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Govs On Deck – February 8, 2021

Govs on Deck

Another Monday and 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:


Vaccine distribution:


  • COLORADO’s Department of Public Health announced plans to expand availability and access to COVID-19 vaccine scheduling through the state’s vaccine appointment hotline. Beginning today, the hotline will have expanded hours, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days per week. A total of 125 trained contact specialists will answer calls and will have the capability of booking up to 10,000 appointments per week at 12 locations across Connecticut.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that the covidvaccine.oregon.gov site will now include a new tool—Get Vaccinated Oregon— to help people determine eligibility and to sign up for email alerts and text notifications when they become eligible. Seniors living independently with questions can also call 2-1-1 for information. To help ensure the phone lines are running smoothly, the governor is deploying 30 additional National Guard members to help staff the call center.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced a new partnership with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare. AMI will help expand vaccine accessibility across the state by operating community-based vaccination clinics. After careful consideration and identifying local health needs, DHS has selected Rock County to be the site of the first clinic currently scheduled to open on February 16. Given the current shortage of vaccine supply and a large amount of vaccinating capacity, DHS plans on adding community sites as needed and as there is more vaccine available.


Business support:


  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced Kansans can begin submitting applications to the 2021 Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for forgivable loans to small businesses following the launch of 2021 Coronavirus relief programs. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed legislation that allocates $145 million that the governor made available to help support businesses suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wolf Administration authorized a transfer of $145 million in funds from the Workers’ Compensation Security Fund at the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to the General Fund so that the money could be appropriated by the state legislature to aid businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Health care:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order related to the temporary suspension of certain statutes to increase the Medicaid home health workforce and eliminate cost-sharing for the COVID-19 testing and treatment for Medicaid enrollees.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order redirecting underutilized resources to nursing facilities and selected Home and Community-Based Services to help providers address the impacts of the pandemic, including severe staff shortages and substantial reductions in the use of these services due to COVID-19 in Colorado. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order ordering the temporary suspension of certain statutes and rules to expand the healthcare workforce for hospitals, inpatient treatment facilities, and administration of COVID-19 vaccinations in outpatient settings due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado. 


Housing support:


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed legislation that appropriates desperately needed funding for rental and utility assistance to Pennsylvania residents to keep them in their homes. 


Legislation:


  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS vetoed Assembly Bill 1 after Republican legislators abandoned compromise legislation that the governor had indicated he would sign. The new bill would, in part, impose limits on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Other efforts:


  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY’s  Governor’s Council on Tax Reform heard input from state and national policy experts who provided broad and enhanced perspectives on many of the top tax issues already under consideration in the 2021 Kansas Legislature. The Council cautioned the radical tax policy changes could harm COVID-19 recovery
  • PENNSYLVANIA First Lady Frances WOLF announced that the submission period for One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views is open and Pennsylvanians can begin sharing their photos documenting their COVID-19 experience. The first lady announced the statewide virtual photo exhibit in January and its mission to celebrate the hard work and commitment of all Pennsylvanians as we continue our fight against COVID-19, as well as create a visual record of this historical moment.


Beyond COVID-19 


State budgets:


  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced his 2021-23 biennial budget proposes regulating and taxing marijuana much like Wisconsin regulates and taxes alcohol. Under the proposal, Wisconsin would join 15 other states, including neighboring Michigan and Illinois, in legalizing recreational marijuana. The governor’s 21-23 budget proposal will increase revenue, create jobs, and reduce criminal justice system costs while providing a pathway for those suffering from chronic or debilitating pain and illness to utilize the medicine they require.


Mental health:


  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ administration announced a new landmark agreement that charts a path toward ending the Augusta Mental Health Institute Consent Decree. For more than three decades, the Consent Decree has required the State to build and maintain a comprehensive mental health system that meets the needs of Maine people due to historic failures to do so.


Economic development:


  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that Wieland North America Inc., a producer of copper and copper alloy products, plans a new North American headquarters in Louisville, a project expected to bring 75 jobs with an $8.8 million investment.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY highlighted two programs that will support the transformation of contaminated brownfields into vibrant community assets. The Brownfield Redevelopment Incentive will provide tax credits to support brownfields remediation projects and the Brownfields Loan Program makes low-interest loans of up to $5 million available to brownfield redevelopment projects for all aspects of revitalization, including assessment, investigation, and demolition. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Fortune Auto North America will invest $250,000 to expand its operation located at 1495 Oakbridge Terrace in Powhatan County. The company will add new equipment to meet increased demand and create 10 new jobs, doubling its workforce. 


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Other efforts:


  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ issued an executive order authorizing the Minnesota National Guard to provide public-safety assistance to Minneapolis and Saint Paul during the upcoming trials of the former officers involved in the death of George Floyd. Members of the Guard will be visible and available as needed as public interest increases surrounding the trials.


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