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Govs On Deck – November 18, 2020

Govs on Deck

Well, it’s Wednesday. And here we are with another edition of “Govs on Deck!” As a reminder, your favorite newsletter comes out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

As always, questions or suggestions? Send me a note at You can find us all on Twitter too – @A_Tall_Turner@CEAmestoy, and @andersonkayjay.

We want this to be helpful, so let us 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.

COVID-19 response:

State partnerships:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR, MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER, MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, and WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS joined together in a social media video to encourage everyone across the region to remain safe heading into the holiday season.

New mitigation efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM and state public health officials announced immediate actions to slow the spread of the virus. The state is pulling an emergency brake in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy resulting in 94.1 percent of California’s population in the most restrictive tier. The state will reassess data continuously and move more counties back if necessary. California is also strengthening its face-covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside their home, with limited exceptions.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that CDPHE is making updates to the Red level of the dial that will ask Coloradans to avoid all interactions with people outside of their households to help lower transmission rates.  
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced additional COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will take effect in every region across the state in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Tier 3 mitigations build on the Resurgence Mitigation Plan released in July to suppress the spread of the virus and prevent hospitals from becoming overrun. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN issued an executive order outlining necessary risk reduction measures designed to limit gatherings and curb human contact.

Face coverings:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE issued a COVID-19 emergency proclamation which extends and clarifies the statewide mask mandate which has been in place since April 25. Everyone shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in public. The proclamation also directs businesses to refuse entrance or service to anyone who fails to wear a face covering, unless an exception applies.

Public gatherings:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that, in counties in the Red level, in-person personal gatherings are not permitted.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced that indoor gatherings in homes must be capped at no more than 10 people. Indoor gatherings outside of homes must be limited to 30 percent of the venue’s stated fire capacity, up to a cap of 50 people. This includes all events, such as weddings, funerals, services in houses of worship, performances, political gatherings, and events in public spaces including fire halls. Outdoor public gatherings are limited to 50 people. Up to 250 may be allowed with a plan approved by the Delaware Division of Public Health.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order lowering indoor and outdoor gathering limits. The indoor gathering limit will decrease from 25 to 10 people. The outdoor gathering limit will decrease from 500 people to 150 people. 

Sports leagues:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced that Delaware youth sports organizations, teams, and venues are now prohibited from hosting or participating in tournaments with out-of-state teams.

Business support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that nearly 2,000 Kansas small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a share of $37.5 million in Small Business Working Capital grants.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that $10 million from the COVID-19 Movie Theater Grant Program has been awarded to 54 movie theater operators across Wisconsin. The program will provide critical funds to assist movie theaters impacted by the pandemic.

Business restrictions:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that, in counties in the Red level, indoor dining is temporarily closed. Restaurants and coffee shops can still offer take out and delivery, and they can offer outdoor dining with the last call at 8 pm, but only to customers in groups with members of their own household. Bars remain closed.  
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that, in counties in the Red level, gyms can operate at 10% capacity or allow up to 10 people per room with reservations. They can also operate outdoors in groups of up to 10 people.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced that restaurants must operate at no more than 30 percent of fire capacity indoors, with allowances for additional outdoor seating.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that the state will commit $55 million in financial assistance to support Oregon businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. 

Schools and students:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that his office is working with CDE and CDPHE to provide additional federal resources to assist school districts to safely return to in-person learning, including funding for outdoor classrooms, testing, and additional PPE and supplies.

Health care:

  • CONNECTICUT’sDepartment of Public Health announced the launch of the ConnectToCare online portal to match long-term care facilities in the state with hundreds of qualified potential staff. ConnectToCare is a partnership between multiple states and the nonprofit organization Advancing States. 
  • KENTUCKY’s Department for Public Health will mobilize strike teams to hard-hit long-term care facilities, and the Kentucky National Guard also will mobilize 10 non-clinical support teams. Guidance has been updated with regard to communal dining, group activities, and offsite travel, including a recommendation that residents leave a facility only when medically necessary and for needs that cannot be met on-site or through telehealth.

Testing, tracing, and vaccination:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the commonwealth’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to conduct COVID-19 surge testing.
  • NEW MEXICO and RHODE ISLAND have been chosen by Pfizer as two of four states in a pilot vaccine delivery program.

Worker support:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of a new online training platform that will enable unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers weathering the COVID-19 pandemic to learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers at no cost. The new tool will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs taught by leading professors and industry professionals on Coursera, with a focus on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care, among others.  

Family support:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a new web application that will help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits to assist them during their time of need. Developed through a public-private partnership with, the user-friendly social services discovery application will help individuals who are either new to or unfamiliar with the state’s social programs network. 

Housing support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced plans to immediately direct $62 million in one-time funds from the State’s Disaster Response Emergency Operations Account to counties around the state to continue providing housing to current Project Roomkey participants. After consultation with the Legislature, the Administration is making these available immediately to local governments with Project Roomkey sites so that clients living in motel or hotel rooms under this life-saving program will not be forced to return to street homelessness while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact California.

Travel restrictions:

  • CONNECTICUT’s travel advisory was updated and now includes Vermont on the list of impacted locations. No locations were removed from the list this week.

Relief funds:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that he will be calling the legislature into a special session in the near future to provide immediate relief to the economic and financial hardships that many Coloradans are facing. The governor said that he will be asking the General Assembly to take up critical legislation that will help Colorado families and small businesses during the challenging winter months ahead.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that North Carolina communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic will have access to $5 million in grants to help address food insecurity needs. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services: Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities is partnering with Livingstone College to execute a community-based program to provide critical resources to vulnerable populations impacted by the pandemic.  
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced more than $1.9 million in matching grants will be awarded to 161 local tourism initiatives as part of Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Recovery Marketing Leverage Program. VTC revised its traditional Marketing Leverage Program to create the RMLP in an effort to support tourism initiatives in responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public communications:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced a new COVID-19 County Alert System to pinpoint counties with the highest levels of viral spread and offer specific recommendations to bring numbers down. This system will help give local leaders another tool to understand how their county is faring and to make decisions about actions to slow viral spread. The map will be updated every four weeks. 

Other efforts:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order waiving the statutory minimum number of live race dates for the 2020 calendar year.  Racetracks must satisfy these statutory requirements as a prerequisite for obtaining the renewal of off-track and account wagering licenses.  These requirements largely could not be met in 2020 because race tracks were closed for several months at the beginning of the pandemic under previous orders.

Beyond COVID-19 

State and tribal partnerships:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM joined with OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN, leaders of the Yurok and Karuk Tribes and Berkshire Hathaway-owned PacifiCorp in announcing an agreement to provide additional resources and support to advance the most ambitious salmon restoration effort in history. The project, when completed, will address declines in fish populations, improve river health and renew Tribal communities and cultures.

Natural disasters:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK declared a state of emergency in response to the Caughlin Ranch/Pinehaven Fire. The governor’s declaration follows similar declarations from the City of Reno and Washoe County.
  • OREGON will provide no-cost wildfire ash and debris cleanup for all homes and businesses in the eight counties affected by the disastrous September wildfires. This cleanup includes mobile home parks, second homes, businesses, and other structures.


  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced a new Digital Equity Package, enlisting state, local, nonprofit and philanthropic support to address gaps in digital access, adoption, and affordability for high-speed internet access. The comprehensive approach is designed to help communities identify and address existing broadband equity gaps, as well as to leverage new and existing sources of funding for long-term broadband equity. 

Economic development:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced executives with Stanley Engineered Fastening, a Stanley Black & Decker company, plan to create 49 high-paying jobs for Kentuckians with a $6 million expansion at its Christian County facility.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Klöckner Pentaplast Group will invest a total of $68 million to expand its facilities in Louisa County and Wythe County, creating 54 new jobs in the Commonwealth.

Clean energy:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY applauded the announcement of the new Renewables Direct initiative at Evergy. Renewables Direct provides long-term price stability and competitive pricing for local renewable energy to qualifying businesses, agencies, and commercial customers. As new customers enroll in the program, Evergy will expand its renewable energy sources to continue to meet sustainability goals. The company has announced that more than 50 organizations have started receiving energy from two area wind farms this month.


  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER released a statement on the two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers refusal to certify election results.

Other efforts:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Social Services, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, announced that Connecticut has been selected by the USDA to run a Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children program over the next three years in an effort to explore ways to alleviate hunger among low-income children during the summer. It is one of only four states and tribal nations approved for the program.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the approval of seven agricultural projects being funded through the First Industries Fund . These projects, located in three counties, will help existing farms expand their operations, bring in additional revenue, and transition agribusinesses to the next generation of farmers.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that he will introduce and support legislation to legalize marijuana in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Stay safe, wear a mask, and wash your hands. We’ll see you on Friday.