’s diverse holiday traditions, native heritage, and spirit of inclusion.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced that the Blaine House’s holiday display of decorated trees will be dedicated to the resiliency of Maine people amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s theme, “A Celebration of Resilience,” pays tribute to Maine people, including Maine’s frontline workers and those who have lost their lives to the coronavirus pandemic. It also pays tribute to Maine’s commercial fishing fleet, which recently lost four members of its community. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced New York’s annual statewide holiday donation drive to benefit families in need will now accept shipped donations of new unwrapped toys, coats, and school supplies at two locations to assist community-based organizations during the holiday giving season. This new option allows New Yorkers to make online purchases and have them shipped directly to receiving locations in Albany and New York City. The drive has also been extended through December 18.

Stay safe, wear a mask, and wash your hands. We’ll see you on Monday!