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Govs On Deck – July 20, 2020

Govs on Deck

It’s Monday and it’s time for 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:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF urged Congress to quickly provide financial relief to the nation’s restaurants by passing the RESTAURANTS Act. The bipartisan bill in Congress provides $120 billion to help independent restaurants with the economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency declarations:

  • GUAM Gov.  Lou Leon GUERRERO extended the public health emergency until August 29th.

State partnerships:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO and members of NY’s COVID-19 task force traveled to Savannah, Georgia to help the city in the fight against COVID-19 as it experiences a surge in positive cases and hospitalizations. In Savannah, the governor hosted a roundtable meeting with the New York State delegation, Savannah Mayor Van R. Johnson, and the Savannah health care team to discuss best practices to fight the pandemic, including how to set up testing and contact tracing operations.  

Legal actions:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER has preemptively sued to obtain court approval to require children to wear masks when schools reopen in the fall.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the Kentucky Supreme Court has kept in place all executive orders related to the fight against COVID-19, including the mask order until the court can hear full arguments from the Beshear administration and the attorney general’s office and issue a final ruling.

Reopening efforts:

  • GUAM entered phase 3 of its Pandemic Condition of Readiness. Under PCOR 3, most activities are permitted to operate under moderate restrictions. Prior to reopening, businesses must submit their reopening plan to the Department of Public Health and Social Services.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the team of global health experts advising New York State’s reopening strategy has thoroughly reviewed the data for New York City and has cleared it to enter Phase Four of reopening without any additional indoor activity, such as malls and cultural institutions, beginning today. Every region of New York State is now in Phase Four of reopening. 

Public gatherings:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reopened inland swimming areas at eight state parks over the weekend. 


  • NORTH CAROLINA’s state elections director issued an emergency order Friday requiring poll workers to wear masks and setting new minimums for early voting locations in a social distancing effort in North Carolina’s November elections. The order requires at least one early voting location per 20,000 registered voters. 
  • RHODE ISLAND’s secretary of state released a statement clarifying that the office will not be sending mail ballot applications to all voters for the September 8 primary. The office will, however, send postcards to registered voters who have a September 8 primary election that include three options voters have for casting ballots as well as the phone number for voters’ local boards of canvassers., will provide applications and postage for local boards to mail applications to any voter upon request. The office is also working to find additional businesses, community organizations and public offices to have printed mail ballot applications available to voters.


  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order which strengthens her previous order requiring all Michiganders to wear a mask in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces. This new order clarifies that businesses may not assume that an unmasked customer cannot medically tolerate a face covering, though they can accept a customer’s verbal representation to that effect. It also requires public safety officers to wear a face-covering unless doing so would seriously interfere in the performance of their responsibilities, and clarifies that wearing a mask at a polling place for purposes of voting in an election is not required, but strongly encouraged.


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced his plan for learning and safe schools ahead of the 2020–2021 school year. The governor’s plan centers on five key areas: safe in-person school based on local health data, strong mask requirements for anyone in the school, physical distancing requirements & other adaptations, regular testing, and dedicated contact tracing for outbreaks at schools, and rigorous distance learning.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced a series of steps her administration is taking to assist and support school systems across Maine as they consider whether and how to return to in-classroom instruction this fall. Each of these actions aims to provide essential support to promote a safe return for children, teachers, and school staff.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced he has worked with the Nevada State legislature to expedite the delivery of $50 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds under the CARES Act to the Nevada Department of Education for a new education grant program that will help students most impacted by the loss of in-person instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Worker support:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT released a statement stressing his commitment to providing a timely, straightforward opportunity for essential workers who contracted COVID019 while on the job to claim any benefits they are due through the workers’ compensation system.   

Family support:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced $1.5 million in funding for ‘Feeding New York State’ to support its network of 10 regional food banks, as well as local farms to help provide milk and produce to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Child care:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ administration announced that it will invest more than $8 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to further boost access to child care and support Maine’s working families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services will provide an additional $8.4 million to more than 1,700 Maine child care providers for the extra costs and challenges of operating during the pandemic.

Homeowner/renter/homelessness support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS and the Department of Local Affairs announced the Property Owner Preservation Program for rental assistance. The program is funded by legislation that allocates nearly $20 million in federal CARES Act funding for housing assistance.
  • LOUISIANA’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (LERAP) application process has been temporarily suspended due to overwhelming demand.  

Task forces:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order establishing the Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office and COVID-19 Compliance and Oversight Task Force. The Governor’s Disaster Recovery Office will assume the responsibilities of the Governor’s Office of Recovery & Rebuilding, which will no longer exist. 

Relief funds:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the Office of Recovery’s disbursement of CARES Act funds to Kansas counties. Governor Kelly’s SPARK Taskforce and Office of Recovery have been assessing statewide needs for the second and third rounds of CRF investments. Following the guidance of the U.S. Treasury to deliver funds fairly, timely, and effectively, $400 million of the State’s CRF allocation was distributed to local governments yesterday.

Special sessions:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT issued a proclamation calling the Connecticut General Assembly to meet in a special session beginning Tuesday, July 21st. The policy areas the special session will be asked to address include absentee voting, transparency in law enforcement, and health care. 
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK released a statement thanking the legislature for their work after they adjourned the 31st Special Session to fill a historic $1.2 billion budget shortfall caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. 
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced that he will not call a second special session, as was his intention, because of the rising cases in Nevada. 

Inter-state travel:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE signed an emergency proclamation that keeps the mandatory 14-day quarantine in effect for travelers entering the state. Under the proclamation, travelers arriving in Hawai‘i will continue to undergo a mandatory screening process at the airport. 

Other efforts:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order extending provisions outlined in a previous executive order which provides emergency relief from regulations for motor carriers and drivers operating in Minnesota in order to safely and efficiently transport livestock.

Beyond COVID-19 

Economic development:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced Stephenson Technologies Corp., LSU’s applied research entity, has won a $25 million federal contract for groundbreaking work to protect Louisiana’s energy infrastructure. 

Other efforts:

  • RHODE ISLAND’s Department of Health has licensed Green Peaks Analytical as the state’s first licensed marijuana sampling and testing laboratory. 

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