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Govs On Deck – June 8, 2020

Govs on Deck

It’s Monday and that means a warm welcome back 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:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY formally extended his state of emergency declaration.  
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO extended her state of emergency declaration.

Reopening efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that Phase 2 of Connecticut’s reopening efforts is being moved up a few days to Wednesday, June 17th to avoid having it take effect during the busy Father’s Day weekend. It previously had been scheduled for Saturday, June 20th.  
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY is recommending that most communities advance to Phase 3 of the Ad Astra reopening plan.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced her decision to reopen more regions in Michigan. Starting on Monday, June 10th, Regions 6 and 8 will advance to Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan. This means that salons, movie theaters, and gyms are allowed to open in those regions. Even though lower Michigan is still in Phase 4, Whitmer is allowing personal care services such as hair, massages, and nails to open statewide on Monday, June 15th. She stated that she expects the rest of the state to move into Phase 5 in the coming weeks as long as the current COVID-19 trajectory remains the same.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced Phase III of the Stay Safe MN plan, including a gradual turn of the dial to allow cautious and safe re-opening of indoor dining, gyms, and entertainment venues beginning Wednesday, June 10th. Customers and employees will be either strongly recommended or required to wear masks and will be required to adhere to appropriate social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York City has met all seven metrics required to begin phase one of reopening starting today.
  • 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 Deschutes, Jefferson, and Umatilla counties to move to Phase 2 of reopening on June 6th under her framework for building a safe and strong Oregon.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that as of Friday, all counties are now in the yellow or green phase of reopening. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE released a template for businesses in Phase 3 of the Washington “Safe Start” plan. Each business or entity operating in Phase 3 must develop a written safety plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement or may develop its own safety plan. 

Public gatherings:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has announced that camping will open for the summer recreation season beginning July 8, 2020. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order modifying safety rules for drive-in religious gatherings.
  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order allowing any place of business, place of worship, or public accommodation to resume operations provided it does so at no more than 50 percent capacity or up to ten people.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced places of worship will be permitted to reopen with 25 percent occupancy with all social distancing protocols in place during phase two of reopening. Places of worship in the seven regions that have already entered phase two were able to begin reopening yesterday.

Elections:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS issued an executive order allowing Maine residents to mail voter registration cards to their local town offices until a week before the election, July 7. Normally, those registration applications are due 21 days before an election. Voters can still register in person on Election Day.  In addition to allowing towns and cities more flexibility on changing polling places, the order suspends a requirement that municipal clerks visit licensed long-term care facilities to help residents vote absentee.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation extending the deadline to submit absentee ballots until the day of the election. To be counted, primary ballots must be postmarked by June 23rd. The governor previously issued orders allowing all New Yorkers to vote absentee in the June 23rd primary elections and ensuring every New Yorker registered to vote receives a postage-paid absentee ballot application in the mail. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced he will issue an executive order extending the deadline for school districts to receive school budget ballots. To be counted, school budget ballots can be accepted by hand delivery through 5pm on June 9th and received by mail through June 16th by the school district. 

Business guidance:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that his administration has released documents detailing specific rules that eligible businesses falling under phase 2 of Connecticut’s reopening plans must follow amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The second phase takes effect Wednesday, June 17th. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced he will issue an executive order allowing commercial buildings to conduct temperature checks for anyone entering the building as office workers begin to return to the workplace.
  • OREGON’s OSHA has launched a free educational video to help employers and workers understand the requirements of a temporary rule that strengthens protections against the spread of the coronavirus in employer-provided housing and labor-intensive farm operations.

Business support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order cutting red tape for restaurants and suspending certain statutes to remove bureaucratic barriers to serving alcoholic beverages in temporary outdoor dining spaces.  
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced that Montana is expanding state grant programs developed from federal COVID-19 relief money aimed at easing the economic impacts of the pandemic to allow meat processors and local governments to apply for the economic relief grants.

Schools/students:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order establishing safety rules for drive-in graduations. 
  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO signed an executive order allowing the Department of Public Health and Social Services to permit the reopening of smaller schools on a limited basis for the purpose of testing a pilot program for the larger reopening of schools.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER signed an executive order that allows for schools to reopen for summer school as long as they follow safety guidelines for COVID-19. All public and non-public schools serving students from kindergarten to 12th grade can reopen as long as they follow Phase 3 guidelines, including limiting the number of people in a space to 10 or fewer, providing six feet of distance between people, ensuring hygiene supplies and protective equipment are available and being used.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced outdoor, socially distanced graduations of up to 150 people will be allowed beginning June 26th, subject to any outbreaks or significant changes in the metrics.

Health care:

  • NEW MEXICO has launched a new online screening tool to help New Mexicans determine what health insurance coverage they may qualify for by answering a few simple questions to make sure everyone has access to coverage during this pandemic.

Testing and tracing:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that as New York City enters phase one, the state is launching a new focused testing strategy in the city to closely monitor the reopening. The state is aiming to perform approximately 35,000 tests per day in New York City. Additionally, the state is prioritizing 15 testing sites across the city for individuals who have participated in recent protests.  

PPE/medical supplies:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order that will help increase the availability of over-the-counter drugs, such as hand sanitizer, and medical devices, such as respirators, ventilators, and masks. The order allows the temporary manufacture of over-the-counter drugs and medical devices by firms not currently licensed by the California Department of Public Health. The order also defers renewal fees to address COVID-19 related economic hardship for manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, food and cosmetics that currently have California Department of Public Health licenses, registrations, and certificates.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed legislation banning price gouging of personal protective equipment.  
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that in anticipation of New York City’s reopening, the state is deploying over one million masks, as well as 25,000 gallons and 500,000 2 oz. bottles of sanitizer to the MTA. 

Worker support:

  • GUAM Gov. Leon GUERRERO announced Guam’s federally funded unemployment aid programs have been launched. 

Family support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order extending a number of waivers to allow for flexibility in the emergency placement of foster youth and ensure that foster youth have access to critical programs and technology by verifying foster care status for foster youth and wards of the juvenile court whose cases are pending.
  • NEW MEXICO’s Human Services Department announced that households receiving SNAP benefits will again receive the maximum amount for their household size for the month of June.

Child care/summer programs:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced additional resources for New Mexico families interested in summer youth programming. Through a collaboration between the Department of Cultural Affairs, Public Education Department, Early Childhood Education and Care Department, and Children, Youth & Families Department, the state has assembled a comprehensive array of supports for families – including a directory of available programs, online and print resources, child care resources and other materials. 

Homeowner/renter support:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order clarifying that a previous order, which suspends evictions and writs of recovery during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency, does not apply to situations where a tenant seriously endangers the safety of others – either residents or non-residents – on the property.

Public communications:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO had landmarks across the state lit in blue and gold and would project ‘New York Tough’ in honor of New Yorkers’ work to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus. 

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order permitting In-Home Supportive Services program caseworkers to continue their work caring for older adults and individuals with disabilities and allowing the California Department of Justice to develop procedures to perform name-based background checks to ensure there is no delay processing employment for critical sectors. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order suspending the involuntary discharge of nursing facility residents and residential care home residents who may be discharged to homeless shelters, except during emergency situations or with respect to COVID-19 recovered discharges.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed an executive order prohibiting price-gouging, extending a previous order.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS released a statement following President Trump’s visit to Maine, saying “I don’t care what the President says about me. I care what he does for Maine people. And that’s not very much.” Puritan Medical Products, the medical swab manufacturer that Trump toured, has said it will have to discard all of the swabs made in the background of President Donald Trump’s visit to the factory on Friday. The president did not wear a mask. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY and the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission today announced plans for a phased reopening of MVC facilities to the public following closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!