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Govs On Deck – February 3, 2021

Govs on Deck

It’s Wednesday and time for 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:

Vaccine distribution:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state has added a map on its Open Data portal indicating the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine by town and city statewide. Going forward, this map will be updated once per week, usually every Thursday. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced an expansion of Delaware’s COVID-19 vaccination program with a statewide focus on vaccinating Delawareans in underserved, minority communities. 
  • ILLINOIS has added a total of 41 new vaccination locations since January 26, 2021, for a current total of 310 locations open to the public. The Illinois Department of Public Health is also now reporting county-level vaccine inventory data on its website.  The data include the number of doses allocated by county, along with the doses administered and the number of people who are fully vaccinated.  
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the launch of the “Find My Vaccine” mapping tool, designed to help Kansans locate sites that are administering vaccines in their communities. The tool is available now on, Kansas’s COVID-19 vaccine website. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the federal COVID-19 team will increase Kentucky’s vaccine supply by an additional 5%. In total, the state’s supply will increase by 22% the week of Feb. 8 compared with the week of Jan. 25.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR and Kroger Health opened the state’s regional vaccination site at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Fayette County, as the state continues to ramp up its ability to vaccinate more Kentuckians.
  • MINNESOTA has ramped up its COVID-19 vaccination efforts and is now administering two times the number of shots given per day on average compared to just last week.
  • NEVADA’s Health Response Center issued new guidance that states that Emergency Medical Services personnel do not need to hold a vaccine endorsement in order to provide the COVID-19 vaccine. This guidance aligns with an emergency directive that is intended to broadly allow and encourage as many qualified medical services providers to administer COVID-19. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the federal supply to the states will increase to 20 percent for the next three weeks, up from the initial 16 percent bump. Given the overall increase, the governor is granting localities the flexibility to add restaurant workers, taxi drivers, and developmentally disabled facilities to the 1B vaccine prioritization group. 

Legal action:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR filed a lawsuit to stop lawmakers from stripping the governor of his ability to implement lifesaving public health measures during a pandemic. Just over two months ago, the Kentucky Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that the governor’s lifesaving measures were both legal and necessary. The lawsuit filed in Franklin Circuit Court today seeks to keep these measures in place.

Reopening efforts:

  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Public Health announced Region 8 and Region 9 are moving to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan

Schools and students:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER, along with top state education leaders, called on K-12 school districts across the state to allow in-person instruction for all students. 

Business support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced the latest round of grants for Colorado restaurants. Funds can be used toward design, construction, applicable fees, and supplies (ex: permit fees, tents, heaters). In this round, 260 restaurants in 30 counties received grants totaling $1,023,988. During the first round of grant funding, 129 restaurants across the state received aid. To date, the fund has raised $2,418,305.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced an additional $5 million has been allocated to the Small Business Lease – Emergency Assistance Grant Program (SBL-EAGP), which allows businesses in 64 legislatively designated municipalities to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for lease costs.

Worker support:

  • OREGON OSHA is proposing a permanent rule that largely maintains – with some improvements – the risk-reducing measures required by the current temporary emergency rule aimed at protecting workers against the coronavirus disease, It would replace the temporary rule, which expires on May 4.

Relief funds:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS and the COVID Relief Fund announced the seventh round of grants. This round of funding provided a total of $3,875,700 to 140 community-based organizations serving Coloradans who are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

Public communications:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced the launch of a COVID awareness campaign by the Colorado Tourism Office. The “Do Colorado Right” campaign aims to encourage both in-state and out-of-state winter travelers to avoid risky behaviors during the pandemic as they visit the State’s ski resorts and other destinations for the current winter and upcoming spring seasons. The campaign, which features Olympic Gold Medalist snowboarder Red Gerard and “Bachelor” contestant Ben Higgins, among others, seeks to spread the message that everyone should stay six feet apart, wear a mask, and practice social distancing. 

Beyond COVID-19 

State budgets:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF outlined his budget plan to remove barriers and cut taxes for working-class families in Pennsylvania while investing billions of dollars into Pennsylvania schools​ and workforce development initiatives. The governor’s plan would make Pennsylvania’s tax structure more fair and equitable, cutting taxes for working-class families while still making historic investments in public education through the fair funding formula.

Medicaid expansion:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced legislation to expand Medicaid (Kancare) and provide health insurance for 165,000 Kansans. The legislation also establishes a regulatory framework to make Kansas the 48th state to legalize medical marijuana. This Medicaid Expansion bill includes the same components of the compromise legislation from last year with some exceptions.

Workforce development:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER joined with Republican and Democratic legislators to announce the launch of the $30 million Michigan Reconnect program, the largest effort in state history to ensure that more than 4.1 million Michiganders who are 25 or older and do not have a college degree will have an opportunity to earn a tuition-free associate degree or skills certificate. 

Health care:

  • NEW JERSEY First Lady Tammy MURPHY and Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman announced the state Medicaid program now covers doula care, while also no longer paying for non-medical early elective deliveries. Also, the Medicaid program will require obstetrical providers, nurse midwives, or other licensed health care professionals to complete a perinatal risk assessment form during a beneficiary’s first prenatal visit to help identify trends in risk factors. These initiatives are outlined in the First Lady’s Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan, which aims to combat New Jersey’s maternal and infant health mortality crisis by eliminating racial disparities in maternal and infant care. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced his 2021-23 biennial budget proposal will include a number of critical provisions to lower prescription drug prices and control costs, increase transparency and protect consumers, and ensure access to life-saving medications for Wisconsin’s most vulnerable individuals. 

Economic development:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF  announced nearly $5.4 million in low-interest loans through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority that will help companies in Berks, Erie, and Fayette counties create and retain jobs, expand their operations, and provide business services to their communities.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that the application period is now open for the fourth round of funding through the Abandoned Mine Land Pilot Program. Economic development grants totaling $10 million are available for projects in Southwest Virginia that reclaim abandoned mine land and diversify the region’s economy.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Kreative Technologies, LLC will invest $1.5 million to expand its operation at 4114 Legato Road in Fairfax County. The company will more than quadruple its current workforce of 67 with the creation of 296 new jobs.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Afton Scientific, LLC will invest $500,000 to expand its operation in Albemarle County. The company will add 20 new jobs and 8,000 square feet to its facility at 2020 Avon Court to accommodate its 50 percent growth over the past year and expected similar growth in 2021. 

Inclusion and equity:

  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced 30 appointments to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion. The Advisory Council will be chaired by Secretary-designee Dawn Crim of the Department of Safety and Professional Services and will provide strategic guidance to the governor, lieutenant governor, and Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan, in developing a sustainable framework to promote and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion practices across Wisconsin state government.

LGBTQ rights:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation repealing portions of a law – known as the ‘Walking While Trans’ ban – that led to arbitrary and discriminatory policing of transgender women. The law, originally passed in 1976 with the intent to prohibit loitering for the purpose of prostitution, has been used with an extremely broad definition of loitering that led to the arrest of law-abiding transgender and cisgender women of color. 


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued a proclamation declaring a special election for the 79th Assembly District of the State of California on June 8, 2021. The primary for the special election will be held on April 6, 2021.

Other efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state is launching a competitive grant program that will provide reimbursements to nonprofit organizations throughout the state for the costs associated with implementing needed security infrastructure improvements at their facilities.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM has been elected to serve as Appalachian Regional Commission’s states’ co-chair for 2021. As part of ARC’s federal-state partnership structure, the states’ co-chair is annually elected by Appalachia’s governors and works directly with the federal co-chair to invest in economic growth and development across the 13-state Appalachian region.

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