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Govs On Deck – March 24, 2021
It’s Wednesday and it’s time for today’s edition of “Govs on Deck”! In case anyone was wondering, USC busted my bracket. As a reminder, your favorite newsletter comes out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
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.
Tragedy in Boulder, CO:
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS released a statement following the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado saying “My heart is breaking as we watch this unspeakable event unfold in our Boulder community. “
- NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK met with United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and held a roundtable with State, local, and elected leaders. The governor released a statement saying that “the American Rescue Plan builds upon work in the Affordable Care Act – which was passed 11 years ago today – and Nevadans will benefit from expanded subsidies, lower premiums and access to applying for health insurance outside of the traditional Open Enrollment windows.”
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced expanded tax credits available through NY State of Health, New York’s health plan marketplace. The expansion will result in more New Yorkers being eligible for financial assistance and the further reduction in health insurance premiums in New York State. Through the American Rescue Plan, increased tax credits are available to more than 150,000 consumers who are already enrolled in coverage, further lowering health care costs. In addition, in June 2021, NY State of Health will for the first time expand tax credits to tens of thousands of additional New Yorkers with higher incomes who, before the American Rescue Plan, did not qualify for financial assistance to lower the cost of premiums.
- DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced that Delawareans aged 50+ can now register on the State of Delaware’s COVID-19 vaccine waiting list at vaccinerequest.delaware.gov.
- ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that the state is launching its 14th mass vaccination site in Forest Park.
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced Kansas has administered over one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and launched the “Roll Up Your Sleeves” campaign to share the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. This news comes on the heels of the governor’s announcement that the state will move into Phase 3 and Phase 4 on March 22, 2021.
- MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced Minnesota’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program is expanding with two temporary vaccination events in Marshall at the MERIT Center and Worthington at the Worthington Event Center.
- MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that Minnesota currently ranks first state in the nation for percentage of vaccine distributed administered.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of the “Roll Up Your Sleeve” Campaign to promote houses of worship of all faiths across the state to sign up as vaccination sites for their communities.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the special initiative to vaccinate teachers and school staff has reached another milestone with 100,000 educator vaccinations through last weekend. As of this morning, 102,161 educators have been vaccinated through 28 Intermediate Units.
- WASHINGTON’s request for a six-week federal mass vaccination program in Yakima Valley has been approved by FEMA. The site will be used fixed and mobile operations to administer more than 1,000 doses a day
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS signed legislation that allows dentists to administer COVID-19 and flu vaccines under certain circumstances, including completing an eight-hour course of study and training on vaccine storage, protocols, administration technique, emergency procedures, and record-keeping, and must have in effect liability insurance meeting certain requirements.
- NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that the state will continue to ease some COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order No. 204 will take effect March 26 at 5 pm is set to expire April 30 at 5 pm. The state’s general mask mandate remains in effect. The order affects capacity limits, mass gatherings sizes, and also fully lifts the restriction on the late-night sale and service of alcoholic beverages on bars, restaurants, and other establishments.
- OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced updates to county risk levels under the state’s public health framework. Effective March 26 through April 8, there will be two counties in the Extreme Risk level, six at High Risk, 14 at Moderate Risk, and 14 at Lower Risk.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to rise in Virginia, certain sports and entertainment venues may begin to operate with additional capacity and indoor and outdoor gathering limits will increase starting Thursday, April 1.
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars aided nearly 3,000 Kansas small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through nearly $57 million in Small Business Working Capital (SBWC) grants, some of the hardest-hit businesses in the state received vital support when they needed it most.
- OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN released a 10-Point Economic Recovery Plan for Oregon. The 10-Point Plan, which was developed with input from the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors and Racial Justice Council, builds on the work of local economic development districts across the state to help Oregon families and businesses. It provides a framework for economic recovery related to COVID-19 and wildfires, with a specific focus on strategically supporting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced $163 million in federal funding for 15 state projects and programs designed to reduce flood risk for communities throughout the state.
- MAINE’s Department of Education has partnered with T-Mobile to expand efforts to provide internet access and devices to Maine students through their Project 10Million initiative. If they choose to participate, the program provides mobile Wi-Fi hotspot devices directly to school districts for student use.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed legislation that protects the health and lives of Kentuckians with diabetes by capping the cost of insulin at $30 per 30-day supply for those with state-regulated health care plans or plans purchased on the marketplace exchange, state employees, and people under group plans.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed legislation that provides the Department of Insurance with a necessary tool to review the processes of insurers and remove any barriers to providing coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services in the same manner that coverage for medical and surgical services is provided.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed multiple bills that support and expand quality health care for Kentucky families. He vetoed five bills that would strip power from the executive branch, in some cases violating the Constitution or risking significant taxpayer dollars.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS will host the second of six virtual Badger Bounceback Live Sessions to discuss his 2021-23 budget proposal. As highlighted in a video message from the governor, the listening session will cover topics including expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare, protecting people who have pre-existing conditions, investing in mental health services, expanding BadgerCare, and investing in caregiving and long-term care for aging and older adults and people with disabilities.
- ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER signed four pieces of landmark legislation that expand economic opportunity in Illinois. The legislative package further advances the administration’s priorities of establishing strong economic policies and programs for all Illinoisans, with a heightened equity focus on communities and residents that have been disproportionately impacted by longstanding disinvestment. The legislation includes measures that aim to prevent employers from discriminating against people with criminal records, expand access to state contracts for minority-owned businesses, women, and individuals with disabilities, reduce interest on payday loans, and improve access to public housing.
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order to establish the Advantage Kansas Coordinating Council to improve Kansas’s workforce. Comprised of education and business leaders across the state, the AKCC will align education with state agencies and business needs to develop, retain, and attract talented Kansans into the workforce.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced six economic development projects in five Appalachian counties have been selected for $14.2 million in Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Program grants.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a record $52.5 million is now available through the Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program to help farmers across New York protect valuable and at-risk farmland. This is the highest level of funding being offered in the program’s 25-year history. In addition, for the first time, the program will distribute funds to each of the state’s 10 economic development regions, with $5 million being allocated to each region.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, and U.S. Congressman Andy Kim held a roundtable discussion on bias and hate crimes, one week after a shooting rampage in Atlanta, Georgia that left eight dead, including six Asian women. The roundtable took place as Attorney General Grewal and State Police Superintendent Patrick J. Callahan released preliminary data reporting 1,441 bias incidents in New Jersey in 2020 – the highest annual total ever – with dramatic increases in incidents targeting Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian and LGBTQ+ individuals.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM signed an executive order aimed at reducing Virginia’s reliance on single-use plastics, which pollute waterways, harm fish and wildlife, and take up space in landfills. The order puts the Commonwealth on a path to eliminate most single-use plastics at state agencies, colleges, and universities, imposing a near-term ban on several common, but unnecessary disposable plastics and requiring the phase-out of other items by 2025.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced more than $6 million in Homeless Reduction Grants through the Virginia Housing Trust Fund for 38 projects throughout the Commonwealth. The funding will advance 102 targeted efforts to reduce homelessness, which include rapid re-housing, support services for permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless, and the pre-development of permanent supportive housing projects for individuals or families experiencing recurring homelessness.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR signed 10 bills that prioritize the well-being and safety of all Kentuckians, with a special focus on protecting seniors and vulnerable children and families.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS has been selected as the chairman of the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed five bills, including a package of three bills bringing consistency to the rules of succession when a vacancy occurs in the office of a county district attorney.
Stay safe, wear a mask, and wash your hands. See you all on Friday!