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Govs On Deck – January 8, 2021

Govs on Deck

This was some week. Welcome to Friday’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.

Before we get started:

  • There isn’t a single emotion to sum up how it felt to witness the events that took place at the U.S. Capitol and state capitals around the country on Wednesday. Our thoughts are with everyone who was caught in the violence – elected officials, staffers, and press. Read our Democratic governors’ responses to the insurrection here

Happier news: 

  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO has been selected by President-elect Biden to serve as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Congratulations, governor!

COVID-19 response:

Vaccine distribution:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS and Jill Hunsaker Ryan Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent a letter to CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield urging the CDC to allocate a portion of the funds designated in the CARES Act Unemployment Extension for high risk and under-served populations to the state of Colorado. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKERMICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMERMINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ, and WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, demanding that the federal government begin distributing reserved COVID-19 vaccines to states immediately.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced her administration’s final COVID-19 distribution order for population groups in Kansas. The vaccine will be administered in five phases, beginning with those most at risk of contracting or becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and ending with all Kansans at large.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced new actions to support the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution program and accelerate the pace of vaccinations across Virginia.

New mitigation efforts:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed a revision to the omnibus emergency order, continuing the restrictions, including the Stay-at-Home advisory and universal indoor mask mandate. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER extended North Carolina’s Modified Stay At Home Order that requires people to be at home from 10 pm – 5 am to last through at least Friday, January 29. Secretary Cohen also issued a Secretarial Directive with stark warnings for North Carolinians to avoid indoor spaces without masks and gatherings between households. 

Reopening efforts:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced measures that loosen restrictions on important parts of daily life. The adjustments include reopening indoor dining at 50 percent capacity and increasing capacity at gyms, entertainment venues, places of worship, and private events among other adjustments. 

Business support:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed a revision to the omnibus emergency order. Beginning today, the 10 p.m. curfew at Delaware restaurants and bars will be lifted, but establishments still must have signage prominently displayed on the table stating that parties must be from the same household and share messaging on masking compliance.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed into law the landmark New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, which will provide economic support for small businesses while propelling New Jersey’s economic recovery and growth for much of the next decade. The legislation includes a host of new initiatives including the Main Street Recovery Finance Program, which will provide a direct $50 million appropriation for grants, loans, loan guarantees, and technical assistance to small and micro-businesses. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation to reduce businesses’ UI contribution rate for a period of time.

Housing support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that he is proposing extending the state’s eviction moratorium and expediting the distribution of California’s $2.6 billion share of federal rental assistance to assist low-income tenants.

Family support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the Golden State Stimulus – $600 rapid cash support will go to recipients of the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit in 2019, as well as those filing with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers this year who meet the eligibility criteria.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed two executive orders. The first modifies a previous order to ensure that recent federal COVID-19 relief payments meant to help Minnesotans afford necessities during the pandemic are not intercepted by third parties or immediately garnished for consumer debt. The order also modifies the wage garnishment protections. The second order ensures that COVID-19 relief payments are not counted as income for federally funded assistance programs, and that pandemic unemployment benefits paid to high school students do not make families ineligible for certain assistance.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE updated a proclamation that generally prohibits garnishment for consumer debt in certain circumstances, by replacing the specific reference to CARES Act stimulus payments with ‘federal stimulus payments’. 

Other efforts:

  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE said the State Senate GOP’s failure to extend two proclamations will adversely affect Washington’s individuals and businesses. 

Beyond COVID-19 

Second terms:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER will be sworn in for a second term tomorrow, January 9th, at 10 am ET. 

State budgets:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR delivered his combined State of the Commonwealth and Budget Address yesterday. The proposed budget includes relief to unemployed workers and small businesses; makes long-needed improvements to the unemployment system; provides assistance for more Kentuckians to attend college or earn a certificate, and expands broadband. It also includes raises for educators and state employees; an extra $100 million to build and renovate schools; funding increases for K-12 and higher education; full funding for retirement and Medicaid; money for additional social workers; and an additional $100 million for the Rainy Day Fund, which is now at its highest level ever.


  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS signed proclamations setting the dates for three special elections in Louisiana, after consultation with Louisiana’s Secretary of State. For the Congressional elections, the primary will be on March 20 and the runoff, if necessary, will be April 24.

Environmental protection:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER agreed to work jointly to protect the Great Lakes from invasive Asian carp species. The governors announced an intergovernmental agreement between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources which allows Illinois to use up to $8 million in funds appropriated in 2018 by the Michigan Legislature to support the pre-construction engineering and design phase of the Brandon Road Ecosystem Project.

Renewable energy:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS and Black Hills Energy announced another major step in reducing pollution in Colorado and saving ratepayers money on electricity. Black Hills Energy now joins all other major utilities across Colorado – together responsible for 99% of fossil-fired generation – to reduce air pollution and emissions by at least 80% by 2030 by filing a Clean Energy Plan as part of its upcoming Electric Resource Plan. 

Economic development:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that Ball Corp. plans to create approximately 200 high-wage positions with the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Bowling Green to produce recyclable aluminum ends for the company’s beverage can customers.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc., a California-based gene therapy company targeting unmet medical needs in ocular and rare diseases, will invest $82.8 million for a new gene therapy manufacturing facility in Durham County. This investment will create more than 200 new jobs.

Workforce development:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the Western Area Career & Technology Center in Washington County was approved for $112,262 in funding through Pennsylvania’s Manufacturing Training-to-Career program, a program that helps companies identify and train a skilled workforce through targeted programs and services.

Criminal justice reform:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced the appointment of Kenneth Sanchagrin as the Executive Director of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. In this role, Sanchagrin will lead the state commission responsible for improving the legitimacy, efficiency, and effectiveness of state and local criminal justice systems.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS released a statement regarding the charging decision made in the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23, 2020. The governor said, “Today’s decision is further evidence that our work is not done—we must work each day in earnest toward a more just, more fair, and more equitable state and country, and to combat the racism experienced by Black Wisconsinites.”

Other efforts:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed the “Dominick Marino PFRS Enhanced Benefits for Surviving Spouses Act”. The new law will provide financial security for a member’s surviving spouse by ensuring that the accidental death benefit provided by the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System cannot be below $50,000 annually.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM issued additional pardons, invoking her power of executive clemency for 12 individuals convicted of crimes in New Mexico, the overwhelming majority of whom were guilty of a non-violent offense.

Stay safe, wear a mask, and wash your hands. Try to get some rest this weekend. See you on Monday!