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Govs On Deck – July 17, 2020

Govs on Deck

Happy Friday! 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:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he has submitted a request to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to extend support for the Connecticut National Guard’s statewide response to the COVID-19 pandemic through December 31st.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER sent a letter to the North Carolina Congressional Delegation asking for their continued support addressing the critical needs of the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Cooper called on the delegation to help North Carolina accomplish a complete recovery while addressing health care needs.

State partnerships:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York State has established two church testing sites in COVID-19 hotspots in Houston, Texas. New York State sent more than 20 healthcare workers and public health experts to Houston to consult on the city’s COVID-19 response and has also provided supplies. 

Legal actions:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR reminded Kentuckians that in addition to seeking to invalidate the executive orders that keep the state safe from COVID-19, the Kentucky attorney general today also is targeting other measures his administration has put in place to help during this global pandemic. The attorney general’s actions include trying to void: Healthy at Work requirements; expanded workers’ compensation eligibility for workers – including first responders, active military and grocery store employees – who are ordered to quarantine as a result of exposure; and a measure that waives copays, deductibles, cost-sharing and diagnostic testing fees for private insurance.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS responded via letter to Attorney General Jeff Landry’s letter about the Governor’s recent proclamation mandating face masks and taking other measures recommended by public health experts.

Public gatherings:

  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced a new limit on social gatherings and a ban on live entertainment across the state. Under the new Safe Start phase limits, the number of individuals allowed in social gatherings during Phase 3 will be reduced from 50 people to 10 people. Counties in Phase 2 may continue to have social gatherings of up to five people. Additionally, the governor announced a prohibition on all live entertainment, indoor or outdoor, statewide. This includes drive-in concerts, comedy clubs, and music in restaurants.


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced a statewide mask order, directing Coloradans to wear a face-covering while indoors. Coloradans older than 10 years old must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when entering or moving within any public indoor space.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK issued a directive requiring face coverings in certain indoor spaces and for certain organized outdoor activities in counties currently experiencing four or more active cases of COVID-19 to slow the spread of the virus in Montana. The directive also requires businesses, government offices, and other indoor spaces open to the public to ensure that employees, contractors, volunteers, customers, and other members of the public wear a face mask that covers their mouth and nose while remaining inside these spaces. The directive also requires face coverings at organized outdoor activities of 50 or more people, where social distancing is not possible or is not observed.


  • DELAWARE’s Department of Education released the state’s guidance for the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 academic year. Developed in collaboration with the three school reopening workgroups and DPH, today’s document outlines what schools need to do prior to reopening and after instruction resumes under three scenarios: if minimal community spread exists in Delaware (and school buildings re-open), if minimal-to-moderate community spread exists in Delaware (situation dependent) and if significant community spread exists in Delaware (and school buildings remain closed).
  • GUAM’s Department of Public Health and Human Services issued a guidance memo relative to the minimum requirements for reopening K-12 schools and higher education institutions. No schools or higher education institutions may reopen until PCOR 3 is declared by the governor unless previously authorized by DPHSS.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that she will sign an executive order to delay opening schools until after the Labor Day holiday.The order will be signed on Monday.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY unveiled his Administration’s plan to address unmet pre-K-to-12 student technological needs in New Jersey schools, commonly referred to as “the digital divide.” Efforts to ensure reliable internet connectivity and access to one-to-one digital devices are critical as we look ahead to the 2020-2021 school year and the reopening of schools, many of which are preparing reopening plans employing a hybrid schedule of both in-person and continued remote learning due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN issued a statement after the meeting of the Healthy Schools Reopening Council, saying that “it has become clear that school this fall will not look like a normal year. Many, if not most Oregon students are in districts that will focus on online distance learning or have a hybrid model of some online education and some in-person classroom time.”

Business guidance:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced new regulations for bars and restaurants in New York City to ensure they are complying with state social distancing and face-covering orders. As part of the ‘Three Strikes and You’re Closed’ initiative, any establishment that receives three violations will be closed for business. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed new orders for targeted mitigation efforts. The mitigation efforts included in the new orders are for bars and restaurants, nightclubs, teleworking, and gyms and fitness facilities.

Business support:

  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced $100 million in emergency financial support for Rhode Island’s small businesses. The financial relief package will provide direct support through grants to the state’s small businesses for reopening, adaptation, and fixed costs incurred by businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The package also includes wrap-around technical support services to bolster long term economic viability. 

Health care:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order extending a provision of her earlier COVID-19 emergency order on pharmacies that allows student pharmacists to continue training under remote supervision. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers will be extended for another 30 days, through August 15th.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the availability of $10 million in grant funding through the COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments, and Therapies program to support the rapid advancement of vaccines, treatments, and therapies by qualified biotechnology entities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PPE/medical supplies:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK  praised Montana companies for pivoting their normal operations to produce cloth face masks, 3D-printed face masks, face shields, surgical gowns, and hand sanitizer, and reminded businesses that funding is available to help support masking up.


  • CALIFORNIA plans to shift more COVID-19 testing costs onto private insurers as part of a strategy overhaul aimed at reducing costs and expanding testing to more vulnerable people.
  • DELAWARE’s Division of Public Health released an update to its coordinated statewide plan to ensure all Delawareans continue to have access to safe and efficient COVID-19 testing. Delaware’s updated COVID-19 testing plan strives to address key considerations such as access, equity, and cost. The plan is structured to provide specific strategies for key populations defined in its original testing framework released in May, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations, including elderly Delawareans, members of low-income and minority communities, and certain front-line essential workers
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced a new COVID-19 mitigation plan focused on combating a resurgence of cases while maintaining the progress the state has made towards bending the curve over the last four months. As states across the country experience a surge of new COVID-19 cases, Illinois remains an outlier with lower hospitalization and infection rates and one of the highest rates of testing in the U.S.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS surpassed one million COVID-19 tests of its residents as part of an aggressive push to use testing and contract tracing to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. 
  • RHODE ISLAND’s Department of Health will be coordinating a second, expanded round of serology testing in the coming weeks to better understand the prevalence of COVID-19 among people in certain high-contact professions in Rhode Island. This effort is in collaboration with the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Rhode Island was one of three sites selected across the United States for participation in this serology testing effort, along with Detroit and New York City.

Worker support:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the Illinois Department of Human Services’ COVID-19 Summer Youth Employment Program. The program will employ 2,400 young adults statewide between June and August 2020, helping them train for and find work amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the availability of $50 million in grant funding to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across Pennsylvania.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced the adoption of statewide emergency workplace safety standards in response to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. These first-in-the-nation safety rules will protect Virginia workers by mandating appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness, and response plans, record keeping, training, and hazard communications in workplaces across the Commonwealth. The actions come in the absence of federal guidelines. 

Family support:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK and First Lady Lisa BULLOCK today announced that $83,750 through Montana No Kid Hungry has been awarded to 16 organizations to help with the cost of operating local summer meal programs across the state.

Homeowner/renter/homelessness support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the availability of $600 million in funding for Homekey, the next phase in the state’s response protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced the launch of what will be at least a $24 million emergency rental assistance program for renters experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ  signed an executive order which makes a technical update that will add flexibility to previous executive orders that preserves the eviction moratorium but that allows housing providers can evict a tenant when the tenant violates a lease by endangering the safety of others, engaging in certain illegal activities, or significantly damaging property. The order also requires landlords to give residential tenants a seven-day notice of intent to file an eviction to help mitigate the impact upon residential tenants and encourage resolutions without court involvement.

Task forces:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER named the members of the Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force. The Task Force, established by the governor’s Executive Order 143, will address the social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first meeting is anticipated in early August.

Relief funds:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced 22 eastern Kentucky governments have applied for and been granted $5,523,949 in reimbursements from the CARES Act for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS  announced that her Economic Recovery Committee has delivered to her its immediate recommendations to stabilize and support Maine’s economy through the unprecedented disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the top recommendations from the Economic Recovery Committee are support for Maine workers and families disproportionately affected by the pandemic, ensuring the safe operation of child care and in-person instruction in Maine schools, directing economic relief grants to employers, and sustaining public health measures. Additionally, the Committee endorsed accelerating investments to expand broadband internet service in Maine, which emerged as a key consensus recommendation given the reliance on distance working, education, and healthcare during the pandemic.

Special sessions:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced he is calling the General Assembly into a special session on Tuesday, August 18, following the governor’s traditional end-of-fiscal-year report to the General Assembly’s money committees. A special session is necessary to adopt a budget based on the revised revenue forecast in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Governor Northam will work closely with legislative leaders and advocates to propose additional criminal justice and policing reform.

State budgets:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed into law the “New Jersey COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act,” which authorizes the state to borrow up to $9.9 billion to address the unprecedented fiscal crisis that has arisen as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public communications:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER joined with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University men’s and women’s basketball coaches to call on Michiganders to wear a mask while they’re out in public. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also released a new television ad featuring MSU football coach Mel Tucker, MSU men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo, MSU women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant, U-M football coach Jim Harbaugh, U-M men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard, and U-M women’s basketball coach Kim Barnes Arico. In the ad that will air on local television stations across the state, the rival coaches join together to promote the importance of wearing masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to keep Michigan moving forward, not backward. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO launched the national “Mask Up America” education and awareness campaign to urge all Americans to wear a mask while in public to help stop the spread of the virus.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services launched new online tools to help Spanish-speaking North Carolinians to determine if they should consider being tested for COVID-19 and help individuals monitor their symptoms if they have tested positive for or been exposed to COVID-19. 

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS amended and extended an executive order suspending certain statutes allowing the operation of alternate care sites in Colorado. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extension of three proclamations today including visitation and remedial services, shared work, and temporary licensing for dental and pharmacy graduates. 

Beyond COVID-19 

Law enforcement:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed an executive order creating the Pennsylvania State Law Enforcement Citizen Advisory Commission. This further advances his actions to address law enforcement reform and accountability that he announced in June and the first two police reform bills he signed into law on Tuesday.

Health care:

  • HAWAII’s Department of Health’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division has been awarded a competitive $11.8 million system of care expansion grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The four-year grant will begin funding services in August 2020.


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that 27 highway, bridge, transit, and bike and pedestrian projects in 23 counties were selected for $30.2 million in funding through the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

Economic development:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER introduced the new today, an integrated career information system that offers North Carolinians ways to explore careers and job opportunities. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the CANPACK Group will redevelop a former brownfield site in Lackawanna County, establishing an aluminum can manufacturing facility and North American Center of Excellence.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Acoustical Sheetmetal Company will invest $15.8 million to expand its operation in the City of Virginia Beach. 

Renewable energy:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a package of major clean transportation initiatives, including a “Make Ready” order approved by the New York State Public Service Commission to advance New York’s commitment to accelerate its transition to cleaner mobility. 


  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM issued a writ of election declaring a special election in the 29th House of Delegates District for November 3, 2020. The seat was previously held by Delegate Chris Collins, who resigned effective June 28, 2020.

Other efforts:

  • MICHIGAN’s Department of Health and Human Services is issuing an emergency rule to ban child care facilities from using the type of restraint that led to the death of a 16-year-old in Kalamazoo. The agency says it will also require all licensed facilities to notify children’s families within 12 hours whenever any type of restraint is used, and notify the agency within 24 hours.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation requiring the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to establish an apprenticeship mentoring program for women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO directed the state to launch a full investigation into this week’s Twitter hack.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM signed legislation to expedite the occupational and professional licensure process for military spouses.
  • VIRGINIA’s Commercial Space Flight Authority, the United States Space Force, and Northrop Grumman celebrate the successful launch of a Minotaur IV rocket carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. 

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