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Govs On Deck – November 30, 2020

Govs on Deck

We’re back! Happy Monday and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck!” – I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving in whatever form it took this year. 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.

2020 presidential election:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER released a statement after the Michigan State Board of Canvassers voted to certify the results of the November 2020 election. 
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK signed the Certificate of Ascertainment for the slate of electors for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, as required by federal law.

COVID-19 response:

Federal requests:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY sent a letter to President Trump requesting his approval of an extension to Title 32 authority, allowing Kansas to continue utilizing the Kansas National Guard in its efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, keep Kansans safe, and keep schools and businesses open.

Legal actions:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS issued a statement following the United States Supreme Court denying a motion to hear the case of Spell v. Edwards, which sought to overturn the governor’s COVID mitigation measures. 

Emergency declarations:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order extending the state’s disaster declaration. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY formally extended the State of Emergency declaration another 30 days to confront community spread of COVID-19.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ extended the State of Civil Emergency through December 23, 2020. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order extending the Public Health Emergency.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed the third renewal of his 90-day Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS declared a new public health emergency as Wisconsin’s hospitals are operating at or very near full capacity and healthcare providers are struggling to keep up with the demand for care.


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order concerning changes to 2020 election activity which will continue to allow election-related work to proceed safely and without interruption to the Secretary of State’s operations. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order postponing all special school elections from January 26, 2021, to the March 2021 special school election date.

New mitigation efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS amended and extended an executive order regarding directives for the COVID-19 Dial Framework so that it reflects amendments made to Public Health Order 20-36, including the addition of Level Purple. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY issued the third revision to his omnibus emergency order, formally imposing restrictions announced earlier this week to limit the spread of COVID-19 including capping home gatherings at 10 people, limiting indoor restaurant dining to 30 percent of fire capacity, requiring masks to be worn in gyms, and limiting seating at bars to parties of two people 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that the aggressive third surge of COVID-19 across all regions of Louisiana has made it necessary to impose tighter mitigation measures and step back to Phase 2 in order to protect public health.  
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced that the state will transition to a tiered county-by-county COVID-19 risk system on Dec. 2, enabling local communities to shed burdensome restrictions as soon as public health data show the virus is retreating within their borders.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced new targeted mitigation measures to help stop the spread during this critical time. These include a robust enforcement plan targeted at chronic violators along with an effort to ensure schools are safe and in compliance with COVID safety plans. The administration is also encouraging Pennsylvanians to limit unnecessary travel and stay at home.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced new restrictions on gatherings between households and prepared residents for a two-week “pause” with new closures and restrictions starting Nov. 30. The two weeks of restrictions include closing gyms, colleges, offices, bars, recreational venues (including casinos) and canceling organized sports while keeping indoor dining and houses of worship open with limited capacity.

Face coverings:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced increased restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID-19 including requiring Nevadans to wear face coverings at all times, whether indoors or outdoors, when around individuals from outside their households.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER issued additional COVID-19 safety measures to tighten mask requirements and enforcement as cases continue to rise rapidly in North Carolina and across the country. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS issued a new face-covering order. Wisconsin residents ages five and older are required to wear a face-covering when they are indoors or in an enclosed space with anyone outside their household or living unit.

Public gatherings:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Economic and Community Development updated its sector rules to prohibit all organized road races, effective November 23, 2020. This includes any turkey trots or holiday road races scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that expands the authority of the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development to establish mandatory safety rules for all sports.
  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Economic and Community Development published updated sector rules regarding team sports, as well as gyms and fitness centers. 
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced increased restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID-19 including limiting public gatherings to no more than 50 people or 25 percent capacity, whichever is less. No large events will be approved during this time frame. Private gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people from no more than two separate households, and the State’s face covering requirement will be extended to private gatherings.

Business support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the opening of the California Rebuilding Fund to help impacted small businesses rebuild from the economic crisis and keep local economies strong. This program is built to be a resource in the market for the next year as businesses pivot and recover. The Fund was developed as a result of recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, which emphasized the need to ensure that this economic recovery is equitable.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order that extends the state sales tax payment deadline for 30 days for the month of November for restaurants, bars, and food trucks for up to $2,000, in recognition that these businesses have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic.  
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that the State Finance Council unanimously approved the Kansas Office of Recovery recommendations to allocate $20 million to hard-hit businesses and $18.5 million for public health response efforts including vaccine administration and distribution. The $38.5 million is from the Coronavirus Relief Fund of the federal CARES Act.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law a significant relief package that provides for $100 million in grants for small businesses in New Mexico. The grant program will be administered by the New Mexico Finance Authority.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced additional financial support funds for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic including $70 million in business support grants and $30 million for the recovery loan program. Included in the $70 million in business support grants is $50 million for a new round of Working Washington grants focused on the hardest-hit industries. The remaining funds will go toward historically disadvantaged businesses who applied for earlier business grants and bolstering Commerce’s business resiliency network.

Business restrictions:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he has signed an executive order increasing the amount that businesses can be fined for violations of the state’s COVID-19 sector rules and capacity limits to $10,000 per violation. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that promotes compliance with pandemic-related restrictions on sales of liquor, extends the renewal period for certain liquor permits, and refunds certain renewal fees already paid.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced that her administration has begun distributing the second round of financial awards to Maine small businesses and nonprofits through the Maine Economic Recovery Grant Program. This second phase of the Economic Recovery Grant Program expanded access to funds by increasing the number of eligible organizations. 
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced increased restrictions to help slow the spread of COVID-19 including limiting restaurants, bars, gaming operations, gyms, fitness facilities, and other businesses and activities to 25 percent of applicable fire code capacity, down from 50 percent. Retail stores – including grocery stores – will remain at 50 percent of capacity, with strict social distancing and additional monitoring requirements.

Schools and students:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced the formation of a back-to-school working group with the mission of assisting the Governor and the State plan for the safe return of students to the classroom in January 2021.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced a $45 million Higher Education Relief Fund, which will assist Delaware colleges and universities affected by COVID-19.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that starting in January, students across the state will benefit from the NC Education Corps, a new partnership between the North Carolina State Board of Education, the Office of the Governor, local school systems, and the N.C. Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. Education Corps members will provide emergency relief to public schools by employing talented community members — including current college students and recent graduates experiencing financial strain or loss of employment — to provide wraparound services to K-12 students across NC. 

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order authorizing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to order hospitals and freestanding emergency departments to transfer or cease the admission of patients in order to allow them to respond to the surging number of COVID-19 cases.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced that over 100 contracted medical staff from across the country are deployed in Montana to assist hospitals with responding to COVID-19 and filling in gaps in healthcare worker shortages due to quarantine or isolation.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced additional requirements for health and dental facilities to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.


  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that the state has shipped its one-millionth N95 mask as part of ongoing efforts to ensure frontline workers have access to the critical personal protective equipment they need to limit their exposure to COVID-19.

Testing, tracing, and vaccination:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced the availability of a new COVID-19 exposure notification mobile application, COVIDaware MN, which could slow the spread of COVID-19 by helping Minnesotans protect themselves and their loved ones. The voluntary, anonymous application will alert a user if another user with whom they have had close contact during the virus’ infectious period tests positive for COVID-19.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law a significant relief package that delivers $10 million to the Department of Health to support COVID-19 contact tracing, testing, and vaccine distribution efforts.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the launch of WA Notify, a simple, anonymous exposure notification tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Worker support:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that extends the authorization for online continuing education for plumbers and electricians.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law a significant relief package that includes a one-time $1,200 New Mexico Worker Pandemic Benefit in the coming weeks for the more than 100,000 New Mexicans claiming unemployment – including those whose benefits have been exhausted recently.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that the state will spend $100 million in federal COVID-relief funds to help unemployed Rhode Islanders and businesses hurt by upcoming closures to slow infections.

Family support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an extension of an executive order authorizing the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to make a one-time direct cash stimulus payment to Coloradans who have faced particular hardship due to COVID-19.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS’ administration announced today it will dedicate more than half a million dollars in Coronavirus Relief Funds to extend home-delivered meals to older Mainers and caregivers, ensuring food and nutrition for Maine people staying home during the pandemic.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law a significant relief package that provides for $5 million for emergency food bank services
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law a significant relief package that provides for $5 million for direct assistance to low-income residents who did not receive an “economic impact payment” from the federal government

Housing support:

  • CONNECTICUT has been approved by FEMA for another 30-day extension of the non-congregate sheltering authorization under the FEMA Public Assistance program through January 1, 2021. This program, which was initially approved in March, provides non-congregate housing to certain high-risk individuals, including those who have COVID-19 or have been in contact with individuals who have the virus.
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced she is dedicating an additional $6.2 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to Maine Housing’s COVID-19 Rental Relief Program. MaineHousing will extend the program through December for renters who cannot afford to pay their rent due to COVID-19.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM signed into law a significant relief package that provides for $15 million for emergency housing assistance and assistance for the homeless.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that $3 million in grant funding has been awarded to 15 municipalities and organizations spanning 20 counties to assist Pennsylvanians currently experiencing homelessness.
  • WASHINGTONGov. Jay INSLEE announced additional financial support funds for families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic including $20 million for rental assistance and $15 million for energy bills for low-income households. 

Travel restrictions:

  • CONNECTICUT’s travel advisory was updated and now includes the U.S. Virgin Islands on the list of impacted locations. No locations were removed from the list.
  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE approved Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami’s request to place a temporary moratorium on Kaua‘i’s participation in the state’s pre-travel testing program. Effective Dec. 2 at 12:01 a.m., all transpacific and intercounty travelers arriving in Kaua‘i are subject to the 14-day quarantine regardless of testing.

Relief funds:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced a COVID-19 economic relief package to keep businesses afloat, support workers struggling to get by, and help Minnesota families keep food on the table. The governor will work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to move forward with this much-needed proposal, integrate additional proposals, and call a special session when an agreement is final.

Public communications:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF’s administration announced it will begin using the national Wireless Emergency Alert system to provide important public messages about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Special sessions:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ sent a letter to state legislative leaders emphasizing the need for immediate action to provide relief to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated his eagerness to partner with legislators on both sides of the aisle to get it done, and said he stands ready to call a special session as soon as the legislature agrees on a package to provide this much-needed relief.

Task forces:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM  released “Recovery for All,” the final report by the Co-Chairs of his Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. The report outlines key priorities and challenges in the state’s fight against COVID-19 and ongoing work to rebuild a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient economy in its wake. 
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS welcomed the release of the final report of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee, which outlines eight strategies to sustain Maine people and grow the Maine economy in response to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee also issued a clarion call for more federal stimulus in order to sustain the economy in the near-term, particularly within hard-hit sectors like retail, tourism, and hospitality.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued the state’s first-ever Social Innovation Impact Report highlighting innovative public-private-partnerships that have contributed $3.9 billion toward the state’s housing efforts, COVID-19 response, and more. As part of the state’s leading-edge social innovation work, California engaged 196 corporate and philanthropic partners and 748 community-based organizations, benefiting each of the state’s 58 counties.

Beyond COVID-19 

Natural disasters:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS has requested a Major Disaster Declaration, formally requesting direct assistance to those people and communities impacted by Hurricane Zeta.

Childcare and early education:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced more than $2.1 million in grant funding to fuel 59 ‘All in for Kansas Kids’ Quality Subgrants. The grants will help communities, service and child care providers, and other early childhood champions address needs and gaps in the early childhood care and education system through locally-driven ideas and approaches.


  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the introduction of the new Broadband Acceleration Grant Program to expand broadband access to rural and underserved communities across the state. Over the next ten years, the program seeks to invest $85 million toward bridging the digital divide in Kansas thanks to broadband modernization funding provided through the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program.

Economic development:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the Kansas Main Street program will be accepting applications for up to three new communities in the state interested in joining. The Main Street program – designed to develop and strengthen downtown corridors – has been a proven success for rural communities throughout the state.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Clorox Company will create 158 new jobs in Durham County.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Shenandoah Valley Organic, a family-owned organic chicken company, will establish a second 75,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in the City of Harrisonburg.

Workforce development:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the Connecticut State Department of Education and Central Connecticut State University are partnering in an initiative to launch NextGen Educators, a talent pipeline that will bring highly motivated college students from CCSU seeking education degrees into Connecticut’s K-12 classrooms to ease pressures on current teachers and contribute to the success of students. The initiative is designed to be highly flexible to provide future educators with experience and mentorship while addressing districts’ most pressing staffing needs without placing an added burden on administrators or teachers.

Law enforcement:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed two pieces of legislation that concern the use of body-worn cameras by members of law enforcement. The governor also signed an executive order which establishes a 14-member Interagency Working Group to provide recommendations to the Governor’s Office and Attorney General regarding technology solutions to facilitate the statewide implementation of body-worn cameras in law enforcement agencies. The Working Group will work to identify barriers to adopting body-worn cameras and recommend technology solutions to facilitate their implementation. 

Other efforts:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has approved $234.6 million in funds resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement for restoration projects that will create and restore wetlands in Plaquemines and Terrebonne Parishes. In all, the funding will be used for the engineering, design, and construction of five coastal restoration projects.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER applauded further cost reductions drivers will see under the state’s new auto insurance reform law as the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association announced a reduction in its annual assessment charged on auto insurance policies. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the deployment of 32 rail cars to the Fire Island and Twelve Mile reefs during the third year of New York’s historic expansion of artificial reefs off the shores of Long Island. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM released the Administration’s report on the impact of legalizing adult-use marijuana in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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