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Govs On Deck – January 27, 2021

Govs on Deck

Hump daaaaaay! Welcome to this evening’s (sorry, it was a day) 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:

Tomorrow at 12:00pm ET:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN,will join Invest in America Action as they host a press call to discuss the urgent need to pass President Biden’s proposed COVID relief package to combat the economic and public health consequences of the coronavirus crisis. The call will be at 12:00pm ET. RSVP for the call here.

Vaccine distribution:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced a series of improvements to the state’s vaccination plan. Incorporating lessons learned from efforts to increase the pace of vaccination, these new steps will make it easier for people to know when they are eligible for vaccination and how to make an appointment, accelerate the administration of vaccines on hand and improve the state’s ability to track vaccination data.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS renewed his call for more vaccines to be distributed to Colorado as the state and providers continue to exhaust the supply allocated by the federal government. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced an expansion of the state’s vaccination efforts partnering with private and community organizations to begin expanding access to the COVID-19 vaccine among low-income, underserved seniors and planning for another large vaccination event. The Delaware Department of Education will also begin vaccination pre-registration for educators and school staff. 
  • ILLINOIS is now partnering with Hy-Vee pharmacies across central and northern Illinois to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible individuals.  Hy-Vee has 16 locations in Bloomington, Canton, Galesburg, Hamilton, Milan, Moline, Macomb, Peoria, Peru, Rock Island, Silvis, Springfield, and Sycamore and estimates being able to provide up to 200 vaccinations each day.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that county allocation data is now available on Kansas’ COVID-19 vaccine dashboard. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the federal government will increase each state’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines by 17%.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER appointed new members to the bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission. The commission will help raise awareness of the safety and effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, educate the people of this state, and help protect the health and safety of all Michigan residents.   
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ  announced updates to the registration process for the second week of the COVID-19 vaccination pilot program. The updated process accounts for anticipated high demand for appointments online and at the call center and allows for more equitable and orderly access to appointments by eliminating the first come, first served system.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced a mass vaccination pilot event for metro area educators, school staff and child care providers at Roy Wilkins Auditorium this week. The state is allocating 15,000 Moderna vaccine doses to be administered Thursday, January 28 through Monday, February 1 for this event.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ accelerated plans to make COVID-19 vaccines more broadly available across Minnesota, including a new 72-hour goal for vaccine providers to administer 90 percent of their vaccine doses within three days of receiving them, and all doses within one week.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK wrote a letter to acting Health and Human Services Secretary Norris Cochran regarding the State’s federal allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to publicly available federal data, Nevada has received the second-lowest number of vaccine doses per capita among all U.S. states so far.

Emergency declarations:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended the state’s emergency declaration.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT extended the state’s state of emergency.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY extended the state’s state of emergency.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY extended the state’s state of emergency.

Mitigation efforts:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that North Carolina’s Modified Stay At Home Order, requiring people to be at home from 10 pm – 5 am, will be extended. Face covering requirements and restrictions on individuals gathering in both indoor and outdoor settings are still in place.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced updates to county risk levels under the state’s public health framework to reduce transmission and protect Oregonians from COVID-19. 

Reopening efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM lifted the state’s stay at home order. County orders remain in effect. 
  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Public Health announced Region 8 and Region 9 are moving to Tier 1. 

Business support:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK joined Lt. Governor Kate Marshall, Nevada State Treasurer Zach Conine, and a group of Nevada’s small business owners for a virtual small business roundtable. The roundtable focused on recovery and the governor’s Economic Action Plan.

Schools and students:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced the second round of Response, Innovation, and Student Equity Fund awardees to innovate and transform public education. The RISE fund supports innovation in high-needs school districts, charter schools, and public institutions of higher education to address the learning challenges related to the economic, social, and health impacts of COVID-19 in a manner that creates sustainable innovations that improve student learning, close equity gaps, and enhance operational efficiency for pre-K-12 through higher education. These grants bring the total amount awarded through RISE to over $40 million. 

Worker support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order that allows Kansas employers to continue to withhold income taxes based on the state of the employee’s primary work location, and not based on the state in which the employee is temporarily teleworking as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM approved the state’s permanent COVID-19 workplace safety and health rules take effect.  The standards mandate appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness and response plans, record keeping, training, and hazard communications in workplaces across the Commonwealth.

Family support:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the extension of a partnership between the State of New York and leading meal kit company, HelloFresh, focused on delivering free meal kits to veterans and military families in New York City who are presently confronting food insecurity. 

Housing support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced an agreement to extend the eviction moratorium in California through June 30, 2021 – protecting tenants and small landlords from losing their housing. The state is also moving forward as quickly as possible to deploy California’s share of the latest federal stimulus bill – ensuring that up to $2.6 billion in renter aid is administered quickly, equitably and accountably.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced up to $38 million is available to local governments to help Kentuckians with overdue utility bills in their jurisdiction. Each unit of local government may request up to $200,000 for assistance in their communities.


  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order to permit both electronic and in-person collection of signatures and submission of petitions for the upcoming June Primary Election and elections scheduled to occur before then. 

Other efforts:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order extending a series of executive orders already in place. The orders will be extended until rescinded or until the statewide state of disaster emergency expires, whichever is earlier.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE updated the guidance documents in a proclamation for long-term care facilities.  Modifications include updated and additional resources; standardized community case rates related to moving between COVID phases; and enhanced guidance regarding compassionate care visitation, essential support persons visitation and outbreaks visitation.

Beyond COVID-19 

State budgets:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced Minnesota’s COVID-19 Recovery Budget – his budget proposal for the next biennium. The budget supports working families, ensures students catch up on learning, and helps small businesses stay afloat while driving economic recovery.

Health care:

  • COLORADO’s Department of Health Care Policy & Financing released an Invitation to Negotiate, soliciting multiple vendors to help operationalize Colorado’s Canadian Drug Importation Program. 

Clean energy:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced $17 million in funding and expanded high-impact actions under the state’s Clean Energy Communities program to help drive stronger community leadership to reduce harmful carbon emissions, expand assistance for disadvantaged areas and foster further investments in the growing clean energy economy. 

Economic development:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced $2.5 million in Appalachian Regional Commission grants for two projects in Eastern Kentucky that will upgrade waterlines, create jobs and build a better Kentucky.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that Shintech Louisiana LLC will invest $1.3 billion to expand its manufacturing and packaging facilities in Iberville and West Baton Rouge parishes. Shintech is the world’s leading manufacturer of polyvinyl chloride resins, or PVC.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that PennyMac Financial Services, Inc., a California-based specialty financial services firm, will create more than 300 jobs in Wake County.


  • 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 making broadband internet more accessible to Connecticut residents, particularly those in underserved households.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Virginians living and working in 11 localities will gain access to high-speed internet thanks to more than $29.6 million in grants awarded through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative . The funding will support five projects, connecting more than 11,700 households, businesses, and anchor institutions to broadband service, and leveraging over $34 million in private and local investments.

Criminal justice reform:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the opening of the Kansas ‘Stepping Up’ Technical Assistance Center to help counties reduce the prevalence of people with a serious mental illness in jails. The Kansas ‘Stepping Up’ TA Center —only the second of its kind in the nation—will offer virtual and in-person technical assistance tailored specifically to Kansas counties to support policies and programs that improve outcomes for people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in jails. 


  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced the Due North Education Plan, a sweeping agenda for the future of education in Minnesota. Developed from a robust engagement effort with educators, school leaders, students, and families across the state, the Due North Education Plan is centered on ensuring every child in Minnesota receives a high-quality education, no matter their race or zip code.

Other efforts:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the state has acquired 555 West Monroe in Chicago’s West Loop for a purchase price of $73.25 million, with annual savings that will more than pay for the building. Eventually, the State will relocate over 1,000 employees to 555. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS has requested additional federal funding from the White House to address Louisiana’s $3 billion in unmet hurricane recovery needs in Louisiana communities affected by hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta last year.

Stay safe. wear a mask, and wash your hands. See you on Friday (hopefully earlier in the day)!