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Govs On Deck – July 22, 2019

Govs on Deck

Good Monday morning! Welcome to this week’s edition of “Govs on Deck” – the weekly tip sheet dedicated to keeping you informed about what is happening in Democratic governors’ offices around the country.
Questions or suggestions? Send me a note at You can find us all on Twitter too – @A_Tall_Turner, @CEAmestoy, and @MichBeyer.
Coming up this week:

  • This morning, MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed a bill officially designating a portion of M-10 in Detroit as the Aretha Franklin Memorial Highway with members of the Franklin family and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN will sign a criminal justice reform bill into law. SB 1008 makes changes to sentencing rules for juvenile offenders, shifting away from tough-on-crime guidelines put in place in the 90s.
  • OREGON Gov Kate BROWN will also sign HB 2013 which takes steps to improve commonsense firearms policy in Oregon by closing a loophole in a 2015 law designed to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
  • On Thursday, the DGA will host a press conference at the NGA summer meeting in Salt Lake City. Democratic governors from across the country will talk about how they continue to be the first line of defense against the Trump administration’s attack on health care. If you or a colleague will be at the meeting, let me know and I will pass on our advisory. I’ll be there, so come say hi!

How ‘bout Dem govs: Climate Change
Dem govs get it done.
A recent Christian Science Monitor piece detailed how quickly MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS has righted the state’s environmental agenda after GOP Gov. Paul LePage nearly sank it. Across the country, similar stories are playing out as Democratic governors work to fight climate change after years of inaction under their Republican predecessors. Here are just some examples:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK signed legislation requiring the state to double its Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 percent by 2030. A similar bill that would have raised the state’s RPS to 40 percent by 2030 was vetoed by former GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed a historic bill that puts the state on track to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. In 2017, Former GOP Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed legislation that could have led to more than 700 state buildings getting power from renewable sources.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS joined the U.S. Climate Alliance – a group of twenty governors that aims to implement elements of the Paris Agreement by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Former GOP Gov. Scott Walker had the state’s Department of Natural Resources scrub language about the causes of climate change from its website.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order in 2018 to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – a regional carbon allowance program. Former GOP Gov. Chris Christie previously pulled the state out of the pact calling it “gimmicky.”

Some news from this past week:

  • Health care:
    • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that premiums for individual health plans will decrease by more than 18 percent in 2020. The historic decrease comes after the state passed a bipartisan reinsurance plan that awaits federal government approval.
  • Title X:
    • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that the state will forgo all federal Title X funding while the Trump administration continues to impose the gag rule. State funds will cover the federal funds they stand to lose.
    • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS called the gag rule “a misguided, backward effort to deny Maine people critical health care.” Maine Family Planning will forgo nearly $2M in federal funding while the rule remains in place.
  • Environment:
    • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation mandating 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050, setting the most aggressive targets in the country.
  • Criminal justice:
    • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed a package of criminal justice reform bills that includes legislation preventing prosecutors from bringing up the victim’s sexual history or prior allegations of sexual abuse while prosecuting certain crimes, and new requirements for testing and storing rape kits.
    • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN signed a new law that adds gender identity as a protected class in the state’s hate crime laws.
  • Gun reform:
    • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed new laws aimed at strengthening commonsense gun safety measures in state. The laws range from requiring firearms dealers and gun-range workers be trained in suicide prevention to encouraging the development of smart guns.

Name that governor:
This governor spent his or her honeymoon in China with 60 students in tow…
Think you know? Shoot me your answer at
Last week’s winner is Oren Shur (SKDKnickerbocker) who correctly identified OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN as the answer to this question:
This governor was born in Madrid, Spain….
Have a great week!