Can you donate now to join our fight?

We just launched the Power to Appoint Fund to highlight the important role Dem Govs play to ensure integrity in our country’s judicial process and protect fundamental freedoms. Your support will ensure we can make crucial investments in key states and protect our democracy. Please don’t wait: rush your gift to elect Democratic governors! >>>

Govs On Deck – June 11, 2020

Govs on Deck

Good Thursday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” We’re still here and we’re still daily. We hope you are all still safe and healthy.
Questions or suggestions? Send me a note at amestoy@dga.net. 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 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Want more examples? Send me an email and I can help you track down answers.
Emergency declarations: 

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE signed an emergency proclamation that extends the COVID-19 emergency period through July 31st.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS extended the State of Civil Emergency for thirty days through July 10th.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced he will extend the state of emergency for another 30 days. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF’s administration outlined the potential impact of ending the March 6th disaster declaration while clarifying that the legislature cannot end it unilaterally. The General Assembly had voted to end the disaster declaration with many members falsely claiming their actions ended the business guideline orders. 

Reopening efforts:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE approved a request from the mayor of Kauaʻi county to safely re-open more businesses, operations, or activities under guidelines effective June 16th.
  • NEVADA’s Response Center, in coordination with the Local Empowerment Advisory Panel, released guidance for contactless outdoor youth sports practices during Phase 2 of the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery Plan.

Public gatherings:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship can begin hosting congregants at 50 percent of their pre-pandemic capacities.

Schools/students:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that she will be convening a Healthy Schools Reopening Council to advise her and the Oregon Department of Education during the Ready Schools, Safe Learners K-12 schools reopening process.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that all school districts are aiming to return to in-person learning on August 31st. The state’s approach includes the adoption of a statewide calendar for all public school districts to use during the 2020-2021 academic year. The Rhode Island Department of Education will be providing guidance to districts, charter schools, and state-run schools next week to help them develop their own individual back-to-school plans. Those plans will be submitted to RIDE for review and implementation support. The state is planning to provide financial support to districts as they implement their individual reopening plans. There will be a focus on equity, including a prioritization of resources for communities with higher rates of COVID-19. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Virginia schools will receive $66.8 million through the federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund to expand distance learning opportunities, fund services for students disproportionately impacted by the loss of class time, and provide financial assistance to higher education students and institutions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health care:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM extended a previous executive order that implements several policies designed to expand Virginia’s health care workforce to assist with the commonwealth’s COVID-19 response. The order allows for the expanded use of telehealth and authorizes out-of-state licensees to provide in-state care. The order also allows for greater flexibility for nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, interns, residents, fellows, and fourth-year medical students to provide care. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM extended a previous executive order which helps ensure Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security members have continued access to care during the ongoing public health emergency.

PPE/medical supplies:

  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE sent a letter today to Vice President Mike Pence calling for a federal response to address persistent shortages of PPE and adequately protect healthcare and frontline workers, including by invoking the Defense Production Act.

Testing and tracing:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the state’s ongoing partnership with Kroger will bring expanded COVID-19 drive-through testing next week in several locations across the commonwealth.
  • NEW MEXICO’s Department of Health announced they are setting aside time slots for food industry workers for COVID-19 testing at numerous field offices statewide. The testing slots will be for people who work at establishments such as restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets, distribution centers, and food manufacturing facilities.

Family support:

  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that, for the first time, SNAP participants are now able to select and pay for their groceries online using their EBT card at Amazon and participating Walmart stores. 

Child care/summer programs:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced a $270 million Child Care Restoration grant program. The gran is provided for in the FY21 budget passed by the General Assembly. The first program of its kind in the nation, this program will support Illinois’ vast network of childcare providers as they continue to provide care to children across the state through the COVID-19 pandemic.

State budgets:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER signed the state’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget into law. The budget maintains funding for critical programs, such as education, health care, and human services while advocating for a national program to support state and local governments. 

Inter/Intra-state travel:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced that the quarantine requirement for inter-island travelers will be lifted on June 16th. However, the quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers remains in place.

Other efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order resuming court filing deadlines and modifying DMV functions to allow more business to be conducted remotely. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that he will convene a special legislative session beginning on June 12th to pass police reform and accountability and build a stronger and more equitable economy as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!