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Govs On Deck – March 18, 2020

Govs on Deck

Good Wednesday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” Yup, you read that right – we’re going daily (for at least this week). 
Questions or suggestions? Send me a note at You can find us all on Twitter too – @A_Tall_Turner, @CEAmestoy, @JerusalemDemsas, and @andersonkayjay
A different sort of week:
Because of the quickly evolving situation, we are changing this newsletter to become a daily roundup of how our states are responding to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Every day this week, we will send an overview of the actions our governors have taken the day before. 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. 
Regional efforts: 

  • PENNSYLVANIA joined New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut came together to announce stricter regulations, including banning gatherings with more than 50 people and closing restaurants, casinos, gyms, and movie theaters across the three states. 

Small Business Administration request:

Business operations:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS ordered bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters, and casinos to close for 30 days.
  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE directed all bars, clubs, entertainment centers, theaters, and visitor attractions to close. Restaurants are limited to drive-thru, take out, pick-up, or delivery.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR ordered all public-facing businesses such as entertainment, hospitality and recreational facilities, community and recreation centers, gyms and exercise facilities, hair salons, nail salons, spas, concert venues, theaters, and sporting event facilities to close. 
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK ordered the closing of all casinos and non-essential public-facing businesses to close for 30 days. Restaurants are limited to drive-thru, take out, pick-up, or delivery.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY mandating the indefinite closure of all indoor portions of retail shopping malls and all indoor and outdoor places of public amusement. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER issues an executive order limiting all restaurants and bars to take-out or delivery options. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN ordered the closure of bars and restaurants for four weeks. Take out, drive-thru and delivery will still be allowed
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF urged non-essential businesses across the state to close for at least 14 days.


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order and legislation allowing Colorado’s political parties to amend certain rules and procedures to limit in-person contact during nominating assemblies and conventions.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR postponed the state’s Primary Election, which would have been held in May, to Tuesday, June 23, 2020. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN issued a statement in her capacity as co-chair of the DGA’s Every State, Every Vote emphasizing the need for secure, fair elections in the midst of the pandemic. 


  • CALIFORNIA Department of Education and Health and Human Services Agency issue guidance to help schools prepare to provide distance learning, meals, services for students with disabilities, and child care.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order closing all K-12 schools for the duration of the school year.
  • MICHIGAN Department of Education announced an online map to find locations where meals are being provided at no cost to children ages 0-18 during this period of school closure.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK, over the weekend, directed the closure of K-12 public schools for two weeks.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN extended K-12 school closure until April 28th and released additional guidance for public schools.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS extended the closure of all public and private K-12 schools indefinitely.

Public gatherings:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE directed that all social gatherings be limited to 10 people or less.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY directed state employees to stay home on administrative leave to minimize the additional risk of exposure to the virus for two weeks.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK, over the weekend, strongly recommended limiting public gatherings, particularly those of more than 50 people.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM issued a public health emergency order prohibiting more than 10 patrons in restaurants, fitness centers, and theaters.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order prohibiting mass gatherings of 10 people or more.

Health care:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM requested a federal government waiver to cover Medi-Cal recipients and expand telehealth options.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER will file a federal waiver to expand Medicaid coverage.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order temporarily lifting regulatory requirements on hospitals and care facilities and help ensure an adequate number of health care providers available to patients.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced that uninsured Montanans, who receive a recommendation from a provider, will be eligible to receive coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment.
  • NEVADA’s public health insurance marketplace is offering another enrollment period that will run through April 15. 

Worker support:

  • DELAWARE Department of Labor expanded unemployment benefits to workers affected by the pandemic. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR is taking steps to waive the waiting period for unemployment benefits.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order expanding unemployment eligibility for unemployment benefits.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order ensuring Minnesotans who are not able to work due to COVID-19 have access to Unemployment Insurance. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order providing paid leave for state employees who are not able to work for reasons related to COVID-19 and suspended the waiting period for insurance coverage for new employees. 
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced emergency rules to make unemployment benefits accessible to workers laid off due to COVID-19 and waive the typical one week waiting period before receiving benefits.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER issues an executive order lifting some restrictions on unemployment benefits.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM waived the one-week waiting period for unemployment and expanded eligibility.

Emergency response legislation:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed legislation providing $1.1B in emergency funding can now be used to increase hospital capacity, clean schools and protect those most vulnerable.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS will sign a package of emergency measures to respond to COVID-19 today including at least $11M in State funding and expanding authorities of State and local officials to allow them greater flexibility to respond to the virus and to provide support to Maine workers impacted by the virus. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed legislation allocating $200M toward an emergency and long-term grant program to respond to the needs of health care and long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE signed a package of five COVID-19 related bills into law today to boost the statewide response to the recent outbreak.

Price gouging:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS issued a declaration prohibiting certain necessities from being sold at unconscionable prices.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA  Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19.
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an executive order to ease restrictions on commercial drivers engaged in support of emergency relief efforts.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER signed an emergency declaration enabling haulers to get free Illinois Department of Transportation overweight trucking permits for the movement of emergency relief supplies.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY issued two executive orders suspending utility disconnects until April 15. This directive covers all electrical, natural gas, water, and telecommunications utilities.   
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order temporarily prohibit evictions and foreclosures across the state in an effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order exempting vehicles and drivers providing direct assistance for emergency relief efforts from certain regulations including provisions on weight and hours of service.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order allowing Veterans Homes to protect residents and staff by temporarily restricting visitors,
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK ordered the suspension of nursing home visits, except for certain compassionate care situations.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY requested the support of the United States military and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist New Jersey’s efforts to expand hospital and intensive care unit capacity in preparation for the continued spread of COVID-19.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!