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Govs On Deck – May 11, 2020

Govs on Deck

Good Monday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” We’re still here, we’re still daily, and we hope you are all still safe and healthy.
Questions or suggestions? Send me a note at You can find us all on Twitter too – @A_Tall_Turner@CEAmestoy@JerusalemDemsas, and @andersonkayjay.
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 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Want more examples? Send me an email and I can help you track down answers.
Emergency declarations:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY extended his state of emergency through May 31st.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK declared a state of fiscal emergency arising from the strain the COVID-19 pandemic has put on public services in the State of Nevada. 

Reopening plans: 

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that his administration has released documents detailing specific rules that eligible businesses falling under phase 1 of Connecticut’s reopening plans must follow. The first phase – which includes restaurants; offices; hair salons and barbershops; retail stores; and outdoor museums and zoos – is currently planned to take effect beginning May 20. The decision to reopen during this phase rests with each individual business owner – they are not required to open if they do not choose, however if they do, they must follow the rules as prescribed. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY extended June 1st as the target date for Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR outlined the requirements to begin reopening major segments of the economy and society including houses of worship, manufacturing, construction, government offices and agencies, retail and funeral services. Government offices and agencies can open on May 18 and funeral homes can open on May 20.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced a rural reopening plan aimed at reopening certain additional businesses in rural Maine over the course of the next two weeks with added health and safety guidelines released by the administration. Under the plan, retail stores and restaurants will be permitted to open in-store and some dine-in service, respectively – with enhanced safety precautions – in counties where community transmission is not present. Remote campsites as well as sporting camps, which provide access to wilderness activities are also permitted to open with public health safeguards in these same counties only to Maine residents or those who have completed the 14 day quarantine.
  • NEVADA’s Health Response Center, in coordination with the Local Empowerment Advisory Panel, released industry-specific guidance for Phase 1 reopening in alignment with the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO outlined criteria for reopening based on seven key guidelines. As on May 15th, certain low-risk businesses and recreational activities will be allowed to reopen statewide. These include landscaping and gardening, outdoor, low-risk recreational activities like tennis, and drive-in movie theaters
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced 13 Pennsylvania counties will move to the yellow phase of reopening. on Friday, May 15th. The counties join the 24 counties that moved into the yellow phase of reopening on May 8th.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM signed an executive order and presented a detailed framework for the first phase of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions. The Phase One guidelines will be implemented when the data meets the public health criteria outlined by the Commonwealth. The new executive order modifies previous public health guidance and establishes guidelines for Phase One. Under Phase One, the Commonwealth will move to a Safer at Home strategy.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE released additional guidance today for businesses and services under Safe Start Phase 1, including the ability for retail outlets to provide curbside service, pet walking and landscaping.

Public gatherings:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR releases guidance for houses of worship on how to more safely hold in-person worship services.


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order requiring that each county’s elections officials send vote-by-mail ballots for the November 3, 2020 General Election to all registered voters. Californians who may need access to in-person voting opportunities – including individuals with disabilities, individuals who speak languages other than English, individuals experiencing homelessness, and others – will still be able to access in-person voting opportunities 


  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY issued a modification to his emergency declaration suspending end-of-year evaluations for educators, professional development requirements and assessments due to the suspension of the school year. The modification holds Delaware’s students and educators harmless for the shortened school year, also waiving the required learning hours for students and teacher days.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the members of New York’s Reimagine Education Advisory Council—made up of educators, students, parents and education leaders— to help districts reimagine schools as they prepare to reopen while protecting health and safety, how virtual learning can bridge the gap, and supplement face to face education when schools reopen. 
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that Summer, a social enterprise that assists student loan borrowers, is partnering with Rhode Island to provide free student loan assistance for all residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Business operations:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced a new initiative, Can Do Colorado, that will provide guidance and tips to businesses about increasing teleworking capabilities, and highlight businesses that are being creative and going above and beyond to run their businesses safely and remotely. 
  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Economic and Community Development has committed an additional $3 million to the COVID-19 Business Response Program, which provides financial relief to minority-owned and women-owned small businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO proposed the “Americans First Law” which states that a corporation cannot be eligible to receive government funding if it does not rehire the same number of employees that the corporation had before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that ethnically diverse micro-businesses that have suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to receive grants of $2,000 each under a new state program. The $2 million initiative is focused on supporting ethnically diverse micro-businesses that have not received SBA Paycheck Protection Program or state disaster relief.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced best practices and safety tips for businesses looking to keep workers, customers, and families safe while “turning the dial” toward reopening. The brochures include general guidelines for all businesses to follow as well as industry-specific advice, such as for restaurants, retailers, manufacturers, professional offices, farmers, manufacturers, builders, hotel and motel operators, barbers, personal care services and other fields.

Health care:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced two new American Red Cross convalescent plasma collection sites in northern New Jersey. In late March, the U.S. FDA announced a new initiative to collect plasma from those who have recovered from novel coronavirus to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced New York State is notifying 49 other states across the country of emerging cases of COVID-related illness in children. The state is currently investigating 85 reported cases in New York where children – predominantly school-aged – are experiencing symptoms similar to an atypical Kawasaki disease or a toxic shock-like syndrome possibly due to COVID-19. The illness has taken the lives of three young New Yorkers and an additional two deaths are currently under investigation.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the Department of Health and Human Services is distributing a promising treatment called Remdesivir that has been shown to help patients recover more quickly. 

Testing and tracing:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS outlined a plan for COVID-19 testing and tracking that would hire as many as 700 Louisianans to serve as “contact tracers,” interviewing and advising people who have tested positive to determine who in their lives could also be at risk. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced that New Jersey’s Community Based Testing Sites located at Bergen Community College and PNC Bank Arts Center will expand access to testing for COVID-19. The two testing locations will be open to asymptomatic New Jersey residents. In addition to continued testing for symptomatic residents, testing will be prioritized for asymptomatic health care workers and first responders, personnel in congregate living settings, and New Jersey residents who have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO issued an executive order mandating that all nursing homes and adult care facilities test all personnel for COVID-19 two times per week and report any positive test results to the State Department of Health by the next day. The order also mandates that hospitals cannot discharge a patient to a nursing home unless that patient tests negative for COVID-19. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of a new initiative to expand access to testing in low-income communities and communities of color. The state is partnering with Northwell Health to establish an initial 24 temporary testing sites at churches in predominantly minority communities in downstate New York to build on the state’s network of downstate testing sites.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the preliminary results of the state’s antibody testing survey of more than 1,300 transit workers in the New York City region show 14.2 percent have COVID-19 antibodies, compared to 19.9 percent of the general population in New York City.

PPE/medical supplies:

  • CONNECTICUT is continuing to distribute free face coverings to essential small businesses with fewer than 50 employees through a partnership with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and its affiliate CONNSTEP. 

Worker support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced the launch of “Connect to Care Jobs” through the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, in partnership with ADvancing States, to match health care job seekers with immediate openings in residential care settings. 
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK signed an emergency directive to provide flexibility for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation to hire non-merit, or contracted, staff to help process unemployment insurance claims. 

Family support:

  • RHODE ISLAND’s Congressional delegation announced that Farm Fresh Rhode Island has been approved by USDA for the Farmers to Families Food Box program. Farm Fresh RI’s Market Mobile will work with local farms to create over 75,000 “Farmers to Families Food Boxes” containing fresh, local vegetables, fruit, milk, yogurt, and cheeses in 2020 to be delivered weekly to Rhode Islanders in need. 

Relief funding:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ called on the Minnesota Legislature to replenish and extend the Minnesota COVID-19 fund. On March 19th, the governor signed into law the $200 million fund to provide resources to protect Minnesotans from COVID-19 and maintain state government operations during this crisis. Currently, $65 million remains in the fund, which is currently set to expire on May 11th. 

Task forces/volunteer efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT is launching the Reopen Connecticut Small Business Implementation Task Force that will provide support to small businesses on how to implement these new regulations.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state and its nonprofit partners are continuing to seek volunteers willing to help communities respond to the COVID-10 crisis. The state’s volunteer recruitment effort is being expanded to bolster the ranks of volunteers needed at nonprofits that offer support to children and adults in programs for intellectual disabilities and behavioral health settings, as well as organizations that support senior citizens.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced the formation of the Restart and Recovery Advisory Council, a statewide council of leaders to advise on New Jersey’s restart and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an executive extending some critical deadlines that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order extending the temporary suspension of certain statutes to provide an extension for filing and remitting state severance tax until May 15th. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order amending and extending a previous order, temporarily suspending certain regulatory statutes related to the Colorado Department of Human Services , including Division of Youth Services centers, and public and private behavioral health facilities, to enable CDHS to respond to the pandemic and undertake efforts to prevent or contain the spread of COVID-19 in CDHS facilities.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order temporarily extending the expiration of state identification cards, driver’s licenses and operator endorsements, as well as suspending penalties for vehicle registration violations, and protecting Michigan drivers. The order also ensures that automobile insurance will continue to protect and cover Michigan drivers.
  • NEW MEXICO’s “All Together NM Fund” will award $750,000 for grants to help New Mexico’s smallest businesses survive the pandemic. The funding will be divided among four New Mexico nonprofit organizations that will award and administer grants of up to $5,000 for businesses with five employees or fewer.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state will extend the window for victims to file otherwise time-barred cases under the Child Victims Act for an additional five months until January 14, 2021.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!