Govs On Deck – May 14, 2020

Govs on Deck

Good Thursday 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.
Federal action:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS met with President Trump to advocate for federal funding and resources to help Colorado’s communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced that the state of Michigan would participate in the federal Unemployment Insurance Agency Work Share program to help offset budget implications as a result of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this program, impacted state employees will take two temporary layoff days per pay period beginning Sunday, May 17th until July 25th resulting in up to $80 million in decreased wage costs.

Emergency declarations:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS signed a proclamation extending Maine’s state of civil emergency for thirty days through June 11th. This will be the second extension of the State of Civil Emergency.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced that New Mexico’s emergency public health order, set to expire May 15, will be extended through May 31 and modified to allow most retailers to operate at 25 percent of their maximum occupancy as determined by fire code.

Stay at home orders:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that the state’s stay at home order will be allowed to expire on Monday. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS denounced the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ruling ending his safer at home order. 

Reopening efforts:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that some small businesses and retailers can open their doors to customers Monday, as long as they have a plan to safeguard employees and customers through social distancing. Bars, restaurants, barbershops, and salons could open as early as June 1 if they meet safe opening plans that will be devised later this month by state health officials.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the North Country has met all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state’s regional phased reopening plan when NYS on PAUSE orders expire on May 15th, joining the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley Regions. If the trend continues, these four regions can begin opening businesses for phase one.

Public gatherings:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced that under a modified emergency public health order, starting Saturday, houses of worship may operate at 10 percent occupancy and additional state parks and certain outdoor recreation guides will reopen with COVID-Safe Practices.


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the U.S. Department of Education has approved Pennsylvania’s application for $523.8 million in one-time federal emergency funds to help schools respond to COVID-19 impacts.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that Microsoft has donated another 500 new laptops to support the state’s education needs. These laptops will go to schools and districts with an identified need for devices, as well as to Rhode Island College, and to support adult learners.

Business operations:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order permitting the resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail businesses, and car gatherings for the purpose of drive-through and drive-in events. The construction and non-essential retail provisions will take effect on Monday, May 18, while the car gatherings provision will take effect immediately.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced that under a modified emergency public health order, starting Saturday, all retailers may operate according to COVID-Safe Practices at 25 percent fire code occupancy. Non-essential businesses (other than retailers; such as office spaces, call centers) generally may operate according to CSPs at up to 25 percent of pre-crisis staffing levels. All employees should continue to work from home wherever possible. Locations and services where high-intensity contact is unavoidable will remain closed. 
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that the state will be distributing 500,000 masks and disinfectant solution to Rhode Island businesses through chambers of commerce and industry associations. These supplies will be available to small businesses with 50 or fewer employees, including retailers, restaurants, grocery stores, manufacturers, and others.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that, thanks to a donation from the Microsoft Corporation, Commerce RI will be distributing 500 laptops to Rhode Island small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. The state will prioritize small businesses that are owned by people of color, women, veterans, or lower/moderate income individuals. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued guidance for resuming personal services and professional services for counties granted variance under the Safe Start Phase 2 recovery plan laid out last week. Personal services include cosmetologists, hair stylists, barbers, estheticians, nail salon workers, and tattoo artists, among others. Professional services include office-based occupations like accountants and attorneys.

Health care:

  • NEVADA’s State Dental Officer released a multifaceted and comprehensive plan to resume non-emergency dental procedures. The plan has been approved by the Governors’ Medical Advisory Team and adopted as regulation by the Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced departmental actions from the Department of Banking and Insurance, Department of Health, Department of Human Services, and Department of Treasury to increase insurance coverage to cover expanded testing access and related services for COVID-19.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced 12 more counties are now eligible to resume elective surgeries. The state is allowing elective outpatient treatments to resume in counties and hospitals without significant risk of COVID-19 surge in the near term. A total of 47 counties can now resume elective surgeries.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the State Department of Health will host a statewide webinar today for all healthcare providers to discuss the symptoms, testing, and care of reported inflammatory disease in children related to COVID-19.

Testing and tracing:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT applauded an announcement made by CVS Health that the company is opening 12 new COVID-19 test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations in Connecticut.
  • HAWAII’s Department of Health is partnering with the University of Hawaiʻi to create a program to train personnel and community health workers to support DOH in conducting COVID-19 contact tracing. Health experts say extensive contact tracing is a key component to prevent the spread of the virus while relaxing stay-at-home-orders and restarting Hawai‘i’s economy.
  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Veterans’ Affairs announced that all state veteran’s home residents and employees have been tested for COVID-19.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the results of the state’s antibody testing survey of 2,750 members of the New York State Police Show 3.1 percent of the members have COVID-19 antibodies. Additionally, results of the state’s antibody testing survey of approximately 3,000 members of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision show 7.5 percent of members have COVID-19 antibodies. These results are compared to 12.3 percent of the general population in Upstate New York that tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that the state launched a new testing site at the Rhode Island Free Clinic in Providence and tripled the testing capacity in Woonsocket. The state has also added two more locations to do diagnostic testing and serology testing on randomly selected Rhode Islanders to help gauge the prevalence of COVID-19. 

PPE/medical supplies:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM’s modified public health emergency requires that everyone wear face coverings in public beginning Saturday. 

Family support:

  • NEW JERSEY’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved an additional $300,000 in funding support for various food services in Atlantic City in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The food distribution is a collaboration between the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, CRDA, the City of Atlantic City, AFL-CIO, Local 54, and other private donors. This is a first-of-its-kind partnership between State and local governments, the casino industry, and union representatives.

Child Care:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced that summer youth programs will be allowed with modifications, limits, and additional requirements, including daily temperature checks and enhanced cleaning. In-person summer programs and sports camps will be restricted to 5:1 child to adult ratios and activities must maintain 6-foot distancing between participants. 

Task forces/volunteer efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that members of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group’s business committee will hold a roundtable discussion this morning. regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the state’s business community.

Other efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order authorizing OPM to direct DSS to provide Coronavirus Relief Fund distributions to nursing home facilities, to direct DSS to provide Coronavirus Relief Fund distributions to COVID recovery facilities and alternate COVID recovery facilities, and authorizing additional COVID-19 related hardship relief funding under the Coronavirus Relief Fund to nursing home facilities. Coronavirus Relief Fund distribution determinations not subject to rehearing or appeal
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the state will be more inclusive of LGBTQ Pennsylvanians by announcing ways that the community will be counted in COVID-19 data collection.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a directive to executive and small cabinet agencies today to freeze all hiring, personal service contracts and equipment purchases. The directive aims to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Washington’s economy and financial outlook.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!