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Govs On Deck – March 20, 2020

Govs on Deck

Good Friday 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.
Stay home orders:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued a stay-at-home order for the entire state. The order is in place until further notice. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO ordered all employees of non-essential business to remain home. 

Federal requests:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM has sent a letter to President Trump requesting the immediate deployment of the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to the Port of Los Angeles through September 1, 2020.
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM sent a letter today to Congressional leadership requesting additional federal assistance to supplement California’s efforts.
  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Healthcare and Family Services has filed a waiver with the federal government to remove administrative barriers for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program to increase access to telehealth and the number of health care providers that can screen patients, allow 90-day prescription supplies without prior authorization and early refills, as well as several other items.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER sent a letter to President Trump requesting federal funding for the use of Michigan’s National Guard to be dedicated to COVID-19 response and support. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER sent a letter to President Trump to ask for key waivers that will allow North Carolina to adapt federal food and healthcare programs to better serve North Carolinians.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE sent a letter to President Trump requesting that the federal government dispatch the U.S.S. Mercy to the Puget Sound region.

Small Business Administration request:

Business operations:

  • COLORADO’s Department of Public Health and Environment issued an updated public health order closing bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms and casinos to include nonessential personal services facilities, horse track and off-track betting facilities statewide. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT ordered the temporary closure of barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors, and related businesses.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER directed the Department of Revenue to defer sales tax payments for small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced measures to close dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses and other activities that pose enhanced health risk. The closure runs through March 27th.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations.


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT ordered that the state’s April 28th presidential primary be moved to June 2nd.  
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order temporarily changing certain election procedures and changing the date of upcoming elections. Among these changes are ordering all elections scheduled for May 12th to be conducted solely via vote-by-mail ballots. 


  • HAWAII’s Department of Education announced it will keep all public schools closed through April 6th. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed legislation allowing local school boards to receive waivers for the required schools hours per school year. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS updated the state’s emergency proclamation to suspend requirements related to testing administration, school and district accountability, teacher evaluation, student attendance, teacher work days, and charter school application and enrollment.

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order today temporarily suspending elective and non-essential surgeries and procedures to preserve important medical equipment. The order runs from March 23rd to April 14th.  
  • COLORADO Division of Insurance and Connect for Health Colorado announced it will establish a special enrollment period running through April 3rd for uninsured Coloradans to get health insurance.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order expanding telehealth services for residents. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER significantly relaxed rules around telemedicine for both Medicaid and private insurers.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS updated the state’s emergency proclamation to suspend some laboratory requirements to speed the process of coronavirus testing.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order ordering health care providers to postpone elective surgeries and procedures, including non-emergent elective dental procedures.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation to expand access to telehealth services and to allow professional and occupational licensing boards to expedite licensure of out-of-state professionals.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced further actions to increase access to health care, including for those covered by Medicaid. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE ordered all elective surgeries and dental services to halt. 

Child care:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY issued an executive order allowing flexibility to provide child care options for Delaware families, health care workers.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR issued interim guidance for establishing partnerships between approved health care facilities and limited-duration child care programs to support child care for employees of health care entities, first responders, corrections officers and Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) workers.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM directed the Department of Social Services to modify Virginia’s Child Care Subsidy program to increase support and flexibility for enrolled families and providers. 

Worker support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed legislation extending unemployment eligibility for workers who started to file unemployment insurance claims on or after January 1, 2020. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY established the Hospitality Industry Relief Emergency (HIRE) Fund to provide bridge loans for Kansas’ hospitality sector during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced an extension to the income and payroll tax filing deadline. 

Emergency response legislation:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation allowing state business and legislative sessions to be conducted at locations other than Trenton. 

Other efforts:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed legislation expanding the authority of the judicial branch, permitting the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to issue an order extending statutory deadlines or time limitations on court proceedings and authorize video conferencing.
  • MONTANA’s Department of Corrections suspended visitation at all facilities until further notice. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation that explicitly provides authority to the Governor to issue an executive order declaring a moratorium on removing individuals from their homes pursuant to an eviction or foreclosure proceeding.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM issued recommendations to explore proactive measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 within correctional facilities.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!