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Govs On Deck – July 15, 2020

Govs on Deck

Happy Wednesday and welcome to today’s edition of “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:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK issued a statement after theState Assembly introduced a joint resolution urging the President and Congress to provide flexible funding for state and local governments for budget shortfalls as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE sent a letter to the Trump administration requesting an extension of federal authority and funding for Washington National Guard employment in support of COVID-19 pandemic emergency response operations through December 31st. 

State partnerships:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York State will deploy testing and contact tracing teams to Atlanta as the city continues to experience an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Emergency declaration:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER extended her state of emergency declaration in Michigan through August 11th.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.

Reopening efforts:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that North Carolina will stay in Phase Two of reopening for at least three more weeks.

Public gatherings:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order lifting the 50 percent capacity limits on NJ TRANSIT and private-carrier buses, trains, light rail vehicles, and Access Link vehicles, and now requires that NJ TRANSIT and private-carriers limit vehicles to the maximum seated capacity.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that indoor social get-togethers of more than 10 people will be prohibited.


  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced new requirements for face coverings and limits on social get-togethers. Oregon’s face covering requirement will be expanded to apply to outdoor public spaces when six feet of distance cannot be maintained. 


  • CALIFORNIA’s two largest public school districts, the Los Angeles and San Diego unified school districts, said that instruction will be remote-only in the fall.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced he will dedicate $108.5 million in federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds to PreK-12 public education and institutions of higher education. The funding will help bridge the digital divide, protect the health and safety of students, and overcome barriers created by COVID-19.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced new, data-driven guidance for reopening schools in New York State. Schools in a region can reopen if that region is in Phase IV of reopening and if its daily infection rate remains below 5 percent or lower using a 14-day average since unPAUSE was lifted. Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises above 9 percent, using a 7-day average, after August 1st. New York State will make the formula determination during the week of August 1st to 7th. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER  and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced health and safety plans for K-12 public schools for the new school year. Schools will open for in-person instruction under an updated Plan B that requires face coverings for all K-12 students, fewer children in the classroom, measures to ensure social distancing for everyone in the building, and other safety protocols. 

Business guidance:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, family entertainment venues, zoos, museums, and card rooms will shut down all indoor operations. Bars must close down entirely. 
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced a new public health emergency order re-enacting emergency public health restrictions on high-contact indoor environments where face-coverings are not worn. The public health order is effective through July 30th.

Health care:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order scaling back the suspension of scope of practice laws for frontline health care workers while continuing suspension of certain licensing and certification requirements for health care professionals, life support and first-aid workers, and 911 operators. 


  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced that seven health care organizations will collectively launch nearly 20 “swab and send” COVID-19 test collection sites. The 18 drive-thru, drive up, and mobile specimen collection sites will offer specimen collection free of charge to any individuals who believe they may have COVID-19 or could have been exposed to the virus, with or without symptoms.

Worker support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY shared updates from the Kansas Department of Labor’s operational and technological assessments to improve the delivery of unemployment services that is being conducted by Accenture. While the assessment is still underway, improvements are already being implemented, including additional call-center representatives, additional IT employees, and a new online virtual agent.

Family support:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced that additional food assistance benefits will continue through the end of the month.

Homeowner/renter/homelessness support:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order authorizing the creation of a rental housing assistance program and mortgage relief program that the governor announced late last month.
  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE plans to extend his original April ban on evictions. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced a $100 million housing assistance program to help prevent evictions, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. The $100 million investment will be funded with federal dollars through the CARES Act.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced an emergency rental assistance program that will help keep low-income families throughout New York in their homes. The program is funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which is part of the CARES Act. 

Inter-state travel:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced he will delay the launch of the pre-travel testing program for incoming travelers to Hawaii. The program is now scheduled to begin on September 1st. This means all travelers entering the State of Hawaii will be subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine until September 1st.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY and NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that four additional states meet the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York and New Jersey from those states, all of which have significant community spread, to quarantine for 14 days. The newly-added states are Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Delaware has been removed.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a travel enforcement operation at airports across the state to help ensure travelers are following the state’s quarantine restrictions. As part of the enforcement operation, enforcement teams will be stationed at airports statewide to meet arriving aircrafts at gates and greet disembarking passengers to request proof of completion of the State Department of Health traveler form, which is being distributed to passengers by airlines prior to, and upon boarding or disembarking flights to New York State. Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that CONNECTICUT will join these efforts. 

Relief funds:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced $6,202,603 in CARES Act-funded grant awards to state and local jurisdictions in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the coronavirus, as well as funds to support families impacted by domestic violence.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced 15 western Kentucky governments have applied for and been granted $3,667,367 in reimbursements from the CARES Act for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19.  Sixteen others have received preliminary approval.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced 18 central Kentucky governments have applied for and been granted $16,555,146 in reimbursements from the CARES Act for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK released a detailed look at federal funding that has flowed into Nevada so far to help battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order extending the deadline for electricians and plumbers to complete continuing education requirements and permits electricians and plumbers to renew their licenses.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY issued a new executive order extending relief to motor carriers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed two executive orders extending COVID-19 adaptation in long-term care facilities to protect residents and staff and extending existing safety measures, including 2 hours a week of reserved shopping time for vulnerable populations, to protect consumers and employees at grocery stores and pharmacies.  

Beyond COVID-19 

Racial justice:

  • MONTANA’s Capitol grounds saw construction begin on a Tribal Flag Plaza. As directed by Gov. Steve BULLOCK, this permanent tribute recognizes Native American contributions to the state of Montana as well as the nation.

Law enforcement:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed the first two pieces of legislation from the governor’s comprehensive police reform executive actions announced in early June. The first bill requires a thorough background check for law enforcement applicants prior to being employed and requires a law enforcement agency to disclose employment information. The bill also establishes an electronic database housed and maintained by the Municipal Police Officers’ Training and Education Training Commission that contains separation records of law enforcement officers. The second bill requires mental health evaluations with a focus on PTSD of law enforcement officers as a condition of continued employment. The bill also requires training for police officers on trauma-informed care, use of deadly force, de-escalation and harm reduction techniques, community and cultural awareness, implicit bias, procedural justice, and reconciliation techniques. Under the bill, magisterial district judges are required to complete, as part of their annual continuing education requirement, one course on the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse and court proceedings involving children.

LGBTQ rights:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed legislation banning the “gay panic or transgender panic defense.”

Worker support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed a bill that creates the “Healthy Families and Workplaces Act” which requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees under various circumstances.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed a bill creating the Colorado secure savings program, a state-facilitated automatic enrollment individual retirement account program, for Colorado’s private-sector workers.

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed legislation that will make HIV prevention therapies available without a prescription. 

Economic development:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that, Ltd has selected Denver for the planned fall opening of its newest office location. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced a $4.7 million investment that will expand the Illinois Apprenticeship Program to serve an additional 568 residents in training programs over the next two years. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that KY Innovation has authorized an additional $2.6 million in funding to six public-private partnerships focusing on key regions throughout the state. Known as the Regional Innovation for Startups and Entrepreneurs (RISE) program, the six partnerships are entrepreneur-led organizations dedicated to serving all of Kentucky’s 120 counties. 

Renewable energy:

  • NEW JERSEY joined 14 states and the District of Columbia in announcing a joint memorandum of understanding, committing to work collaboratively to advance and accelerate the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, including large pickup trucks and vans, delivery trucks, box trucks, school and transit buses, and long-haul delivery trucks. States signing the MOU are CALIFORNIA, CONNECTICUT, COLORADO, HAWAII, MAINE,Maryland, Massachusetts, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, OREGON, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND,Vermont, and WASHINGTON.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the approval of 12 projects through the Commonwealth Financing Authority that will provide millions of dollars in funding to utilize, develop, and construct alternative energy projects in eight counties.


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed a bill that adds discrimination based on source of income as a type of unfair housing practice.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of a statewide effort to analyze and address segregated living patterns and housing disparities in New York. The state is moving forward with the Fair Housing Matters NY initiative despite the federal government’s proposal to gut fair housing regulations required by the Fair Housing Act.


  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS signed an executive order creating the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access. The task force will advise the governor and Wisconsin State Legislature on broadband actions and policy, including strategies for successfully expanding high-speed internet access to every residence, business, and institution in the state; initiatives for digital inclusion; and pathways to unlocking and optimizing the benefits of statewide, affordable access to broadband for all communities in Wisconsin.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands! See you on Friday!