Can you donate now to join our fight?

We just launched the Power to Appoint Fund to highlight the important role Dem Govs play to ensure integrity in our country’s judicial process and protect fundamental freedoms. Your support will ensure we can make crucial investments in key states and protect our democracy. Please don’t wait: rush your gift to elect Democratic governors! >>>

Govs On Deck – May 15, 2020

Govs on Deck

Hey, everyone! Guess what? It’s Friday! 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 requests:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that President Trump has expedited $3.9 billion in funding for the MTA at the request of the governor. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM urged the federal government to implement additional screening and testing for COVID-19 in two federally-run detention centers in Virginia, the Farmville Detention Center and the Caroline County Detention Center, and offered state support to do so.

Reopening efforts:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced that the state will lift restrictions on Delaware beaches and community pools on Friday, May 22, subject to strict social distancing requirements and other restrictions. Ice cream shops and trucks will reopen with restrictions effective this evening.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order which establishes a new phase to the “Ad Astra: Plan to Reopen Kansas.” The new “1.5” Phase, effective May 18th, continues reopening efforts while preserving some data-driven restrictions necessary to prevent community transmission of COVID-19.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS formally declared that Louisiana will enter into Phase One of its Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana today, when the Stay at Home order will be lifted and more businesses will be allowed to open with strict social distancing, enhanced sanitation and required masks for employees helping the public.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order allowing beaches, boardwalks, lakes, and lakeshores to remain open with social distancing measures in place starting Friday, May 22nd.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that as of today, Central New York has met all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state’s regional phased reopening plan when NYS on PAUSE orders expire today. This is the fifth region to meet the required metrics. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary announced that data and trends show that North Carolina remains stable nearly one week into Phase 1. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that 28 of the 33 counties that applied to reopen today were approved. These counties can begin entering Phase I of reopening under her framework for building a safe and strong Oregon after demonstrating that they met all of Oregon’s safety and preparedness prerequisites for reopening, as well as a declining prevalence of COVID-19.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF’s “yellow phase” orders were amended to include 13 counties moving to the yellow phase today. The 13 counties join 24 counties that moved into the yellow phase on May 8th. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Accomack County and the City of Richmond would delay implementation of Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease restrictions on certain business operations. Both the City of Richmond and Accomack County requested these extensions and will enter Phase One no earlier than midnight on Thursday, May 28th.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced that counties with a population of less than 75,000 that have not had a new case of COVID-19 in the past three weeks can apply for a variance to move to Phase 2 of “Safe Start” before other parts of the state. County variance applications will be approved or denied by the secretary of the Department of Health. Eight counties have received the variance.

Public gatherings:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that beginning May 22, groups of 10 people or fewer may gather. The state’s travel ban will expire the same day.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued guidance clarifying Phase 1 outdoor recreation requirements and set forth outdoor recreation guidance for Phase 2.


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order enacting procedure for local appointments and elections requiring in-person voting.


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state is receiving $111 million in federal coronavirus relief aid for the state’s school districts that will be used to support continued learning and address educational disruptions due to the global pandemic.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet has been awarded more than $43.7 million from the CARES Act for education programs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced his priorities for $91 million in federal funding Minnesota received through the CARES Act, including increasing student access to technology and summer school; supporting child care and programs providing care to workers in critical businesses; providing financial support and flexibility to child care providers; and helping working families experiencing financial losses due to COVID-19. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order authorizing and directing the Commissioner of Education to provide a safe and effective summer learning environment for Minnesota’s students. Minnesota’s public school districts and charter schools will have the option to offer summer learning through a hybrid model of distance learning and in-school learning or to continue distance learning.

Business operations:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ administration announced that effective immediately, Maine lodging providers can begin accepting future reservations for stays with an arrival date of June 1st and beyond for Maine residents and for non-residents who comply with the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement.

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order directing the continued temporary suspension of certain statutes and rules to expand the health care workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order establishing procedures in long-term care facilities to protect the health and safety of both employees and residents.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order expanding telehealth options for Michiganders by authorizing and encouraging health care providers to use these services when appropriate and after getting consent from patients.  
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced New York has issued first-in-the-nation criteria to healthcare professionals establishing an interim case definition for COVID-related inflammatory illness in children. The criteria establish a new name for the syndrome – pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome – and a definition of what symptoms healthcare providers should look for. Case definitions also help standardize tracking and reporting and can help ensure a better health outcome. New York is currently investigating 110 reported cases in the state.

Testing and tracing:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that, in partnership with Kroger, new testing locations would open in Richmond, Mayfield, Louisville, and Hartford next week.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that DHHS now has a list of testing locations on the DHHS website. The list includes more than 200 sample collection sites in 54 counties, with more being added as they are verified.
  • NORTH CAROLINA’s Department of Public Safety announced that North Carolina prison, probation, and juvenile justice employees can go to a chain of urgent care centers for free COVID-19 tests.

PPE/medical supplies:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced an initial $3 million in grants are available to businesses to manufacture emergency medical supplies and equipment.

Family support:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced he is directing $5 million in federal CARES Act funds to expand assistance to thousands of Montanans struggling to afford their home energy needs due to financial strain caused by COVID-19.  

Child Care:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order continuing the expanded access and capacity for disaster relief child care services, giving priority to essential workers, until June 10th.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that state plans to allow summer camps and other youth summer programs to operate in person—under new, strict regulations—starting June 29th. A full list of regulations and guidance will be available on next week.

Worker support:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that the state has launched Get Hired Illinois – a new portal designed to connect workers with available job and career training opportunities across the state of Illinois. The new Get Hired portal blends IDES and DCEO resources to provide a one-stop-shop for both job seekers and employers—providing information on job opportunities as well as unemployment resources. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that beginning in June, Illinois residents will have free access to online workforce development courses via a partnership with Coursera.
  • NEVADA’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation announced that Nevadans eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program can begin filing online this Saturday.

Homeowner support:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order temporarily extending protections for tenants and mobile home owners from being evicted from their home during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.  

Task forces/volunteer efforts:

  • KENTUCKY’s Team Kentucky Fund Assistance Application Portal will open today for applications for financial assistance for those who have been significantly financially impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. The fund currently has $3 million in it. 

Budget gaps:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM submitted his 2020-21 May Revision budget proposal to the Legislature – a balanced plan to close a budget gap of more than $54 billion brought on swiftly by the COVID-19 recession.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS, individuals, and communities across Colorado are coming together this evening at 7 PM MT to honor and remember the more than 1,000 Coloradans that have been lost to COVID-19. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order which continues the temporary suspension of statute in order to provide boards of county commissioners with broader discretion and greater flexibility to implement restrictions on open burning.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order providing an extended opportunity for individuals to dispute the assessed value of their property, extending certain equalization filing and meeting deadlines for local and county officials, and extending the deadline for filing petitions to appeal assessment determinations as to commercial and industrial property.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that during Phase 1, libraries are able to offer curbside pickup of preordered library books. In Phase 2, many libraries will start offering limited, touchless browsing in designated areas of the library, while curbside pickup will continue. Some libraries will start offering limited access to public computers. All-in-library services will be provided in accordance with state regulations for social distancing, mask-wearing, and cleaning.

Feel good Friday:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS and the Maine Education Commissioner announced that the Maine Department of Education has secured internet access and devices to facilitate at-home learning for 100 percent of Maine school children for whom there was a reported need. 

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!