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Govs On Deck – January 22, 2021

Govs on Deck

We’re back! 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.

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:

State partnerships:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEARMICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER, MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, and WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS joined together to encourage everyone to make a plan for how they can get the safe and effective vaccine once they become eligible. 

Vaccine distribution:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order ensuring that the vaccine is free for Coloradans, and insurance status will not be used to deny or deprioritize any patient from getting the vaccine.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he is directing the Connecticut Department of Public Health to proceed through the remaining groups in the vaccination Phase 1B with a tiered approach based on the risk of adverse health outcomes from the virus. The governor is directing the implementation to be done in an equitable way, with vaccine distribution points focused in areas where residents and communities have barriers to access and care.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced that, as of Tuesday, January 19, that the state will transition to Phase 1B in its COVID-19 vaccination plan, with a focus on persons 65 and up.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the locations of four state-support vaccination sites across Cook County that have begun to vaccinate Illinois residents. The sites are being stood up through support from the Illinois National Guard.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced a statewide move to Phase 2 of Kansas’ COVID-19 vaccination plan. With this move, all those aged 65+, those in eligible congregate settings, and all high-contact critical workers will now be prioritized for vaccination, in addition to anyone from Phase 1 who has not yet been vaccinated.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced a new COVID-19 vaccine dashboard in Kansas. A collaboration with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the COVID-19 dashboard will be updated Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by 12:30 PM.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced the state is launching a COVID-19 vaccine pilot program, partnering with local public health and school districts. These sites will initially serve adults 65 years of age or older, as well as prekindergarten through grade 12 educators, school staff, and child care workers. The community vaccination pilot program will be the foundation for mass vaccination clinics in Minnesota communities once the federal government increases vaccine supply. The nine pilot sites will launch this week with a small number of doses for eligible Minnesotans.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York’s health care distribution sites have administered 93 percent of first doses received from the federal government, and 91 percent of first and second doses.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced an updated statewide vaccine distribution and administration plan to increase the number of Washingtonians vaccinated and establish infrastructure capable of mass vaccinations in the coming months. With the expanded vaccine distribution system, the state set a goal of vaccinating 45,000 Washingtonians per day. Included in the plan is the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center, a new statewide public-private partnership to boost vaccine distribution efforts. The collaboration includes Washington corporations, labor unions, health care groups, and government entities.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin National Guard has launched the Mobile Vaccination Program. As additional vaccines are allocated to Wisconsin, this initiative will accelerate vaccination efforts and expand accessibility to all corners of Wisconsin by supplementing local partners with staffing support and resources.

Emergency declarations:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS extended the State of Civil Emergency through February 17, 2021. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY extended the state’s Public Health Emergency.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS signed an executive order and an emergency order establishing a new statewide public health emergency and face coverings requirement, respectively, as the state continues to expand vaccination distribution across the state. 

Reopening efforts:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced regions across the state are now eligible to move out of Tier 3 mitigations, the strictest tier of Illinois’ resurgence mitigation plan, implemented shortly before Thanksgiving, in response to a surge of COVID-19 statewide and across the Midwest. The governor announced that regions could resume moving out of the tiered resurgence mitigations (Tier 3, Tier 2, and Tier 1) and back into Phase 4 on a data-driven basis.

Schools and students:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the state is dedicating $2.2 billion in federal stimulus funds to K-12 school districts and charter schools affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to support food programs, technological improvements, and other education services.

Business support:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the opportunity for one-time, $600 grants for child care workers across Pennsylvania. The funds are available to child care providers licensed by the Office of Child Development and Early Learning through federal Child Care Development Fund quality dollars and remaining funding previously made available through federal CARES Act allocated for child care providers.

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order requiring hospitals and freestanding emergency departments that have reached capacity or are reasonably anticipated to reach capacity to notify the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and providing CDPHE with authority to direct those facilities to cease admitting new patients and/or transfer patients.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced Kentucky hospitals will receive an additional $800 million to $1 billion annually to help advance the quality of care of Medicaid members and provide a stable base for hospitals that will extend beyond the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the Open Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended through March 31, 2021. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York’s Official Health Plan Marketplace, or directly through insurers. 

Family support:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Social Services announced that it will provide a total of $25.5 million in additional federal food benefits to Connecticut residents in two allocations this week through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Relief packages:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced the Michigan COVID Recovery Plan to grow Michigan’s economy and help end the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor’s plan includes a strong focus on vaccine distribution, economic recovery, schools, and more.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the validity of medical cannabis identification cards that would otherwise have expired. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed legislation allowing the Legislature to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov, Ned LAMONT announced that he has been appointed co-chair of the National Governors Association’s Pandemic and Disaster Response Task Force. It is one of three task forces that are being created by the organization to coordinate and lead bipartisan state and territorial efforts to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to lead economic recovery and community renewal efforts.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that he has been appointed co-chair of the National Governors Association’s Economic Recovery and Revitalization task force.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR vetoed five bills, including House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 1, allowing him to continue taking bold, effective actions to save lives, and ensuring future governors have the tools they need to address new emergencies quickly.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the Department of Financial Services’ newly formed Office of Pharmacy Benefits announced it has initiated investigations into significant price spikes for six drugs that were connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued extensions of 26 emergency proclamations, which were extended by the Legislature on Jan. 15 with the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 8402.  

Beyond COVID-19 

Second terms:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY was sworn into his second term as governor. 

State capital security:

  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced that there will be long-term additional security measures in place at the state Capitol in Olympia, even as the Washington National Guard begins to draw down its presence that followed increased threats leading up to the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration. The continued actions will include increased Washington State Patrol presence and the restricted area on West Campus. People will be able to exercise their free speech outside the fence in non-restricted areas. 

State of the State addresses:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK delivered his 2021 State of the State address.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN delivered her 2021 State of the State address.

State budgets:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK released the summary of his Executive Budget for the 2021-2023 biennium. This budget highlights the pain wrought by the pandemic while also setting forth a clear plan to revitalize, innovate, and grow Nevada’s economy. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO outlined the FY 2022 Executive Budget to reimagine, rebuild and renew New York in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he has scheduled Tuesday, March 2, 2021, as the date to hold a special election to fill a vacancy for state senator in the 27th Senatorial District of the Connecticut General Assembly.

Clean energy:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced a set of policy proposals that will lead Minnesota to 100 percent clean energy in the state’s electricity sector by 2040. The policies build on the success that Minnesota has already achieved in reducing dependence on fossil fuels and increasing the use of clean energy resources to power the state while ensuring reliable, affordable electricity.


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the State of Connecticut is awarding $5 million in funding to 10 towns and cities across the state under a competitive grant program administered by the Department of Transportation for projects that support improved mobility and accessibility, as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the investment of $178 million for 14 drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater projects across 11 counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.

Economic development:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS and International Paper Bogalusa Mill Manager Bernie Chascin announced the company plans to invest up to $52.2 million in capital to increase the efficiency of the mill, which has been a manufacturing mainstay of Washington Parish for more than a century.
  • MICHIGAN’s Department of Transportation has awarded a state transportation economic development grant that will support 2,200 new jobs in the city of Detroit. The grant will help fund infrastructure improvements related to General Motors’ Factory ZERO plant that straddles the Detroit-Hamtramck border.  
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that Knoll, Inc is in the process of expanding its operations in southeastern Pennsylvania, relocating a manufacturing line, and expanding its footprint in the commonwealth. This project will create at least 138 new, full-time jobs and will position the company for future growth in the state.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that pharmaceutical manufacturer Civica Inc. will invest $124.5 million to establish its first in-house pharmaceutical manufacturing operation in the City of Petersburg. The project will create 186 new jobs.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Intertape Polymer Group Inc. will expand its manufacturing operation in Pittsylvania County to increase production for its e-retail packaging, coatings, and films. The company will add 30,000 square feet to its facility at 1101 Eagle Springs Road and act on a series of investments in production, operations, and capacity, totaling approximately $45 million over the next four years. The project will create 50 new jobs. 

Workforce development:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced more than $4.8 million has been awarded in Direct Care Worker Training Grants to improve the quality of care provided by direct care workers while creating opportunities for them to build new careers and earn family-sustaining wages.

Other efforts:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY issued a statement in response to the Kansas Senate’s decision to reject the appointment of Carl Folsom to the Kansas Court of Appeals for the second time saying she was “incredibly disappointed”.
  • KENTUCKY’s Lt. Gov. Coleman announced the launch of the Kentucky Broadband Speed Test, a crowd-sourcing project that will gather data from Kentuckians needed to expand internet home access for distance learning, telework, and telehealth.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the members of the Pennsylvania State Law Enforcement Citizen Advisory Commission and the appointment of Sha S. Brown to serve as the Deputy State Inspector General for Law Enforcement Oversight. Brown will chair the commission.

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