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Govs On Deck – January 15, 2021

Govs on Deck

Happy Friday, everyone. Welcome to today’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 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.

Programming note: Govs on Deck will be off on Monday as we observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Please stay safe this weekend and we will see you on Inauguration Day.

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:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR, state officials, and Kroger leadership announced a new partnership to significantly increase the speed of COVID-19 vaccinations across the commonwealth. The first Kroger regional, drive-through vaccination sites will open the week of Feb. 1 for Kentuckians in Phase 1A, 1B, and 1C. 
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced updates to Maine’s strategy for distributing its limited allocation of COVID-19 vaccines targeted toward preventing serious illness and saving the lives of Maine people. The state is dedicating the limited vaccine supply to older Maine residents, beginning with those 70 and older; additional emergency service personnel such as police and firefighters; and people who support infrastructure critical to Maine’s COVID-19 response. The updated strategy also focuses on adults of all ages with high-risk medical conditions that place them at greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.
  • NEVADA’s Health Response issued additional guidance to clarify a directive regarding who is qualified to be a vaccinator in order to maximize the workforce of those able to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK’s Office for New Americans addressed concerns with data privacy protections for undocumented immigrants during COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN issued a statement demanding answers after receiving the news that states will not be receiving increased shipments of vaccines from the national stockpile next week because there is no federal reserve of doses.

Schools and students:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the launch of transparency, accountability, and assistance measures related to the Safe Schools for All Plan. The Safe Schools for All Hub – – was launched as a one-stop-shop for information about safe in-person instruction, and will be updated frequently.

Business support:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF  urged the General Assembly to act now to allocate $145 million that is available now to provide much-needed support to Pennsylvania businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 public health crisis.

Worker support:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that an executive order he signed last month expanding eligibility in the federal Lost Wages Assistance Program has resulted in 22,837 unemployed Connecticut residents receiving an additional $35 million in federal payments over the last several weeks.

Other efforts:

  • PENNSYLVANIA First Lady Frances WOLF announced One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views, a statewide virtual photo exhibit she is launching to document the story of Pennsylvania throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond COVID-19 

January 20th:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order activating members of the Colorado National Guard to assist with the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER, at the request of federal authorities, is mobilizing 200 National Guard personnel to assist civil authorities and local law enforcement in Washington, DC prior to and during the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20. This deployment is in addition to an already-planned 10-person joint communications team working to support the inauguration.  

State capital safety:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced a series of actions to bolster security in advance of the presidential inauguration.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ activated the Minnesota National Guard to assist state and local law enforcement in public safety efforts in Saint Paul over the coming days. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER has mobilized approximately 350 National Guard personnel for duty here in North Carolina, beginning this weekend to support state and local authorities and protect the well-being of residents, property, and the right to peacefully assemble and protest.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that approximately 450 Pennsylvania National Guard members have been put on state active duty to support safety and security efforts within the commonwealth that coincide with the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.

State of the State addresses:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM delivered his 2021 State of the Commonwealth. 

State budgets:

  • ILLINOIS’ Board of Higher Education approved a fiscal year 2022 budget that increases funding to support its continuing efforts to help close equity gaps in higher education outcomes. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced her third budget recommendation. The fiscally responsible budget protects and invests in core services – like education, infrastructure, and economic development – while keeping Kansas on a path for economic growth.


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF issued a statement in response to the House GOP’s plans to subvert democracy through amending the Constitution saying he “strongly oppose giving the legislature the power to gerrymander our justice system.”

Climate change and renewable energy:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS released Colorado’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap. Gov. Polis was joined by members of the General Assembly, the clean energy and utility sector, and members of his Cabinet including Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director CDPHE, Will Toor, Executive Director CEO, Shoshana Lew, Executive Director CDOT, and other members of the Polis administration. 

Economic development:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems America Inc. is establishing a new, 200-job operation in Berea to manufacture motors for electric vehicles.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Mohawk Industries, Inc. will invest $22.5 million to expand its operation in Carroll County. The company will add 19,000 square feet to its facility at 351 Floyd Pike in Hillsville and install new extrusion and loom equipment to increase production speed. Virginia successfully competed with other states for the project, which will retain 75 existing jobs and create 35 new jobs. 

Other efforts:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER issued a statement congratulating Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch on his election as Speaker of the House. Welch will be the state’s first Black Speaker of the House.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER has been selected by President-elect Joe Biden to serve as a DNC vice chair. 
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced her agenda for the first session of the 55th New Mexico Legislature, a series of proposals that will advance meaningful investments and new policy in public education, early childhood well-being, environmental protection, racial justice, and more.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced more than $1 million in funding through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to support affordable housing in Centre County.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE delivered his historic third inaugural address via video due to health and security concerns.

Wear a mask, wash your hands, and please stay safe this weekend. See you on Inauguration Day!