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Govs On Deck – March 27, 2020

Govs on Deck

Good Friday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” Yup, you read that right – we’re still daily.
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:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK issued a directive requiring Montanans to stay home and temporarily closes all nonessential businesses and operations. The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 28 and lasts through April 10th.  

Federal requests:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK requested a waiver from the federal government to streamline frontline health care providers’ ability to access much-needed health services available through Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP to respond to COVID-19.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM has formally requested that the U.S. Defense Department deploy a staffed 248-bed U.S. Army combat support hospital to Albuquerque.

Presidential Major Disaster Declaration:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT requested a statewide Presidential Major Disaster Declaration.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER requested a statewide Presidential Major Disaster Declaration.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that his request for a statewide Major Disaster Declaration was approved by President Trump. 

Public gatherings: 

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order limiting all social and recreational gathering to no more than five people. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR asked mayors and county judge-executives today to monitor people gathering in public places such as parks and stop them if people are not practicing social distancing and risking the spread of COVID-19.
  • MAINE announced the closure of some coastal state parks to limit overcrowding. 

Business operations:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order requiring all retail operations still open to take steps to ensure customers maintain six feet of distance, limit entrance of customers or third party delivery personnel, and use touchless payment options when reasonably practicable. The order also suspends the five cent tax on plastic bags. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY expanded the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program to include personal care services businesses as eligible for financial relief. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced the creation of the Louisiana Economic Development help desk that provides email and hotline support for Louisiana businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • NEW JERSEY’s Economic Development Authority Board approved a suite of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship including a grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, and support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Finance Institutions.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced a new program providing free tech support via teleconference for small businesses transfering to remote work. 


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed legislation moving the state’s primary election to June 2nd and made other changes to the election day processes.


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order suspending all school testing assessments for the 2019 – 2020 academic year. 
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM is expected to extend the closure of schools in the state. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed legislation waiving the 180-day requirement for schools to be in session, provides for continuity of education plans, ensures school employees are paid during the closure, and provides the Secretary of Education with authority to waive student teacher and standardized assessments.

Health care:

  • COLORADO will begin testing health care workers and first responders for the new coronavirus.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHIMTER signed an executive order allowing pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of prescriptions for up to 60 days’ worth of supply for patients and require insurers to cover these emergency refills.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state has received significant donations from a number of major corporations, philanthropic organizations and celebrities to help increase the state’s supply capacity.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the creation of a new web portal that will expedite the procurement of critical medical supplies for Pennsylvania’s health care system.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed legislation providing $50M to purchase medical equipment and supplies for hospitals, nursing facilities and emergency medical services.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS launched an initiative designed to get more personal protective equipment to those working on the frontlines. Wisconsinites can now go to to either donate or sell large quantities of PPE to the State of Wisconsin.

Child care / child support:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced statewide efforts by his Children’s Cabinet to drive resources to the child care providers that are critical to the state’s emergency response. Six Minnesota Initiative Foundations will launch an Emergency Child Care Grant Program to provide financial support to licensed child care providers in Greater Minnesota serving families of essential workers needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that parents who need food assistance for their children can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. The texting service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877.

Worker support:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order suspending the 21-month limit of the receipt of Temporary Family Assistance. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that the Department of Employment Security is taking additional steps to address the increase in unemployment filings, including scheduling application days based on last name. 
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced the extension of the state income tax payment deadline to July 15th. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order directing temporary expansion in unemployment eligibility and cost-sharing. 
  • NEW JERSEY’s Human Services announced an additional $70M in extra NJ SNAP benefits. SNAP recipients will receive an extra benefit payment on Sunday and their benefits will be higher in April to help address critical food needs.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed legislation waiving certain requirements for unemployment eligibility.

Response funds:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that Help Colorado Now, a relief fund set up last week to support Coloradans, is now accepting grant applications. The fun has raised $7.7 million dollars from nearly 4,000 individuals, foundations and companies since the fund launched. More than 9,000 volunteers including 2,000 health care volunteers have signed up to date.
  • ILLINOIS  Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the launch of the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF), in partnership with the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, a new statewide fundraising effort to support nonprofit organizations serving those whose lives have been upended by this pandemic.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced the launch of, a new resource, which will be updated regularly, outlines four predominate ways Maine people can address immediate needs: 1) financial assistance; 2) health care and medical assistance; 3) small business assistance; and 4) connections with family, friends, and neighbors. 
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced a new fund established by the New Mexico Coalition of Community Foundations to help New Mexico respond to and eventually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order allowing certain State agencies to promulgate and issue emergency rules extending the expiration date for certain licenses and other documents to limit in-person renewals.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced a new program to provide emergency housing assistance to renters affected by shutdowns, closures, layoffs, reduced work hours, or unpaid leave due to the COVID-19 health crisis. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS signed an executive order suspending some restrictions on rehiring public employees including public safety and first responders. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced the launch of a new website for reporting and donating personal protective equipment inventory. 
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO is mandating that any individual traveling to the state from New York state self-quarantine for 14 days. 
  • VIRGINIA’s Department of Transportation is displaying COVID-19 health safety messages on their changeable message signs.
  • WISCONSIN is extending overweight permits for truckers hauling groceries. Permits were set to expire March 28th. 

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!