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Govs On Deck – February 5, 2021

Govs on Deck

Happy Friday, folks, and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck!” A question for the group – what is the socially acceptable number of wings to order for a solo Superbowl party? 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:


Federal relief:


  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO issued a letter asking New York’s Congressional delegation for fair and proportional funding in the next COVID-19 aid package that helps New York State and localities, repeals the SALT cap, provides relief/mortgage relief, and helps restaurant workers. 


Emergency declarations:


  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS signed an executive order and emergency order establishing a statewide public health emergency and requiring face coverings in public places to protect the health and safety of Wisconsinites.


Vaccine distribution:


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM and the Biden-Harris Administration announced a pilot project to establish community vaccination sites in Oakland and Los Angeles. These pilot sites are part of the wider effort to establish 100 vaccination sites nationwide in the federal administration’s first 100 days. The sites will be co-run by FEMA and the State of California through the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY issued a modification to his Omnibus State of Emergency Declaration, requiring Delaware vaccination providers to report complete demographic information within 24 hours of administering a vaccine to the Delaware Immunization Information System. The modification also requires health care providers, pharmacies, and other entities that provide vaccinations to offer the shots free of charge, though insurance information may be collected. 
  • ILLINOIS has added 80 new locations to the list of COVID-19 vaccination locations open to the public for a current total of 390 locations. The new sites include 78 additional Walgreens locations for a total of 170 stores across the state, as well as two Illinois National Guard-supported locations in Cook and St. Clair counties.
  • ILLINOIS is working with Walgreens and CVS pharmacies to temporarily redirect approximately 97,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses that have not yet been used for the federal Pharmacy Partnership Program to providers across the state. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced four new regional COVID-19 vaccination sites, in Bowling Green, Covington, Glasgow, and Murray.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that Louisiana will begin vaccinating people between the ages of 65 and 69 against COVID-19 on Monday, February 8, expanding eligibility to more than 275,000 additional Louisianans. Some Unified Command Group members, state COVID emergency response personnel, local emergency response personnel, law enforcement, first responders, and elections workers for the upcoming March and April elections will also be eligible.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced a new Equity and Fairness Initiative aimed at ensuring vaccines are distributed to Nevadans equally, specifically in Clark County. Under this initiative, the state will work with Clark County Emergency Management and Southern Nevada Health District to clarify prioritization lanes, support fair access to vaccines through site selection, and equitable allocation across communities. Updates and progress will be reported publicly to the COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force.


Legal action:


  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR issued a statement in response to Franklin Circuit Court quickly issuing a restraining order that will keep in place the necessary measures the Governor has taken to stop COVID-19.


Reopening efforts:


  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Public Health announced Region 4 is moving to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan.


Public gatherings:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that eliminates the numerical cap on the size of religious gatherings and maintains the capacity limit for these gatherings at 50 percent, effective immediately.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY issued a modification to his Omnibus State of Emergency Declaration, easing COVID-19 occupancy. Effective at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, February 12, occupancy inside restaurants, retail locations, gyms, houses of worship, arts venues, and other business locations must not exceed 50 percent of stated fire capacity. The modification also allows youth and amateur sports tournaments to resume with a plan approved by the Division of Public Health. 
  • MICHIGAN’s Department of Health and Human Services updated its current epidemic order to allow contact sports to resume as of Monday, Feb. 8, provided masks are worn during practices and competition. 


Face coverings:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order directing individuals in Colorado to wear a medical or non-medical face-covering. 


Elections:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that permits all voters in any special election or municipal primary held prior to April 20, 2021, to vote using an absentee ballot, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason. This is similar to the order the permitted voters to use absentee ballots during elections held in 2020.


Schools and students:


  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order to create the Student Recovery Advisory Council of Michigan.  As Michigan continues to work around the clock to eliminate COVID-19, the Student Recovery Council will provide guidance and recommendations to ensure Michigan students have the tools and resources they need to get back on track.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM called on all K-12 school divisions in the Commonwealth to make in-person learning options available by March 15, 2021, in accordance with the health guidance the Northam Administration put forward in January and new research from the CDC. Recognizing significant learning losses over the past year, the governor also encouraged school divisions to offer classroom instruction during the summer months for those who choose.


Business support:


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM met virtually with impacted entrepreneurs who received crucial financial support through the first round of California’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. The program has already awarded approximately $237.5 million in the first round to just over 21,000 small businesses and will award approximately $237.5 million as part of the second round, which is open for applications through February 8.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation that will expand opportunities for outdoor dining in New Jersey. The bill sets forth a framework for municipalities to allow restaurants, bars, distilleries, and breweries to utilize outdoor spaces or public sidewalks as extensions of their business premises. 


Health care:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that his administration will be delivering an additional $40 million to Connecticut’s acute care hospitals to support their ongoing work responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding, which comes from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, will be distributed to non-governmental, short-term general hospitals that meet certain requirements based on applicable costs and expenses incurred as a result of the pandemic. 


PPE and medical supplies:


  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that four additional New York companies and one company that has previously received state support will be awarded nearly $2 million in state support to produce needed supplies to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Worker support:


  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS sent a letter to the Wisconsin State Legislature urging immediate, bipartisan action on his proposal to modernize the state’s unemployment insurance system. During his 2021 State of the State address, the governor announced he would be calling a special session of the Legislature to take up his proposal, which would finance the modernization project from initiation to completion over a 10-year period. Republicans in the Legislature have yet to take any action on the governor’s special session legislation. 


Relief funds:


  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER outlined a plan for allocating federal COVID-19 relief funds for immediate needs and investing state resources to help North Carolina communities build back as the state turns the corner on the pandemic. The early plan calls for investing federal stimulus funds along with some state resources for immediate critical needs.


Other efforts:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that either relaxes a restriction, extends a relief measure, or expands some existing form of relief previously in place to help businesses, residents, and institutions better respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic.


Beyond COVID-19 


Special sessions:


  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM signed a proclamation calling the members of the General Assembly into special session on Wednesday, February 10 to align the legislative calendar with the customary 46-day length for odd-numbered years. 


State budgets:


  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ highlighted a budget proposal to improve public safety across Minnesota through the State Aid for Emergencies Account. The SAFE Account would provide public safety cost-share assistance through a reimbursement mechanism to local governments during an unplanned or extraordinary public safety event that exhausts available local resources, including mutual aid.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced his 2021-23 biennial budget proposal will include a more than $43 million investment in Wisconsin’s agriculture economy and farm families aimed at expanding market opportunities, supporting new and innovative farming practices, strengthening the agricultural workforce, connecting local producers to food banks and pantries, and supporting farmer mental health and wellbeing.


Education: 


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he plans to introduce legislation during the 2021 regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly with the goal of increasing postsecondary enrollment and success across the state, particularly among first-generation, low-income, and minority students.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF’s 2021 agenda makes a historic $1.3 billion investment in public schools and creates fairness in education funding while cutting taxes for working families and businesses.


Economic development:


  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY unveiled Kansas’ new, comprehensive economic development strategic plan, the first of its kind in more than 30 years. The Kansas Framework for Growth is an aggressive strategy to align the state’s strengths with emerging trends across the global economy while guiding economic development at state and local levels into the future.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that long-standing, family-owned Clemens Food Group will expand its operations in Hatfield by building a new facility to support increased smoked meats and cooked sausage production.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, will retain its North American headquarters in the City of Norfolk, including approximately 655 current employees, and will grow its presence in the Commonwealth, resulting in the creation of more than 400 new jobs in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.


Workforce development:


  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced a new training program designed to prepare more residents for roles in Illinois’ growing supply chain management industry. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced a $573,583 grant for Hazard Community and Technical College for the commercial driver’s license Expansion Initiative. The program will allow for six cohorts of CDL students at HCTC’s main campus and six cohorts at the Leslie County campus each year, training 150 students in a high-demand industry.


Infrastructure:


  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced action is underway to provide support to Kansas communities for much-needed infrastructure programs and services through the fast and direct distribution of more than $84.6 million in highway funding KDOT received from the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.


Climate change:


  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS signed an executive order to create the Maine Forest Carbon Task Force. The Task Force is a recommendation from the state’s new four-year climate action plan, Maine Won’t Wait, and aims to develop a voluntary program for small-to-medium size woodland owners in Maine who want to utilize their land for long-term storage of carbon emissions, a process known as carbon sequestration. 


Other efforts:


  • COLORADO’s New American Integration Initiative published its first annual report, which details what the initiative has accomplished in its first year and what opportunities lie ahead. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY and the Delaware Division of Libraries announced that Bayhealth has partnered with Dover and Milford Public Libraries to ensure all babies born at Bayhealth Hospitals, as well as any eligible patients of Bayhealth Pediatrics in Milford, are registered for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced Maine’s final Age-Friendly State Plan, the culmination of more than a year of collaboration with AARP and more than 50 other organizations throughout the state to craft a comprehensive strategy to help Maine’s older residents live well and safely in their communities.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY launched New Jersey’s first Adverse Childhood Experiences Action Plan, a comprehensive statewide strategy to prevent and reduce childhood trauma and adversity. The action plan outlines several initiatives to identify, coordinate, and advance programs and services across state government to reduce and prevent adverse childhood experiences that negatively impact the developing brain and lead to lifelong social, physical, emotional, and economic challenges.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM issued a statement after the Senate of Virginia voted on legislation to ban capital punishment in the Commonwealth, saying he looks forward to signing the bill. 


That’s the dream:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced the launch of new services at the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles that will enable residents to renew their driver’s licenses and non-driver ID cards online without having to visit an office in-person. 


Stay safe. wear a mask, and wash your hands. I hope you have a great Superbowl weekend and we’ll see you on Monday!