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Govs On Deck – March 1, 2021

Govs on Deck

Guys, it’s March. That’s wild. It’s also Monday (less wild) so that means another edition of “Govs on Deck!” As a reminder, your favorite newsletter comes out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 


As always, questions or suggestions? Send me a note at amestoy@dga.net. You can find us all on Twitter too – @A_Tall_Turner@CEAmestoy@SamNewton, and @andersonkayjay.


We want this to be helpful, so let us 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:


Vaccine distribution:


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM highlighted the state’s efforts to bolster COVID-19 vaccination in the Central Valley’s disproportionately impacted communities, including increased vaccine allocations, 11 new vaccination sites in the region, and an additional 34,000 doses – on top of existing county allocations – to vaccinate food and agricultural workers through the deployment of mobile teams. The governor also announced that California has expanded its statewide network of community-based organizations providing COVID outreach and education – in total, $52.7 million has supported 337 community-based organizations throughout California.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that 90% of frontline healthcare workers who have stepped up to treat their fellow Coloradans have received both doses of the vaccine. Nearly all residents and staff in long-term care facilities across the state have been vaccinated. The state expects the program to be complete and for these individuals to be fully vaccinated in the next 10 days.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced Colorado’s efforts to move into Phase 1B3 of the vaccine prioritization plan, which now includes current agriculture and grocery store workers, Coloradans aged 60 and older, and Coloradans aged 16-59 with two or more comorbidities. Phase 1B3 will begin on March 5th. In late March Coloradans aged 50 and up will be able to get the vaccine, along with those in student-facing roles in higher education and other frontline workers, including restaurant and food service workers, bus drivers, U.S Postal Service workers, and manufacturing workers. The date of vaccinations for this group is set for late March, and dependent on vaccine supply.
  • NEVADA’s Department of Health and Human Services announced the MTX/Salesforce Vaccine Management tool using a Salesforce platform is now live and being used to support vaccination efforts.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY and White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Chair Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith announced the second phase of a community-based vaccination partnership between the Murphy Administration and Biden Administration to provide equitable access of the COVID-19 vaccine to underserved communities throughout New Jersey. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the State will partner with local health departments to include vaccination sites for the 65+ population across New York State. These sites will be in partnership with local health departments and, where needed, will provide assistance to New Yorkers with transportation to and from the vaccination facilities and special support for paperwork regarding their vaccination. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced the prioritization for the next groups of Oregonians to be included in Oregon’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution schedule, including Oregonians with underlying health conditions and frontline workers. Additionally, the governor announced that Oregon will be receiving vaccination support through new federal staff and resources from FEMA.


Reopening efforts:


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF revised mitigations restrictions including increasing the occupancy limits for indoor events to allow for 15% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size; revising the maximum occupancy limits for outdoor events to allow for 20% of maximum occupancy, regardless of venue size; and eliminating out-of-state travel restrictions. 


Business support:


  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed legislation that will deliver $200 million in grants to support New Mexico businesses to ease the hiring or rehiring of employees.


Schools and students:


  • NEVADA’s Health Response Center highlighted the release of the State of Nevada Support of Education: COVID-19 Recovery and Response Report- Version 1 developed by the Nevada Department of Education in coordination with other State leaders. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER vetoed legislation pushing for school reopening. The governor said that while he has “strongly urged all schools to open safely to in-person instruction” the bill, as written, fails by allowing “ students in middle and high school to go back into the classroom in violation of NC Department of Health and Human Services and CDC health guidelines” and by hindering “local and state officials from protecting students and teachers during an emergency.”


Worker support:


  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER signed legislation that extends worker compensation benefits until June 30, 2021, for first responders and frontline essential workers who were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 through their job. 


Housing support:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order providing relief to public utility customers affected by COVID-19 and an order related to protections provided to Colorado tenants from late fees due to COVID-19.  


Beyond COVID-19 


Severe weather:


  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS is asking President Biden to declare a major disaster for Louisiana due to the recent severe winter weather event last month. 


Reproductive rights:


  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed legislation repealing a 1969 state statute that criminalized abortion.


Criminal justice reform:


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed 310 pardons, 69 of which were part of the Expedited Review Program for Non-Violent Marijuana-Related Offenses, a program introduced by the Board of Pardons and authorized by Lt. Governor John Fetterman in September 2019 to speed up the pardons’ application process for people with nonviolent marijuana possession or paraphernalia convictions.


Community development:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the City of New London and the Ørsted/Eversource Joint Venture have signed a Host Community Agreement to facilitate the redevelopment of State Pier into a modern, heavy-lift facility capable of supporting offshore wind turbine staging and assembly and a broader range of cargo businesses. 


Workforce development:


  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice are celebrating the first graduating class from the department’s accredited barber and cosmetology program. 


Elections:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he has scheduled Tuesday, April 13, 2021, as the date to hold a special election to fill a vacancy for state representative in the 112th Assembly District of the Connecticut House of Representatives.


Other efforts:


  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM unveiled ONE Virginia, a first-in-the-nation statewide strategic plan to advance visible diversity, equity, and inclusion across state government.


Stay safe, wear a mask, and wash your hands. See you all on Wednesday!