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Govs On Deck – February 1, 2021

Govs on Deck

Happy February, guys! Welcome to Monday’s 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:


Vaccine distribution:


  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER’s Protect Michigan Commission, comprised of a diverse group of leaders from across the state charged with helping raise awareness about the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, hosted its first meeting and unveiled Michigan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy.  The commission was established by an executive order. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that more than 35,000 Minnesotans age 65 and older will have access to COVID-19 vaccines at over 100 clinics, hospitals, state community vaccination sites, and other locations across the state this week. The administration also launched an online vaccine finder to better connect Minnesotans age 65+ to vaccination opportunities in communities near where they live. The vaccine finder will allow all eligible Minnesotans the opportunity to seek out the vaccine from a local provider
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a mass vaccination site at Yankee Stadium is under development through a partnership between New York State, New York City, SOMOS Community Care, the New York National Guard, and the New York Yankees.  
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the deployment of ten more community vaccination kits to underserved communities. Specifically, kits are being deployed to four NYCHA Senior Housing Developments, 2 public housing sites in Rochester and Hempstead, and three church and community center locations in the Bronx and Brooklyn. 


Reopening efforts:


  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Public Health announced Region 7 is moving to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan.  
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that assuming New York State’s COVID-19 infection rate stays on its current trajectory, indoor dining in New York City can reopen at 25 percent capacity on Valentine’s Day. 


Schools and students:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHYRHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO, and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott announced an extension of the suspension of interstate youth hockey competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey leagues through at least March 31, 2021. 


Business support:


  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed legislation that holds 2021 unemployment insurance experience ratings constant, ensuring businesses aren’t penalized for 2020 layoffs.


Health care:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order temporarily suspending statutes to maintain eligibility for Medicaid and Children’s Basic Health Plan enrollees. 


Worker support:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS amended and extended an executive order ordering expedited unemployment insurance claim processing to provide relief to Coloradans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendment reinstates the work search requirement for unemployment insurance benefits. 


Family support:


  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation to ensure, as required by federal law, that persons receiving extended foster care services don’t “age out” at 21 years old during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Housing support:


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed legislation to extend the state’s landmark eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021. The bill also establishes the State Rental Assistance Program to allocate the $2.6 billion in federal rental assistance California will receive. The program will target aid to income-qualified tenants most at-risk with unpaid back rent. Assistance will also be extended to property owners who agree to waive 20 percent of unpaid rent.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order preventing late fees for residential and commercial tenants. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order providing relief to public utility customers due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed an executive order extending the state’s moratorium on evictions to at least March 31.


Other efforts:


  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY applauded the announcement that Plastikon Industries will create 50 new positions at its high-tech plant in Lawrence as part of its ongoing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The plant, currently manufacturing In-Vitro Diagnostic testing kits, unit dose OTC Drug products, and sterile injection molded plastic testing supplies, is now adding a new production line to provide sterile injection molded caps for viral transport tubes after winning a key contract. In addition to bringing these new jobs, this expansion means an even bigger role for Plastikon in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. 


Beyond COVID-19 


Racial and gender equity:


  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced the results of the Commonwealth’s disparity study, which demonstrate the need for narrowly tailored race- and gender-conscious measures to increase equitable opportunities for woman- and minority-owned businesses in state contracting. The outcomes of the study will guide the Northam Administration’s ongoing work with General Assembly leaders to increase supplier diversity and equity in the state procurement process. 


Other efforts:


  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation amending the “Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act” to direct the Commission on Human Trafficking to broaden its current mission of developing public awareness of human trafficking to also include awareness of victim remedies and services and trafficking prevention, including the creation of a public awareness sign. The Commission would develop and determine the language for the public awareness sign, which must contain the national, 24-hour toll-free hotline telephone service on human trafficking operated pursuant to federal law. 


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream:


  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Smiley’s Ice Cream, a producer of premium, homemade-style ice cream, will build a new ice cream manufacturing facility and retail store in Rockingham County, investing more than $1.15 million and creating eight new jobs. As part of this expansion, the locally-owned company will source an additional 18,000 gallons of Virginia-produced dairy and an additional 2,500 pounds of Virginia-grown fruits over the next three years.


Stay safe. wear a mask, and wash your hands. See you on Wednesday!