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Govs On Deck – December 9, 2020

Govs on Deck

What’s up, Wednesday? 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.


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:


New mitigation efforts:


  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ administration announced it will extend the requirement for certain businesses statewide to close by 9:00 p.m. through Sunday, January 3, 2021. 
  • MICHIGAN’s Department of Health and Human Services extended the current epidemic order that restricts indoor social gatherings and other group activities by 12 days. The additional 12 days will allow the department to determine the full impact of the Thanksgiving holiday on the spread of COVID-19 across Michigan.   
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced that North Carolina will begin a Modified Stay at Home Order after a rapid increase in North Carolina’s key COVID-19 trends. The order requires people to stay at home between 10 pm and 5 am and takes effect Friday, December 11, and will be in place until at least January 8, 2021.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced a three-week extension of statewide restrictions.


Face coverings:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended Colorado’s statewide mask order for an additional 30 days. Wearing a mask is an easy and highly effective way to significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19. 


Business support:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association, the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, Xcel Energy, and the Xcel Energy Foundation, announced additional support for Colorado restaurants. DoorDash has made a sizable donation to the Winter Outdoor Dining Fund and other groups have contributed critical funding to this program.  
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced today that the Administration is committing $10 million in federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funding to a newly-created Agriculture and Food Processing Infrastructure Reimbursement Program. The program is offering up to $100,000 to reimburse Maine food and agriculture businesses for infrastructure purchases or projects they invested in to address supply chain disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced an additional $50 million, doubling the number of Washington small businesses that will receive aid. Industries recently shut down, such as restaurants and fitness centers, as well as businesses that have been devastatingly impacted throughout the pandemic, like music and event venues, have been prioritized.


Schools and students:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order related to learning pods.


Health care:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order that allows for the operation of alternate care sites in response to COVID-19. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order maintaining eligibility for Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Basic Health Plan. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO directed the New York State Department of Health to begin implementing the state’s “surge and flex” protocol and mandate all hospitals begin expanding their bed capacity by 25 percent to further prepare hospitals for a future COVID-19 surge. Hospitals had previously been preparing plans for this action as part of New York’s Winter COVID Plan. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO issued a call to all retired doctors and nurses urging them to return to service if they are able to do so. A registration will be renewed at no cost for an individual who completes the questionnaire through the volunteer portal, set up by the state Department of Health.


Testing, tracing, and vaccination:


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the statewide launch of CA Notify, a new digital tool that will help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that authorizes licensed pharmacists to administer any coronavirus vaccine that has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration under certain conditions, as well as administer influenza vaccines to children aged 10-17; requires any pharmacist who administers an influenza vaccine to any patient under the age of 18 and obtains the vaccine through the Connecticut Vaccine Program to electronically report the information about the administration of the vaccine to the Department of Public Health’s immunization registry; and caps the amount that providers may charge to administer COVID-19 vaccines, to ensure that no one is required to pay out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the state is expecting two additional COVID-19 vaccine shipments before the end of the year. In total, the state expects at least 38,000 Pfizer doses and 109,000 Moderna doses in December.
  • NEVADA’s Department of Health and Human Services received official notice from the Department of Defense and the CDC on the state’s December COVID-19 vaccine allocation. The state is set to receive more than 164,000 doses throughout the month which will be used for hospital staff, skilled nursing facility staff and residents, and other Tier One individuals as outlined in Nevada’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Playbook. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order that automatically enrolls residents who choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine into the state’s existing vaccine registry. The governor’s order changes inclusion into the New Jersey Immunization Information System from an opt-in to an opt-out program for residents who elect to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. That group of residents will be automatically enrolled into the system, and will then be permitted to opt-out of the registry 30 days after the public health emergency expires.


Worker support: 


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order related to unemployment insurance. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that expands eligibility for Connecticut residents in the federal Lost Wages Assistance program, enabling those who previously did not meet the eligibility requirements to receive $100 in weekly unemployment benefits that would make them eligible.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation expanding eligibility for extended UI benefits to claimants who either had been eligible for regular UI benefits prior to exhausting those benefits or earned 40 times their unemployment weekly benefits rate. 
  • NEW MEXICO’s Environment Department adopted a second emergency amendment to state workplace safety laws that requires employers to report positive COVID-19 cases among employees to NMED within four hours of being notified of the case. 
  • NEW MEXICO’s Human Services Department was appropriated $5 million from House Bill 1, during the second special session of the New Mexico Legislature last month to provide emergency financial assistance to low income state residents who did not receive a federal coronavirus tax relief economic impact payment. This will be a one-time payment of up to $750 for eligible New Mexico households, depending on the number of eligible applicants.


Family support:


  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced that the administration is committing $2 million in federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funding to DACF’s Food Security Network Reimbursement Program. The program offers up to $10,000 in reimbursements to food banks and pantries that have accrued unanticipated expenses while working to overcome food supply and distribution challenges caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. 
  • NEW MEXICO’s Human Services Department was appropriated $5 million from House Bill 1, during the second special session of the New Mexico Legislature last month to support and supplement emergency feeding operations at food banks across the state. The funds are being distributed equitably this week to the five major food banks that support all 33 counties and tribal communities through an existing hunger relief network.


Relief funds:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed nine bills into law. This legislation provides broad relief to those impacted by COVID-19, including relief for small businesses, childcare providers and families. 


Other efforts:


  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extension of 26 proclamations today in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced updates to one proclamation in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. This proclamation updates and extends the state waiver of truck driver hours restrictions through February 28, 2021.


Beyond COVID-19 


National disasters:


  • OREGON’s Division of Financial Regulation has reached an agreement with several insurance companies to extend timelines to at least two years from the date of loss for 2020 Labor Day wildfire victims to rebuild homes and replace damaged personal property.


Health care:


  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER has announced the formation of The North Carolina Council for Health Care Coverage to be convened by the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. Council members include bipartisan members of the General Assembly and representatives from a variety of sectors including business, nonprofit, and health care.


Housing:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state is awarding $13.3 million to 12 municipalities in Connecticut for infrastructure upgrades that will modernize and rehabilitate housing for low and moderate-income individuals.


Education:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that Connecticut has become the first state in the nation to require all high schools in the state offer courses on African-American, Black, Puerto Rican, and Latino studies.


Elections:


  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM issued a writ of election declaring a special election in the Second House of Delegates District for January 5, 2021. The seat was previously held by Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, who resigned effective December 12, 2020.


Law enforcement reform:


  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM ceremonially signed “Breonna’s Law.”. The law prohibits the use of no-knock search warrants in the Commonwealth. Virginia is the third state in the country to ban this practice—and the first state to do so since the tragic death of Breonna Taylor, 26, who was killed in March during the execution of a no-knock search warrant in her Louisville, Kentucky home.


Economic development:


  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Huvepharma, Inc., a global bio manufacturer, will expand its poultry vaccine plant in Scotland County with an investment of $1.9 million and 10 new jobs.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Farmina Pet Food USA will establish its North American headquarters in Reidsville including the creation of 129 jobs over five years and a capital investment of nearly $28.5 million. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc will grow its North Carolina workforce by nearly 60 jobs with an expansion at its Rockingham County production facility.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Riverside Furniture Corporation will create 50 new jobs with a $5.4 million investment for a warehouse and distribution center in Caswell County.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that New York City-based Bowery Farming, Inc., the largest vertical farming company in the country, has selected Pennsylvania as the best place to expand its operations. The new facility will be the fourth vertical farm operation in the U.S. and first in the commonwealth.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Silent Falcon UAS Technologies, an unmanned aircraft systems service provider and original equipment manufacturer, will invest $6 million to locate its new East Coast headquarters for research, development, and manufacturing at the Front Royal-Warren County Airport in Warren County creating 249 new jobs. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that International Automotive Components Group will invest $4.6 million to expand its manufacturing operation in the Town of Strasburg and add new auto component lines and products to its existing capabilities at the facility. Virginia successfully competed with Ohio for the project, which will create 47 new jobs. 


Infrastructure:


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the approval of $36 million in funding through the Neighborhood Assistance Program to support 214 community revitalization projects across the commonwealth.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will distribute $8.2 million in Automated Red Light Enforcement funding to 13 municipalities statewide to fund 16 safety projects.


Other efforts:


  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the Illinois Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security. The Commission, which was signed into law by the governor earlier this year as part of the Intergenerational Poverty Act, builds on the administration’s efforts to improve the lives of low- and middle-income Illinoisans. The Commission is tasked with developing and adopting a strategic plan that will develop anti-poverty programs that ensure long-term, multigenerational economic mobility regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation or identity, ability, or geographic location. The plan will be available in spring 2021.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced a commitment of $190 million for renovations and upgrades at historic Newark Penn Station.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced he has granted another 33 pardons. The new 33 pardons granted this week brings the total of the governor’s pardons to 107 during his first two years in office.


Holiday cheer:


  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS and First Lady Donna EDWARDS kick off the official start of the Christmas and holiday season at the Governor’s Mansion. This year, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Christmas lights and decorations are limited to outside making it safe for families to enjoy the beautiful displays from inside their vehicles.


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