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Govs On Deck – July 6, 2020

Govs on Deck

Happy Monday and 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:

Emergency declarations:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY extended the Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9th for 30 additional days. 
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM extended the state’s emergency public health order through July 15 and issued a severe warning about the risk of New Mexico being forced to re-enact more severe public health restrictions in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 across the state.

Reopening efforts:

  • NEVADA’s Health Response, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Business and Industry, released the latest Nevada COVID-19 Re-Opening Response Plan. The state anticipated an increase in positive COVID-19 cases as businesses reopened and this plan is a targeted response to review data and focus on affected communities to protect public health.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York City will enter Phase Three of reopening today, but that indoor dining will not reopen there.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER vetoed a series of bills that would have overridden his orders closing various businesses and limiting mass gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic and one that would have undercut his ability to issue such orders.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed amended green phase orders for Lebanon County to move to green.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a brief extension of the Safe Start proclamation until July 9, in anticipation of additional modifications that will be made early next week. 

Public gatherings:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced an increased outdoor gathering capacity limit. Effective as of Friday, outdoor gatherings are limited to 500 persons, and outdoor religious services and political activities will continue to have no numerical limits. All indoor gatherings continue to be limited to 25% capacity of the rooms in which they will take place, with a maximum of 100 persons.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced state outdoor pools across New York opened for swimming for the July 4th weekend. 


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the “Wear A Mask” public awareness campaign encouraging Californians to use face coverings – one of the best ways people can protect themselves and others from the virus. The campaign is taking an aggressive approach to slowing the spread of COVID-19, which will save lives and allow the state to reopen the economy. The campaign, which will continue until at least the end of the year, will kick off in English and Spanish and then expand into other languages later this month.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY issued an executive order requiring that most Kansans must wear a mask while in public spaces, and in places where individuals are unable to maintain social distancing of six feet.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS and New Orleans Pelican superstar Zion Williamson jointly released a new PSA encouraging Louisianans to wear a mask or face covering when out in public as the state continues to see the number of new COVID-19 cases rise. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN launched a statewide public awareness campaign with Portland-based ad agency Wieden+Kennedy to inform Oregonians about the urgent importance of wearing face coverings when out in public. Wieden+Kennedy provided their creative services at no cost to the state.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced a new order signed by Dr. Levine that takes the mask-wearing directive that requires masks must be worn whenever anyone leaves home. The order takes effect immediately.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced a statewide requirement for businesses to require face coverings of all employees and customers. Under this proclamation, businesses may not serve any customer, services, or goods, if they do not comply with the state-wide face-covering order.

Business guidance:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM ordered tougher restrictions for much of the state, requiring 19 counties experiencing an increased spread of coronavirus to halt visits to indoor restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, entertainment centers, movie theaters, zoos, museums, and card rooms.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order closing indoor service at bars throughout most of lower Michigan to protect the progress Michigan has made against COVID-19. Regions 6 and 8, which include the Upper Peninsula and much of northern Michigan, are excluded from the order, and bars statewide can continue to serve outdoors. The governor also signed a package of bills allowing cocktails-to-go at bars and restaurants to help these businesses serve more Michiganders during this time.  

Guidance enforcement:

  • NEVADA has established phone lines to report businesses that aren’t complying with state emergency directives.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York State will create an enforcement department to supplement the local enforcement of COVID-19 guidance and restrictions.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced stepped-up enforcement statewide on face covering, physical distancing, and occupancy standards in place for businesses. The effort, led by Oregon Occupational Safety and Health and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, ensured restaurants, bars, and other businesses comply with COVID-related rules over the Fourth of July holiday weekend and thereafter.


  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK released the Governor’s Plan for Reopening Safe and Healthy Schools for Montana to provide flexible guidance for public schools to prepare to offer in-person instruction in the fall.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER shared that North Carolina will continue working with schools, teachers, parents, and health experts to ensure that plans for school this coming year will protect everybody, especially those at high-risk.

Health care:

  • KANSASGov. Laura KELLY announced that FEMA has approved a Kansas plan for crisis counseling under the individual assistance category of the Stafford Act. Funding is provided by FEMA’s Crisis Counseling Program Immediate Services Program. 
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced a plan to expand home-based care options in Rhode Island as the state continues to grapple with the spread of COVID-19 in congregate living facilities. Before COVID-19, 61% of the state’s long-term care recipients lived in nursing facilities, which have struggled to contain the spread and impact of COVID-19 on residents and staff. The $25M plan includes investments in nursing facility supports to implement infection control, investments in capital and program changes to fundamentally re-orient the delivery of care in nursing facilities, and targeted investments to expand home-based care options, through home-based workforce incentives, training, and supports. The state will also invest to assist families in better understanding long-term care options and accessing home-based care options when discharged from hospitals.

Testing and tracing:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York State will expand its testing criteria to all New Yorkers statewide. New York conducts more tests per capita than any big country in the world and now has the capacity to expand the testing criteria.

Worker support:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation modifying the state’s shared work program and changing eligibility for the state’s unemployment insurance program. Earlier this week the bill was returned to the Legislature with recommended changes necessary to facilitate furloughs in lieu of layoffs. The Legislature today concurred with the governor’s conditional veto.

Homeowner/renter support:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY, Attorney General Kathy Jennings, the Delaware State Housing Authority director,  and the Justice of the Peace Court Chief Magistrate announced a joint effort on foreclosure and eviction prevention to support Delaware homeowners and renters financially impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown.

Relief funds:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed legislation appropriating nearly $880 million in federal funding to support various COVID-19 response actions across the state.  The supplemental budget includes a number of provisions that assist Michigan in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, help small businesses weather the difficult economic conditions created by COVID-19, and ensure that workers who put themselves at risk on the frontlines are fairly compensated.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced $4.3 million in federal funding is being made available to county emergency management agencies and the City of New York to support COVID-19 planning and operational readiness. This grant opportunity will provide an additional level of direct support to counties as New York and the rest of the world continues to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that 309 nonprofit arts organizations will receive grants totaling $2.3 million to help with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds from the CARES Act support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel, and facilities costs. 

Special sessions:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced that he is planning to begin a special session to address the State’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget on Wednesday, July 8. The planned date of the session was determined after coordinating with legislative leadership.

Inter-state travel:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT’s administration updated guidance regarding the travel advisory that was recently implemented for travelers entering Connecticut from states with high rates of COVID-19. If someone arrives in Connecticut from an impacted state, self-quarantining for 14 days remains the best option, however, the updated guidance permits travelers to enter the state if they test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to arriving.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ administration announced that it is exempting visitors from the States of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey from the 14-day quarantine requirement or negative COVID-19 testing alternative.

Public communications:

  • CONNECTICUT launched the “Connecticut Respect” PSA campaign to reinforce practices that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS released a new COVID-19 PSA featuring Louisiana singer, songwriter, and musician Amanda Shaw encouraging everyone to slow the spread of the coronavirus as the number of cases and hospitalizations continue to increase.

Other efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Motor Vehicles has resumed road testing services for driver’s licenses, as well as new vehicle registrations at select DMV locations. 
  • NEW MEXICO’s Taxation and Revenue Department is extending some modifications to its collection and enforcement efforts through July 31st.
  • RHODE ISLAND announced that long-term care and assisted living facilities will be allowed to welcome visitors again next Wednesday, July 8th, provided that they abide by strict infection control measures to keep residents, staff, and family members safe.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extension of 23 proclamations today in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The extensions were approved by the state Legislature.

Beyond COVID-19 

Federal requests:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ requested financial support from FEMA to help Minnesota rebuild after civil unrest damaged public infrastructure and caused extensive fire damage in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK sent a letter to President Trump urging him to reverse course on his suspension of the J-1 Visa program for educators.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE and 85 Democratic members of the state Legislature sent a letter today to President Trump, urging him not to take further action to repeal the DACA program following last month’s Supreme Court ruling. Washington is home to more than 16,000 young people covered by DACA.

Anti-discrimination efforts: 

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order creating the Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board. The board will play a critical role in the ongoing celebration of our Colorado history through place names and ensure that the state has inclusivity and transparency around the naming process.

Racial justice:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO directs state police hate crimes task force to investigate hateful graffiti in town of Perinton.

Criminal justice:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed three pieces of legislation that make various reforms to New Jersey’s criminal justice system. The bills will ensure personnel files of law enforcement officers are shared when applying for employment at other agencies, accelerate juvenile justice reforms, and expand critical re-entry benefits.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed legislation that removes outdated licensing barriers so skilled workers with criminal records can get a second chance and start good careers.


  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation providing substantial health care cost savings for New Jersey’s educators while reducing costs for taxpayers, removing longstanding and onerous provisions resulting from a 2011 law known as Chapter 78. The legislation is the result of collaborative negotiations between the Murphy Administration, legislative leadership, and the New Jersey Education Association 

Health care:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ celebrated the launch of the Minnesota Insulin Safety Net Program. The program, created by the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, allows Minnesotans in urgent need of insulin to access the life-saving drug through their pharmacy.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER signed a Medicaid transformation bill that privatizes the management of the state’s Medicaid program. The state will pay five managed-care companies $30 billion over five years to cover 1.6 million low-income North Carolinians.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs is awarding more than $2 million in federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grants to provide employment support services for individuals with Opioid Use Disorder.

Affordable housing:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced more than $10.3 million in Affordable and Special Needs Housing loans for 14 projects across the Commonwealth, creating or preserving 790 affordable housing units for low-income and very low-income Virginians. The projects will support new construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing for vulnerable populations and will leverage over $181 million in additional federal, state, local, and private lending resources. 

Environmental protection:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed legislation increasing public protections from emissions of air toxics.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed legislation creating additional public health protections regarding alleged environmental violations, and, in connection therewith, raising the maximum fines for air quality and water quality violations.

Economic development:

  • KENTUCKYGov. Andy BESHEAR announced the members of a new task force that will guide the administration in building America’s AgriTech capital in Kentucky.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced the formal launch of the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification. The new office will work across state government, academia, and private industry to enhance Michigan’s mobility ecosystem, including developing dynamic mobility and electrification policies and supporting the startup and scale-up of emerging technologies and businesses.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Centene Corporation, a Fortune 50 provider of managed care services for public and private health plans, will create an East Coast regional headquarters and technology hub in Charlotte. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that Fujirebio Diagnostics, Inc., a manufacturer of in-vitro diagnostics in Chester County, will expand its operations in southeastern Pennsylvania.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Shore Breeze Farms will expand operations at its hydroponic greenhouse facility in Northampton County, increasing its production of Virginia-grown leafy greens by thirty percent. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Fleetwood Homes, a leading homebuilder, and maker of manufactured homes, plans to invest $2.1 million, including $700,000 in new equipment, to renovate and expand its Rocky Mount facility. The project will create 60 new jobs in Franklin County.

Gun safety:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER vetoed a bill that would have allowed churchgoers in places with schools on the property to carry their concealed weapons.

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