Chip in to protect our blue firewall!

If we want to stop the Republicans' dangerous agenda, defend reproductive rights, and protect our democracy, we have to keep pace with the GOP's millions in fundraising. Please don’t wait: rush your gift to elect Dem govs >>

Govs On Deck – June 5, 2020

Govs on Deck

Happy Friday everyone 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:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order extending the state’s Public Health Emergency declaration.

Reopening efforts:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE approved Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s proposal to re-open designated indoor/outdoor businesses and operations, including fitness facilities and bars. The businesses/operations will open with limitations starting on June 19th.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS signed the order moving Louisiana to Phase Two of the White House plan for reopening, while cautioning members of the public and businesses to continue to take mitigation measures, like wearing masks when in public, to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 as more people will be interacting with each other.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ administration announced additional business reopenings under the governor’s rural reopening plan. Under the update, in 13 counties, tasting rooms and bars may open for outside service and gyms and fitness centers, nail salons, and tattoo and piercing parlors may open with added health and safety precautions beginning on Friday, June 12th. These establishments may reopen everywhere in all counties except for York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin Counties.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the Mid-Hudson Valley is on track to enter phase two of reopening Tuesday, June 9th and Long Island is on track to enter phase two of reopening on Wednesday, June 10th following a review of regional data by global public health experts.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN approved 26 counties to move to Phase 2 of reopening on June 5th, 6th, and 8th under her framework for building a safe and strong Oregon.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed amended yellow phase orders to include 10 counties moving to the yellow phase today. In addition, the governor and the secretary signed amended green phase orders to include 16 counties moving to the green phase.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued guidance for sporting activities in Phases 2 and 3. The guidance covers professional sporting activities, youth team sports, and adult recreational team sports. 

Public gatherings:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the state finalized guidance for places of worship, outdoor recreation, and personal recreation. Drafts were released on Monday, June 1 and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment solicited input from stakeholders and industry before releasing final versions today. This guidance now allows houses of worship to allow up to 50% capacity, but no more than 50 people for in-person worship. This also allows for pools to open in a limited capacity. 
  • HAWAII’s Department of Land and Natural Resources is resuming its Wiki Permits, the online permitting system for limited commercial activities on state beaches, such as weddings and vow renewals.

Elections:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order making technical clarifications regarding the ballot petitioning process for the August 2020 primary and November 2020 general election.

Business guidance:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order permitting caterers to provide outdoor service at any location allowed by their license type so long as the event meets the requirements of all executive orders, limits on social and recreational gatherings, and Department of Economic and Community Development sector rules.

Business support:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced the first round of grants awarded as part of the new Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. The fund was created to support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois that have experienced a negative impact due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools/students:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced $44 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funding for school districts, schools, and institutions of higher education, and other education-related entities to address the impact of COVID-19. The majority of these funds will be utilized for grants to school districts, public schools, and public institutions of higher education serving high-needs students in order to help prevent and address the “COVID slide” and support innovation and equity.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that schools will be permitted to hold drive-in and drive-through graduation ceremonies this year. The state will reexamine socially-distanced outdoor commencements at a later time.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that medical schools statewide will be allowed to reopen on June 22nd, following appropriate precautions, in order to safely prepare for and welcome new cohorts of medical students this summer and fall.

Testing and tracing:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the state is launching LIFELINE PASS, a project that will encourage nursing homes and senior care facilities to allow visitation from relatives who safely test negative for Coronavirus. As the state works on the guidelines over the next week or so, this new program will allow people who test negative for coronavirus and have no known exposure or symptoms, to visit their loved ones. A 48-hour pass after a negative test can reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus to those who are most vulnerable and help make sure that residents of those facilities can receive visits in a reasonably safe way.
  • ILLINOIS announced that it is opening its community-based testing sites to anyone to get tested, regardless of symptoms or other criteria.  
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state is expanding COVID-19 testing criteria to include any individual who attended any of the recent protests across the state. The governor encouraged any individual who attended a protest to get a test.

PPE/medical supplies:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order amending and extending prior orders concerning non-medical face coverings, to provide discretion to employers and operators of places of public accommodation to deny admittance or service and require the removal of any individual who fails to wear a medical or non-medical face covering. 

Homeowner/renter support:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that over 45 banks and credit unions have agreed to extend their voluntary participation in the Connecticut Mortgage Relief Program, which provides relief to consumers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The program, launched on March 31st and set to expire on May 31st will now run through July 30th.

Relief funds:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that his administration is establishing the Connecticut Municipal Coronavirus Relief Fund Program, which will set a process by which municipal governments will receive reimbursements from the state using the federally supported Coronavirus Relief Fund to offset their expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Task forces:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the Behavioral Health Task Force will publish an interim report outlining short and long-term impacts on the behavioral health system, including access to and affordability of services. Members will also evaluate the behavioral health crisis response to COVID-19 and recommend improvements for future events.

Public communications:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS launched a new campaign, “Our Masks are Our Passport to the Colorado We Love,” including a public service announcement, encouraging Coloradans to wear masks as much as possible when they leave the house. 

Other efforts:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER signed an executive order to address the social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The order directs state agencies and offices to provide targeted measures to help communities of color that have been affected by the pandemic. 

Friday feels:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS signed HB 848 into law, which renames Act 833 of 2014 as the April Dunn Act. April was a tireless advocate for people with disabilities and a dedicated staff member who served in the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs. She succumbed to complications from COVID-19 on March 28th. The act provides a pathway to promotion and graduation for certain students with disabilities. 

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!