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Govs On Deck – May 29, 2020

Govs on Deck

It’s Friday, everyone. That’s all I’ve got. 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:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS applauded the announcement to extend the Colorado National Guard’s federal deployment until mid-August. Previously, their federal deployment was set to end after just 89 days — one day short of the 90-day threshold for retirement and education benefits. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER sent a letter to President Trump requesting an extension of Title 32 authority in order to use Michigan National Guard forces to combat the spread of COVID-19 through July 31st.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER called on Congress to approve another round of funding for states to help avoid steep spending cuts during the pandemic. The governor made her remarks as she laid out her budget priorities as the state faces a looming budget shortfall. 

Reopening efforts:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE approved requests from the mayors of Hawai’i and Kauaʻi counties to safely re-open more businesses and operations under guidelines that will ensure the health, safety, and welfare of residents.
  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Agriculture announced that patron free standardbred and thoroughbred racing will return around the state while adhering to social distancing guidelines. The move is an effort to provide economic relief to the horse racing industry, as other states have done.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that Kentucky Kingdom, an amusement park in Louisville, will reopen June 29th with extensive precautions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the state will reopen the four Kentucky State Park lodges on June 8th that were previously designated to provide temporary housing for low acuity COVID-19 patients.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK released his Phase 2 reopening directive in alignment with the announcement he made on Tuesday evening. The directive is set to expire on June 30th. All prior directives referenced remain in effect through the end of June.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that Washington County can begin entering Phase I of reopening on Monday, June 1st under her framework for building a safe and strong Oregon.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed amended yellow phase orders to include eight counties moving to the yellow phase as of today. The eight counties are joining 49 additional counties that previously moved into the yellow phase.

Business guidance:

  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO issued updated guidance for personal services, restaurants, and youth sports reopenings in Phase 2 of Rhode Island’s reopening plan.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. LUJAN GRISHAM announced  New Mexico’s emergency public health order will be extended and amended to permit indoor dining, hair salons, gyms, and indoor shopping malls to reopen next week on a limited basis and in accordance with required COVID-Safe Practices.

Testing and tracing:

  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Public Health filed emergency rules mandating long-term care facilities comply with infection control practices, including testing all residents and staff for COVID-19. Each facility will be required to develop and implement a testing plan to better protect vulnerable residents and ensure no facility is shirking its responsibilities for those in their care.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that additional shipments of testing supplies have been sent to hospitals across Pennsylvania this week. Testing supplies include nasopharyngeal swabs and viral transport media tubes depending on what is requested by facilities. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the state’s plan to begin broad testing within long term care facilities. The order will require widespread testing within long term care facilities. Residents and staff in nursing homes will be tested within approximately two weeks, with a completion goal date of June 12th. All residents and staff in assisted living facilities with a memory care unit will be tested within four weeks, with a completion goal date of June 26th.

PPE and medical supplies:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO issued an executive order authorizing businesses to deny entry to individuals who do not wear masks or face-coverings. The order builds on the state’s ongoing efforts to protect New Yorkers and slow the spread. The governor also announced a partnership with Rosie Perez and Chris Rock, who will help New York State build communication and education on the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing and the availability of testing and healthcare in the state.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York State will distribute 1 million masks to New York City’s hardest-hit neighborhoods today. The state has already distributed more than 8 million masks across New York City. New York’s extensive testing now allows the government to pinpoint the state’s hardest-hit neighborhoods for additional supplies and other aid.

Worker support:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that North Carolina has received a $6 million federal grant to support jobs and workforce training to help address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the grant, eligible North Carolina residents may receive certain employment services or workforce training for industries that are hiring workers. To administer this grant, DWS will partner with 14 participating local workforce development boards that, collectively, serve 59 counties. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation providing additional health and safety guidelines to protect farmworkers in the agriculture industry. These standards address worker housing, transportation, and job site requirements. 

Family support:

  • DELAWARE’s Department of Health and Human Services announced that emergency benefits will be issued to all participants of Delaware’s SNAP benefits for May as part of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. 

Homeowner/renter support: 

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order extending the deadline for Michigan residents to pay back taxes and avoid foreclosure on their property during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The extension lasts until June 29th.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation that temporarily extends the deadline to file a property tax appeal to July 1st and the deadline for county boards of taxation to render decisions in tax appeal cases to September 30th. The bill takes effect immediately and applies retroactively to April 1st.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that the state will be making available an additional $5 million in funding for the Housing Help RI emergency rental assistance fund. This money is available to lower-income renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and are at immediate risk of homelessness. Those who qualify can receive a grant of up to $5,000 to support past due rent payments and other fees.

Task forces:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the state’s Care Facility Task Force has completed 747 infection control surveys, including 100% of all nursing homes in the state. The state has also received and is in the process of reviewing 1,048 isolation plans from congregate care facilities across the state.

Other efforts:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the MTA will pilot the use of proven UV light technology to kill COVID-19 in subway cars and crew facilities. The MTA currently cleans and disinfects trains every day.
  • OREGON’s Department of Consumer and Business Services’ Division of Financial Regulation issued emergency orders for property and casualty, long-term care, and life and disability insurance. The orders mean that the most common insurance policies, such as auto, home, term, and whole life, and long-term care have minimum grace periods to pay premiums and protect consumers by mandating how long claims must be paid. This process provides two important protections for Oregon consumers: A sustainable way for insurance customers to keep up with premium payments without falling too far behind and insurance protection for a specific number of days for customers that are in a grace period.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that the state DMV is extending the validity of driver’s licenses and other forms of identification that have expired for Virginians amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the release of a proclamation which waives provisions in any agreements between the governor of the State of Washington and an Indian Tribe or Tribes restricting their use of fuel tax refund monies to highway – or transportation-related purposes to provide tribal governments with needed flexibility to provide increased COVID-19 response and recovery for their members and surrounding communities.

Very needed feel-good Friday content:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS highlighted Johnny B. Good’s Diner in Steamboat Springs through the “Can-Do Colorado” Campaign,  a project to shine a spotlight on businesses that are finding creative ways to make ends meet through this pandemic, for the diner’s work helping seniors and preserving a sense of community at a time when we need it the most.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that in partnership with Fayette County Public Schools, the Kentucky Horse Park will host a Senior Send-Off on May 28 and 29. Each night will feature different schools with teachers and administrators along the 3-mile Southern Lights route.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM and First Lady Pamela NORTHAM will host “Virginia Graduates Together”, a statewide virtual celebration honoring the remarkable achievements of the class of 2020 this evening at 5pm. “Virginia Graduates Together” will salute 2020 graduates with a special address from the Governor and First Lady, musical performances, a keynote speech from United States Women’s National Soccer champion Angela Hucles Mangano, and well-wishes from notable Virginians.
  • And finally, a hope-filled tweet we all need from WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSEE.

Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!