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Govs On Deck – July 10, 2020

Govs on Deck

It’s Friday! Welcome to today’s “Govs on Deck!” We’re still here and we still hope you are all safe and healthy. As a reminder, this newsletter is now going out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Questions or suggestions? Send me a note at You can find us all on Twitter too – @A_Tall_Turner@CEAmestoy@JerusalemDemsas, and @andersonkayjay

We want this to be helpful, so let me 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:

Federal requests:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER called for a national mask mandate, a national containment strategy for COVID-19, and additional federal aid for states to offset large revenue losses created by the pandemic in testimony before a Congressional committee on Wednesday. 

Emergency declarations:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS extended her state of emergency declaration for another 30 days. 
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced a new emergency public health order declaring the state’s renewed public health protections will be effective Monday, July 13th.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation extending the state of emergency declaration. 

Reopening efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed the Protect Our Neighbors executive order which directs CDPHE to create a certification process to allow local communities to move from Safer at Home in the Vast, Great Outdoors to Protect Our Neighbors. CDPHE will also issue a corresponding public health order.
  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE met with the state’s mayors to assess the current situation and discuss what it might mean for the state, including the planned pre-travel testing program.

Public gatherings:

  • CONNECTICUT’s campgrounds at Connecticut State Parks have opened for the 2020 season.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced that the public health order will be amended to restrict out-of-state visitors at New Mexico state parks. Visitors to state parks must demonstrate proof of residency or will not be permitted entry. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that all county fairs will be canceled until further notice out of an abundance of caution. 


  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed an executive order mandating that face masks are required while inside or waiting to enter any retail, health care setting, or public indoor space, while riding public transportation or in car shares, and while in outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible. 
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS issued an executive order requiring large retail businesses, restaurants, outdoor bars, tasting rooms, and lodging establishments in Maine’s more populous cities and coastal counties to enforce the state’s face covering requirement.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced that the state’s mandate that all individuals must wear face-coverings in public will be strengthened to additionally require individuals to wear face-coverings while exercising. This requirement includes those exercising at indoor gyms and fitness centers. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS ordered state buildings to remain closed to the public and is requiring state workers to wear masks starting Monday.

Business guidance:

  • GUAM’s Department of Public Health and Human Services issued a guidance memo relative to the minimum general requirements, employee health, cleaning and disinfecting, ventilation, social distancing, and other protective measures for the operation of government agencies, departments, and other entities of the government.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK ordered bars without food service to close in counties with spiking caseloads and limiting restaurant dining to parties of no more than six people. The directive does not prohibit indoor dining, but Sisolak is “strongly encouraging” food establishments to promote outdoor dining. 
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced the state of New Mexico will re-enact emergency public health restrictions on high-contact indoor environments where face-coverings are not worn in order to slow the rising spread of COVID-19 across the state. The new public health order will prohibit indoor dining at restaurants and restricted will be indoor seating at breweries
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced beginning today, malls can open in regions that have entered Phase IV of reopening if they have implemented an enhanced Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning – or HVAC – filtration system and follow proper ventilation protocols. 

Business support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued a proclamation declaring July 2020, as “California for All Small Business Month” as the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery launches a new campaign encouraging Californians to help small businesses in their communities operate safely during the pandemic.

Restrictions enforcement:

  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO said that the state is going to “start cracking down” on bars and restaurants that are noncompliant with coronavirus restrictions — specifically regarding overcrowding and lack of mask-wearing. Non-compliant businesses will now be facing fines — and closure.


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed legislation that temporarily allows a Colorado institution of higher education to determine whether to require a national assessment test score as an eligibility criterion for admission for first-time freshman students who graduate from high school in 2021.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York State will decide whether schools will reopen in the fall during the first week of August. New York State is now consulting with stakeholders on guidance, which will be finalized on July 13. Plans to reopen schools are due on July 31. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced an effort by his administration to match North Carolina college students in need of work experience with local governments and nonprofits seeking additional help to support COVID-19 response efforts. More than 80 North Carolina college students have been matched to opportunities with local government agencies and nonprofits across the state. Nearly all projects are virtual. 

Health care:

  • COLORADOGov. Jared POLIS said Colorado could potentially take coronavirus patients from overtaxed Arizona hospitals where the pandemic is raging.
  • MONTANA will receive a federal grant to establish COVID-19 crisis counseling services. FEMA announced Wednesday that it has approved crisis counseling assistance for Montanans struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

PPE/medical equipment:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York State will provide 1,000 masks and 1,000 2-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer for the Fire Island COVID Destroyers – a partnership that includes GMHC and Fire Island community leaders – to distribute on Fire Island.

Testing and tracing:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the expansion of the state’s mobile testing operation with twelve COVID-19 mobile testing teams operating throughout Illinois. These 12 teams will offer mobile testing to residents in hard-hit communities and visit facilities like homeless services centers and nursing homes. 
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced an emergency testing order for all assisted living and nursing home facilities in the state to test all employees and residents before allowing any more visitors. 

Worker support:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order outlining workplace safety guidelines for meatpacking plants to keep employees safe.

Family support:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced $12 million to support food shelves, food banks, and other emergency food efforts across the state to combat hunger in Minnesota amid COVID-19. This funding will support approximately 300 food shelves and all seven food banks across Minnesota. Made possible by the CARES Act, this funding was proposed by the governor and has now been approved by the Legislative Advisory Commission.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced that he will direct money from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, established under the Federal CARES Act, to support New Jersey food banks, which have been providing families with food assistance at unprecedented rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. The total CARES Act funding amount will be $20 million, with $10 million distributed before August 2020 and an additional $10 million available before December 2020. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that $10 million is now available for Pennsylvania businesses that have worked to maintain access to fresh, healthy food throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fresh Food Financing Initiative COVID-19 Relief Fund — funded through the CARES Act — is available to for-profit, nonprofit, or cooperative entities impacted by COVID-19, including grocery stores, corner stores, convenience stores, neighborhood markets, bodegas, food hubs, mobile markets, farmers markets, on-farm markets, urban farms, and food aggregation centers with a direct connection to direct-to-consumer retail outlets.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation addressing the Family Emergency Assistance Program and authorizing DSHS to expand eligibility for the FEAP to include individuals and families without children. 

Child care/summer camps:

  •  PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF’s administration released updated FAQs about summer recreation, camps, and pools. The original FAQs were announced on May 22 to cover summer camps and recreation. The new FAQs modify those and also add information about pools.

Homeowner/renter/homelessness support:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order extending protections for Michigan residents who have had water service shut off through December 31st.
  • MICHIGANGov. Gretchen WHITMER secured the largest investment in water and energy assistance in Michigan history by signing the bipartisan supplemental bill, SB 690, into law. The new law includes $25 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to reimburse water utility providers for providing bill forgiveness for past due utility bills and fees incurred by residential water customers during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The legislation also provides a 25% rebate on total water bills for eligible customers while funding lasts. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed a new executive order that protects homeowners and renters from eviction or foreclosure until August 31st if they have not received assistance from a new program administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency or are not already receiving relief through one of several federal foreclosure moratorium programs or judicial orders. Lenders and property owners that receive funds through the PHFA program agree not to pursue foreclosure or eviction actions as a condition of participation in the program.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced nearly $19 million in funding awards to assist in mitigating the impacts of the coronavirus on homeless families and individuals and to prevent future homelessness across the commonwealth. The funding is provided through the CARES Act. 

Relief funds:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced $36.2 million in additional CARES Act funding for 61 of the commonwealth’s local and regional health departments.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that $50 million through the CARES Act for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund is now available for K-12 schools and Higher Education.  Approximately $35 million will be made available to the Louisiana Dept. of Education and $15 million to the Board of Regents.

State budgets:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that he has signed the state’s budget for the FY 20-21 operating year, preserving funding for critical health care, workforce and education services that are needed during the pandemic. Additionally, the governor has ordered cabinet agencies to prepare for possible mid-year budget cuts by sequestering at least 10 percent of their budgets, which he also recommends for the judicial and legislative branches. He will also issue an executive order to freeze the hiring of state employees.

Inter-state travel:

  • GUAM updated its list of “high-risk areas” that individuals traveling from will be subject to quarantine locations for a period of 14 days. 

Public communications:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS unveiled an interactive Colorado COVID model from the Colorado School of Public Health. This is a new tool that can help individuals, businesses, local public health agencies, and local governments, visualize their own role in stopping the spread of COVID and preventing a public health emergency.
  • NEW MEXICO’s tourism department has paid for an ad to run in major cities across Arizona and Texas that featured a letter asking readers to join in on the New Mexico Safe Promise, a statewide campaign promoting “COVID-safe practices” such as wearing a mask and social distancing.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM discussed new efforts to protect emergency personnel and evacuees from COVID-19 during wildfires season. The governor also announced the state would hire 858 more firefighters and six California Conservation Corps crews through October because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order extending the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes concerning juvenile justice, regional centers, and behavioral health due to the presence of COVID-19.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order extending protections for vulnerable populations in Michigan’s county jails, local lockups, and juvenile detention centers through August 6th. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extension of the Open Public Meetings Act and Public Records Act proclamation and the DOH Health Care Facilities and Hand Sanitizer proclamation. 

Beyond COVID-19 

Equal rights amendment:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to adopt the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Racial justice:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order directing the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to begin developing rules that will require implicit bias training as part of the knowledge and skills necessary for licensure, registration, and renewal of licenses and registrations of health professionals in Michigan. Implicit bias training was one of the recommendations made by the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, which Governor Whitmer created in response to the devastating and disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on communities of color. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY, Senate President Sweeney, and Speaker Coughlin announced their support of legislation to change the outdated term of ‘freeholder’ to ‘commissioner.’
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced the members of the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice, co-chaired by Justice Anita Earls and Attorney General Josh Stein. The Task Force will meet this morning. 

Law enforcement:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed legislation requiring New Mexico police officers to wear body cameras as a deterrent against the unlawful use of force and establishing strengthened accountability measures in instances of inappropriate excessive force.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced her appointees to the Public Safety Training and Standards Task Force. The Task Force will be chaired by the Governor’s Public Safety Policy Advisor, Constantin Severe, and its membership includes a diverse selection of Oregonians with a history of public service.

Health care:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO advanced new regulations requiring insurers to provide equitable coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. The proposed parity compliance program regulations from the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Department of Health would strengthen insurers’ obligation under both state and federal law to provide comparable coverage for benefits to treat mental health and substance use disorders.

Environmental protection:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed legislation requiring the fire chief of an organized fire department that used firefighting foam containing PFAS to report the incident to the Michigan pollution emergency alert system within 48 hours following an incident. The legislation also makes permanent a program created in 2019 to collect firefighting foam containing PFAS. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia has become the newest member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based collaborative effort among Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector while driving economic growth. 

Renewable energy:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced today that Hydro-Québec has signed a formal binding commitment to sell electricity directly into Maine at a discounted price via the New England Clean Energy Connect. The commitment will result in enough clean energy to power approximately 70,000 homes or 10,000 businesses in Maine. Additionally, as part of the commitment, Hydro-Québec will accelerate $170 million in benefits negotiated last year, including rate relief for Maine consumers and incentives for broadband, electric vehicle charging stations, and heat pumps.
  • RHODE ISLAND’s Office of Energy Resources announced the launch of the Community Solar Marketplace website at, which educates Rhode Island residents about the benefits of community solar and provides a single place for visitors to preview the growing list of community solar projects in development and subscribe to them.

Economic development:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he is reinstating the Small Town Economic Assistance Program – a state initiative that funds infrastructure improvement projects for towns that are otherwise ineligible to receive urban action bonds. To accomplish this, the governor is opening a new round of grants totaling $15 million. Restoring the program, which has been inactive since 2016, will provide much-needed support to towns during a period of fiscal insecurity caused by the pandemic.
  • KANSAS’ Office of Rural Prosperity will partner with the Kansas Sampler Foundation to develop a framework designed to engage, empower, retain, and recruit young people in rural Kansas.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that Hood Container of Louisiana LLC’s paper mill in West Feliciana Parish will complete a $50 million efficiency upgrade and capacity expansion.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Bausch + Lomb, a leading global eye health business of Bausch Health Companies Inc. will invest more than $35 million to expand its manufacturing facility in the City of Lynchburg.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that Advent Tool & Manufacturing, Inc. is relocating its headquarters and production operation from Antioch, IL to the new Salem Industrial Park, located in the Village of Salem Lakes. 


  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Broadband announced the first recipients of the Illinois Connected Communities grant program, created to assist some of the most underserved areas of the state with building broadband capacity.  
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced this morning the recipients across the state of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Cost Share Program. These 24 projects total more than $20 million in transportation investments statewide.

Gun safety:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM  celebrated the passage of historic gun safety laws in the Commonwealth of Virginia, which includes sweeping new measures to require background checks on all gun sales, establish an Extreme Risk Protective Order, reinstate Virginia’s successful one-handgun-a-month policy, mandate reporting of lost and stolen firearms, and prevent children from accessing firearms.


  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced the official application and selection processes for The People’s Maps Commission, a nonpartisan redistricting commission charged with drawing fair, impartial maps following the 2020 U.S. Census. The governor created the commission via executive order in January.

Other efforts:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the award of Community Service Tax Credits to 25 nonprofit organizations to support education, healthcare, and housing projects across the state. CSP is a tool that dramatically enhances fundraising efforts, providing a 70% tax credit to qualified donors in rural communities of less than 15,000 population and 50% in larger communities. 

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands! Have a great weekend and see you on Monday!