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Govs On Deck – January 29, 2021

Govs on Deck

Happy Friday, folks, and 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:

Vaccine distribution:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order to bolster efforts to vaccinate as many Californians as possible as quickly as possible. To help maximize the number of health care professionals and providers administering vaccines, the order confirms that existing law – which protects certain health care professionals and providers from legal liability when they render services at the request of state or local officials during a state of emergency – protects those health care professionals and providers when they participate in the state’s vaccine administration program. The order also makes clear that this protection extends to others – for instance, pharmacy technicians – working under their supervision or instruction, consistent with applicable state directives and guidance.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the state, in partnership with Kroger Health, will open its first regional vaccination site at the Kentucky Horse Park in Fayette County next week. Three additional regional sites are opening through partners Ephraim McDowell Hospital. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR unveiled a new state website,, and hotline that will help Kentuckians determine if they are eligible to receive a vaccine and then helps them find one in their region.

Mitigation efforts:

  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced several changes to the state’s Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery. The governor first announced the regional, phased reopening plan on January 6th. The plan will be changed in two ways; first, the evaluation criteria for regions to move from Phase 1 to Phase 2, and the timeframe in which regions can progress.

Reopening efforts:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced that she will end the 9:00 p.m. early closing time for businesses, effective Monday, February 1, 2021. The decision is the result of Maine’s improving public health metrics, including a decrease in Maine’s positivity rate and new COVID-19 cases per million.

Schools and students:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the state will launch a first of its kind, innovative At-Home Testing Program for educators. 
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK called into the Clark County School District Board of Trustees meeting to provide public comment and support for a safe reopening of schools.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced that every school district in the state will be able to welcome all ages of students safely back to the classroom on February 8. The announcement was made during the governor’s state of the state address. 

Health care:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS applauded President Briden’s decision to open up a special enrollment period on the federal health care exchange and encouraged Maine people to look for coverage if needed.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced the state is extending the health insurance enrollment period for uninsured residents to sign up for coverage through Get Covered New Jersey, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order that directs the Office of Health Care Affordability and Transparency to convene an Interagency Health Care Affordability Workgroup to identify opportunities administration-wide and across the public and private sectors to advance shared goals of improved health care affordability, accessibility, and transparency. The order further directs the Department of Banking and Insurance to develop plans for the implementation of both health care cost growth benchmarks and health insurance affordability standards to ensure increased oversight and accountability in the state’s health care system and to support efforts to stem the tide of rising health care costs. The order will also create a Health Care Affordability Advisory Board comprised of health care industry stakeholders, consumer advocates, and policy leaders to guide the development and implementation of the cost growth benchmarks.

Travel restrictions:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced that starting Friday, Feb. 5, travelers from South Korea may bypass mandatory 10-day quarantine if they take a COVID-19 test and receive a negative result from a trusted testing partner in South Korea. The test must be taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to departure.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order that temporarily suspends certain state statutory deadlines to allow the continued use of federal funds from the CARES Act.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF outlined his legislative agenda that continues to prioritize ensuring that Pennsylvania businesses and workers have a path toward recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, building on bipartisan progress by removing barriers to help everyday Pennsylvanians succeed, and demanding accountability through government reform.

Beyond COVID-19 

U.S. Capitol security:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER has activated approximately 500 Illinois National Guard members in support of the continued security mission in Washington, D.C. 

State of the State addresses:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY delivered his 2021 State of the State address.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER delivered her 2021 State of the State address where she announced her “Michigan Back to Work” that will help grow the state economy and get Michiganders back on their feet. Over the next year, the Whitmer Administration will announce initiatives and projects big and small – from tech, mobility, and manufacturing growth, to clean energy and road construction. This will protect, grow, and create more good-paying jobs.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM delivered her 2021 State of the State address that included plans to create jobs, deliver high-speed internet for schools and communities, and to protect the environment. 

State budgets:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY presented his Fiscal Year 2022 Recommended Budget virtually, sending the General Assembly a plan that will make important investments in rebuilding Delaware’s economy, investing in public schools, and preserving our environment.


  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY and members of the General Assembly announced legislation to increase funding and classroom-based support for low-income students, English learners, and young Delaware students with special needs. The bill expands and makes permanent Delaware’s Opportunity Funding program, the weighted funding program that provides direct, classroom-based support for low-income students and English learners. By Fiscal Year 2025, funding for the program would more than double to $60 million annually.

Mental health:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services has received the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 988 State Planning Grant through Vibrant Emotional Health. Through this grant, KDADS will develop strategic plans for projected infrastructure needs, volume growth, and access to the Lifeline’s new 988 number.


  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development will award grants totaling $20,645,425 to 39 projects in the sixth year of the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant program. State grant dollars are matched by $33,695,279 in local funds, for a total investment in the broadband infrastructure of $54,340,704.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK issued a letter to state and local partners about accelerating infrastructure projects in the state to create immediate jobs for Nevadans. The letter follows the governor’s State of the State address last week where he spoke about the need for the state to collaborate with local partners to find ways to create good-paying jobs and economic opportunities for residents to reenergize the state’s economy.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF urged the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation to prioritize critical infrastructure needs for the commonwealth as a part of any potential new stimulus package and infrastructure package. In a letter to the delegation, the governor emphasized that an investment in our infrastructure is critical to address current needs and help move Pennsylvania forward.

Housing support:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the fifth round of awards from the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative, which will provide $30 million annually to fund support services and operating costs for at least 1,200 units of supportive housing for homeless persons with special needs, conditions, or other challenges. 

Clean energy:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY celebrated the completion of the first community solar project energized in New Jersey. The project was developed as part of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Community Solar Energy Pilot Program that was established in 2019 by executive order. 

Economic development:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that Material Handling Systems Inc. plans to create 200 full-time jobs with a $7.6 million investment in a new facility in Bowling Green.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Crown Holdings, Inc. will invest $145 million to establish a manufacturing operation in Henry County. The company will build a 355,000-square-foot aluminum beverage can production facility in the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre. The project will create 126 new jobs. 

Other efforts:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed a proclamation declaring Jan. 28, 2021, as Hunger Free Day in Kentucky and made a surprise donation to the group Feeding Kentucky of nearly $16,000 leftover from the Beshear-Coleman inaugural fund.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Tim WALZ and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced appointments to the Executive Council for the Young Women’s Initiative and the Young Women’s Cabinet. Both bodies of leadership are part of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota, a public-private systems change partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota to achieve equity in opportunities and improve the lives of young Black, Indigenous, and women of color. 
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK joined State Treasurer Zach Conine, Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, Congresswoman Susie Lee, and a group of Nevada nonprofits to discuss how the state can maximize bringing federal grant funding into the state.

Stay safe. wear a mask, and wash your hands. Have a great weekend and we will see you on Monday!