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Govs On Deck – December 4, 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 amestoy@dga.net. 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.


Programming note: We’re off on Monday, but do not fret – we’ll be back in your inbox on Wednesday.


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.


DGA leadership:


  • After a unanimous confirmation, NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM, who served as Chair-Elect and Vice Chair in 2020, will be DGA’s new Chair in 2021. NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER will serve as our new Vice Chair and Chair-Elect. Outgoing DGA Chair NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY will serve as our new Finance Chair. 


2020 presidential election:


  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ fulfilled his duty to sign 21 Certificates of Election: 10 for Minnesota’s presidential electors, 10 for Minnesota’s alternate presidential electors, and one for Minnesota’s 2020 U.S. Senate election.


COVID-19 response:


Federal requests:


  • CONNECTICUTHAWAIILOUISIANANEVADA announced that requests to extend the federal authorization of their state National Guard’s support to ongoing state responses to the COVID-19 public health emergency have been approved. The federal government will provide the states with a 75 percent cost-share for this period.


New mitigation efforts:


  • CALIFORNIA health officials announced a Regional Stay at Home Order that will be triggered if Intensive Care Unit capacity drops below 15 percent in a given region. State health officials are tracking the state by five regions: Northern California, Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. No regions currently meet this threshold but some are projected to within the next week. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced a new Stay-at-Home advisory, strongly advising all Delawareans to avoid gathering indoors with anyone outside your household from December 14 through January 11 to interrupt the dangerous winter surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Delaware. The advisory does not apply to Delawareans in workplaces and traveling to and from their places of work.
  • NEW MEXICO’s Department of Health announced the updated statewide COVID-19 map for the two-week period beginning Dec. 2, with 32 counties at the Red Level and one county at the Yellow Level.


Public gatherings:


  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued updated restrictions for religious and faith-based organizations.


Face coverings:


  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY will institute a universal mask mandate statewide, requiring Delawareans to wear a cloth face-covering anytime they are indoors with anyone outside their immediate household.


Business support:


  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that COVID-19 Lodging Grants have been awarded to 663 Wisconsin lodging operators. The grants aim to provide stabilization to our state’s lodging industry as it continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and related reductions in travel across the nation. Grantees were awarded an average of approximately $350 per eligible room in Wisconsin.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that $15 million in COVID-19 Live Music and Entertainment Venue Grants has been awarded to 96 live venues. The grants aim to provide financial stabilization to Wisconsin’s live entertainment and large meeting venues, which were among the first small businesses to feel dramatic negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that restaurants and other targeted small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will receive $45 million in assistance, bringing the total assistance distributed to Wisconsin businesses this year to more than $220 million.


Schools and students:


  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation waiving the signature requirement for students enrolling in the College Bound scholarship.


Health care:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order that expands the health care workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities. 


Testing, tracing, and vaccination:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT’s administration released a framework of its plans for the distribution of an anticipated COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state is partnering with Prescryptive Health to provide expanded COVID-19 testing capacity across New York State. The partnership will help expand testing capacity in areas where testing access is limited and will include 150 new rapid testing locations statewide opening in the coming weeks where testing will be offered. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced the Oregon doctors who will be serving on the Western States’ Scientific Safety Review Workgroup with doctors, scientists, and health experts from California, Nevada, and Washington. The workgroup will review the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines that receive Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. FDA.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that U.S. Specialty Formulations will expand its operations in Allentown, Lehigh County to continue its work developing a COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with VaxForm, LLC. This project will create at least 97 new, high-paying positions at the site.


Housing support:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order providing relief to public utility customers.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced he will be signing an executive order expanding eligibility for New York State’s COVID Rent Relief Program and reopening its application window. 


Relief funds:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed legislation, passed with broad bipartisan support, that transfers $100,000,000 from the General Fund to the Controlled Maintenance Trust Fund and provides the governor with authority to transfer some or all of that amount to the Disaster Emergency Fund to assist with the public health and emergency response costs associated with COVID-19 in Colorado.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an amendment to the original COVID-19 disaster declaration transferring $84,300,000 allocated in SB20B-004 from the Controlled Maintenance Trust Fund to the Disaster Emergency Fund, and making that amount available to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 


Task forces:


  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER and the Michigan COVID-19 Task Force on Racial Disparities, Chaired by Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, released an interim report detailing the significant progress Michigan has made in protecting communities of color from the spread of COVID-19.  


Public communications:


  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that the Department of Human Services will launch a statewide outreach campaign to Latinx and immigrant communities facing disproportionately high COVID-19 positivity rates. The campaign communicates in Spanish and 16 other languages through a variety of ways to help empower community members to protect their health and that of their family members.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY launched the “Stop the Spread. It’s Up to Us, Kansas” campaign to share the importance of getting tested, wearing masks, and to encourage social distancing this holiday season to stop the further spread of COVID-19. The campaign includes the launch of a new testing website, GoGetTested.com/Kansas, to quickly identify free testing locations throughout the state. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the release of a new PSA highlighting the dangers of COVID-19 “living room spread.” New York’s latest contact tracing data shows 70 percent of new COVID-19 cases originate from households and small gatherings. As the number of new cases continues to grow nationwide, the PSA encourages New Yorkers to avoid gatherings to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.


Other efforts:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order to provide boards of county commissioners with broader discretion and greater flexibility to implement restrictions on open burning. 
  • COLORADO’s Department of Transportation’s Revitalizing Main Streets program, an initiative designed to promote public health and the economy during the COVID-19 crisis, has awarded another series of grants to 14 entities around the state. 


Beyond COVID-19 


National disasters:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the USDA has approved his request for an agricultural disaster designation as a result of damage sustained from the impact of Tropical Storm Isaias in Connecticut in early August.


Climate change:


  • NEVADA’s Climate Initiative released Nevada’s official State Climate Strategy. The State Climate Strategy is an integrated, economy-wide roadmap for the Silver State to accelerate climate action necessary to achieve Nevada’s climate goals and capture the health and economic benefits of the clean energy and technology revolution. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced executive actions that will support communities that are increasingly experiencing flooding caused by intense, short-duration storms due to climate change.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced new executive actions to improve coastal resilience and protect Virginia communities as the Commonwealth continues to experience flooding and extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change. 


Workforce development:


  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced two awards totaling $256,580 from the Delta Regional Authority for two initiatives to expand workforce development opportunities in Western Kentucky.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the utilization rate for New York State’s Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises on state contracts increased to 29.51 percent during the 2019-20 Fiscal Year – representing $3.14 billion in contracts – once again achieving the highest rate in the nation. 


Public education:


  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the creation of the Commonwealth Education Continuum to assist students as they transition through the state’s public education system. The continuum will focus on the need to increase and improve the quality and competencies of a diverse teaching workforce, as well as to increase student and family access to and awareness of opportunities for students to achieve the necessary degrees and credentials to enter the workforce successfully.


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