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Govs On Deck – January 6, 2021

Govs on Deck

It is Wednesday, folks and I’m feeling just peachy! Time for 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 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:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR said the state’s goal is to administer 90% of all vaccine doses received in the state within seven days of arrival. 
  • KENTUCKY’s five former governors and their spouses, spanning five decades of service to the commonwealth, received the COVID-19 vaccination in the Capitol Rotunda to emphasize the bipartisan support for the safe and effective vaccines and urge fellow Kentuckians to take the vaccine.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN directed the Oregon Health Authority to achieve the benchmark of 12,000 vaccinations administered in Oregon per day by the end of the next two weeks. 

New mitigation efforts:

  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced “Healthy Washington  —  Roadmap to Recovery,” a COVID-19 phased recovery plan. Beginning on January 11, 2021, the state will follow a regional recovery approach with every region beginning in Phase 1.

Business support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM previewed his Equitable Recovery for California’s Businesses and Jobs plan, the business and workforce recovery elements of his 2021-22 State Budget. The governor is calling for immediate action to support small businesses, including $575 million on top of the $500 million previously allocated to California’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant, bringing total support to more than $1 billion that will help California through the COVID-19 pandemic and advance an equitable, broad-based recovery.

Schools and students:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order related to learning pods.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY, the Delaware Division of Public Health, and the Delaware Department of Education sent a letter urging Delaware schools to return to hybrid instruction – a mix of remote and in-person learning – on Monday, January 11. The letter urges schools to return to full hybrid instruction on Monday and to prioritize younger and more vulnerable students for in-person learning if operational challenges continue.

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order temporarily suspending certain statutes and rules to expand healthcare workforces for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities due to COVID-19. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order temporarily suspending certain statutes to maintain eligibility for Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Basic Health Plan. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order allowing for the operation of alternate care sites in response to COVID-19. 

Testing and tracing:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that the State of Kansas exceeded its goal to conduct 1 million COVID-19 tests in 2020, which was set by the governor in October.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO renewed his call on the federal government to test all travelers from outside the United States. 

Housing support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order providing relief to public utility customers impacted by COVID-19.

Worker support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order expediting unemployment insurance claim processing to provide relief to Coloradans affected by COVID-19.

Relief funds:

  • COLORADO’s Department of Transportation has received approval from the Colorado Transportation Commission for a plan to spend $134 million in federal stimulus for transportation. The approved plan advances projects from the department’s strategic pipeline of projects that focuses on the state’s most pressing transportation priorities.

Relief legislation:

  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS sent a letter to the Wisconsin State Legislature asking them to pass the COVID-19 compromise bill as the first bill of the 2021-22 legislative session. The letter comes after the governor in December announced a compromise bill resulting from several weeks’ of conversations with Republican legislative leaders that includes provisions on which the governor and Republican leaders could agree. The Wisconsin State Legislature has not passed a bill in 266 days.

Other efforts:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order that extends temporary relief for motor carriers from certain rules and regulations during a State of Disaster Emergency, allowing them to quickly deliver supplies necessary to assist Kansas in its COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Beyond COVID-19 


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF issued a statement in response to the Senate’s failure to seat Senator Jim Brewster in the Pennsylvania State Senate as the duly elected Senator from the 45th Senate District. The governor said that “Republicans in Pennsylvania and nationally have spread disinformation and used it to subvert the democratic process.”

Criminal justice reform:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed into law a bipartisan package of criminal justice reform bills, resulting from the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration, that will prioritize alternatives to jail, expand officer discretion to issue appearance tickets rather than make arrests, and reshape penalties for traffic offenses. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed a series of bipartisan bills, including the Good Moral Character and Clean Slate for Kids packages to further advance criminal justice reform in Michigan. Together, these bills will help ensure a fresh start for youth exiting the juvenile justice system, expand opportunity to enter licensed professions and expand access to critical benefits like SNAP. This comes after the governor signed the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration “Smart Justice” bill package earlier today. 


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced 37 institutions of higher education are receiving It’s On Us PA grants of up to $30,000 each to help combat sexual assaults on campus. The governor established It’s On Us PA, the nation’s first statewide campaign, nearly five years ago and has made Pennsylvania a national leader in improving campus safety.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced the leadership and members of a new advisory committee, the Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee, charged with making recommendations on culturally relevant and inclusive education practices in Virginia’s public schools.

Other efforts:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced $1.28 million in low-interest loan​s through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority that will help companies in three counties improve their operations, expand their facilities, and create and retain jobs.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the availability of $5 million in funding for security enhancement projects for nonprofit organizations serving diverse communities throughout the commonwealth. Administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program issues grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that principally serve individuals, groups, or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single-bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that Brown County will receive a $500,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to assist in purchasing the former WPS Pulliam Plant property as part of the effort to relocate coal piles away from downtown and expand the economic activity of the Port of Green Bay.

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