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Govs On Deck – December 2, 2020

Govs on Deck

And, just like that, it’s December (2nd). Welcome to this Wednesday 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.

2020 presidential election:

  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS, in accordance with state and federal law, signed the Certificate of Ascertainment, certifying the results of the November 3rd General Election. 

COVID-19 response:

New mitigation efforts:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced New York’s plan for combating COVID-19 this winter. The winter plan consists of five targeted strategies focused on mitigating the spread of the virus and bolstering New York State hospital preparedness including: continue and strengthen the state’s targeted micro-cluster strategy while managing hospital capacity to enhance and equalize care; increase and balance testing resources and availability; keep schools open safely; prevent viral spread from small gatherings; operationalize an equitable and safe vaccination program.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced updates to county risk levels under the state’s new public health framework to reduce transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19. 

Public gatherings:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order pausing indoor practices and competitions for youth and adult sports from Saturday, December 5 at 6:00 a.m. through Saturday, January 2, 2021. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order lowering the outdoor gatherings limit from 150 people to 25 people, effective Monday, December 7 at 6:00 a.m.

Business support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that California will provide temporary tax relief for eligible businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. 
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced an economic recovery grant program to support Maine’s tourism, hospitality, and retail small businesses. Backed by $40 million in Federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds, the Tourism, Hospitality & Retail Recovery Grant Program is focused specifically on supporting Maine’s service sector small businesses, such as restaurants, bars, tasting rooms, lodging, and retail shops, which have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and now face additional challenges with the coming winter months.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced $6.7 million in federal funding is available from the Marine Fisheries Relief Program established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act to assist New York’s marine fishing industry following extensive economic losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Schools and students:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that Connecticut is the first state in the nation to provide a learning device to every PK-12 student in need, achieving a major milestone in the fight to close the PK-12 digital divide in Connecticut, particularly as many schools move toward remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that allows for flexibility in hiring short-term substitute teachers.

Health care:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced a grant program to support health care organizations that serve residents with MaineCare and sustain vital health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care organizations that were ineligible for funding under the Maine Economic Recovery Grant program may apply for the new grants. These include hospitals and nursing facilities of any size, as well as congregate care, behavioral health, community service providers, and other providers with more than 250 employees. 
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced a new crisis counseling hotline funded by a $1.6 million federal grant is now available to aid Montanans struggling with their mental health due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK issued a statement in response to a tweet from President Trump, where he agrees with the false claim that Renown Hospital’s alternate care site is “fake.”

Testing, tracing, and vaccination:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR and Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, said the state is expecting to receive approximately 38,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as early as mid-December. While the number of doses and allocation plan are subject to change, the governor said as the announcement the majority of the state’s initial vaccine shipment will go to long-term care facilities; about 12,000 doses will go to hospitals to help inoculate health care workers.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the extension of the Department of Health’s contract with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare to provide COVID-19 testing in five regions across Pennsylvania to help contain the local spread of COVID-19.

Worker support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the state has begun issuing one-time stimulus payments of $375 to Coloradans facing economic hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Housing support:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that $3 million in grant funding has been awarded to 15 municipalities and organizations spanning 20 counties to assist Pennsylvanians currently experiencing homelessness.

Relief funds:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that 154 nonprofit arts organizations in Connecticut will be receiving $9 million in grants this month under a program initiated by his administration to provide support to the state’s arts community amid the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the Kentucky Department for Local Government is releasing an additional $50 million in CARES Act funding to reimburse city and county governments for expenses related to COVID-19. Approximately 200 cities and counties are eligible because they have already exhausted their original allotment and have remaining eligible reimbursements.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ  announced that over $1 million in crisis grants for the Minnesota tourism industry are available through Explore Minnesota, the state’s tourism promotion office. The grant program is designed to support nonprofit tourism promotion organizations, so they can continue to stimulate travel for the economic benefit of their communities.

State budgets:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN  released her recommended budget and policy agenda for the 2021-23 biennium, which focuses on the key challenges facing Oregonians: the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, recovery from the devastating 2020 wildfire season, and taking steps to end systemic racism and address racial disparities in Oregon.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order extending the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes concerning juvenile justice, regional centers, and behavioral health due to the presence of COVID-19.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that allows for the sale of alcoholic liquor at virtual events by charitable organizations.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that allows for the resumption of certain Judicial Branch requirements and deadlines.

Beyond COVID-19 

Climate change:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS welcomed the release of Maine Won’t Wait, the new four-year climate action plan from the Maine Climate Council, and announced actions her administration will take to protect Maine people and communities and spur economic growth in the fight against climate change.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the adoption of new regulations to strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as “RGGI,” the nation’s first regional program to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector.

Child care and early education:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the release of the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care: California for All Kids, which provides a strong research-based roadmap for building a comprehensive and equitable early learning and care system over the next decade. The Plan will help the state better understand the crisis families, children, and early learning and care providers are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and identifies key policy goals to ensure that all California children can thrive physically, emotionally, and educationally in their early years through access to high-quality early learning and care programs. These goals include universal preschool, enhanced workforce development and equitable career pathways for educators and caregivers, and funding reforms to promote equitable access to high-quality early learning and care.

Housing assistance:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the creation of two new programs designed to help bring additional assistance to working-class families and underrepresented communities of color across the State of Illinois. Offered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the SmartBuy and Opening Doors programs were designed to aid communities of color, which have historically endured many barriers in their path toward homeownership. 

Economic development:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR congratulated IT Supply Solutions on the company’s nearly $1.9 million planned expansion in Kenton County, which is expected to create 15 full-time jobs in the coming years.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Chick-fil-A will locate a major distribution center in Alamance County, investing an estimated $52 million to build the new facility.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced three new low-interest loan approvals through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority that will help companies in three counties expand their operations, enhance services and improve facilities, and create and retain jobs.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Grayson Natural Farms, LLC will invest $1.5 million to expand its smokehouse and production operation in Grayson County. 

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO’s State Patrol announced that troopers will begin accepting the Colorado Digital ID™ within the myColorado™ mobile app as proof of identity, age, and address for traffic stops within the state. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the Rebuild Illinois Wet Lab Capital Program, a new initiative designed to address critical lab space required for startup and growth-stage life sciences companies. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that applications are now available for the Kansas Historical Society’s Kansas Rural Preservation grant program through the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced New York’s annual statewide holiday donation drive to benefit families in need across New York. Donations of new unwrapped toys, coats, and school supplies are being sought to assist community-based organizations during the holiday giving season. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation that establishes a “Right to Publicity” for deceased individuals to protect against the commercial exploitation, or unauthorized use, of their personal characteristics that have commercial value – their name, picture, voice, or signature after their death. Additionally, these rights can be exercised by their descendants, giving performers estates the ability to control and protect their likeness or image after they have died. The legislation also creates new penalties for publishing sexually explicit depictions of individuals, protecting people from revenge porn and “deep fakes,” which are synthetic media that are increasingly being used in the digital age to create images of fake events.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM issued a writ of election declaring a special election in the 90th House of Delegates District for January 5, 2021. The seat was previously held by Delegate Joseph C. Lindsey, who resigned effective November 15, 2020.

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