Chip in to protect our blue firewall!

If we want to stop the Republicans' dangerous agenda, defend reproductive rights, and protect our democracy, we have to keep pace with the GOP's millions in fundraising. Please don’t wait: rush your gift to elect Dem govs >>

Govs On Deck – October 12, 2020

Govs on Deck

It’s Monday. Time for 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@JerusalemDemsas, 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:

Reopening efforts:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that Region 4, the Metro East, will return to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan.
  • ILLINOIS Department of Public Health reported 26 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for COVID-19.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM and state health officials once again reminded New Mexicans to limit their travel outside of the home in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced that Umatilla County has been added to the County Watch List. This addition comes after Umatilla County was removed from the Watch List on September 18. The county remains in Phase 2 of reopening.

Face coverings:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS amended and extended an executive order requiring mask-wearing indoors to help stop the spread of the virus. 

Schools and students:

  • PENNSYLVANIA First Lady Frances WOLF recognized the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement that allows schools to provide free meals to all students for the rest of the school year. These flexibilities, for which the first lady recently advocated alongside 17 other first partners and spouses, ensure that schools can continue to provide the meals despite the uncertainty and hardship caused by the pandemic.

Business support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order allocating $6.0M to Energize Colorado. This funding will enable Energize Colorado to provide additional support to small businesses affected by the pandemic. 

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order allowing for the operation of alternate care sites in response to COVID-19.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced a $3 million investment in mental health services for children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Testing, tracing, and vaccination:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced the members he is appointing to serve on the Governor’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group. The group will be responsible for advising the governor on preparations for a COVID-19 vaccine, including the optimization of a statewide vaccine distribution strategy, and communicating critical medical information about the vaccine with the state’s residents.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that COVID-19 rapid result testing will be made available to every county in New York State. The New York State Department of Health will deploy an initial 400,000 rapid result test kits free of charge to local health departments, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health care providers to help increase access in all corners of New York State to free COVID-19 tests that can be done within 15 minutes and without having to send a specimen to a lab. DOH will prioritize the distribution of testing kits to counties and local health care providers in areas seeing a recent uptick in cases. 

Worker support:

  • OREGON’s Department of Consumer and Business Services announced that applications are still being taken for a new State of Oregon program that helps people who work in Oregon and need to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 exposure, but do not have access to COVID-19-related paid sick leave.

Family support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order allocating $100,000 to the Food Pantry Assistance Grant Program to aid Colorado food pantries and food banks in the purchase of foods to meet the needs of Coloradans. 

Homeowner and renter support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order allocating $2.6M to the Department of Local Affairs for housing assistance to support those who have been economically impacted by COVID-19.

Relief funds:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order allocating $6.2M to the Department of Corrections for staffing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond COVID-19 

Natural disasters:

  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE extended a proclamation that provides cash assistance to families and individuals impacted by wildfires.


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the release of $147 million in the fourth round of awards for Homekey, California’s innovative, nation-leading $600 million program to purchase and rehabilitate housing – including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other properties – and convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The governor also announced a partnership with Enterprise Community Partners to distribute $45 million in funding – $20 million from Blue Shield of California and $25 million from Kaiser Permanente – to support operating subsidies for Homekey projects. 


  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY’s administration announced the availability of grant applications for school security, water infrastructure improvements, and enhancement of career and technical education in county vocational-technical school districts and county colleges in New Jersey. The grants are supported by $500 million in bonds authorized by the Securing Our Children’s Future Bond Act and approved by New Jersey voters in November 2018.


  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY called for the creation of a nonpartisan commission to handle redrawing state legislative and congressional districts after a video surfaced that shows a top Republican lawmaker discussing how gerrymandering can help oust the state’s sole Democratic member of Congress.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced key appointments to his communications team, bolstering its capacity to connect, inform and engage a state of 40 million people and our diverse communities with issues affecting their everyday lives.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF released a statement condemning the racism and hate speech displayed toward Gisele Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s Second Lady.

Just remember, please scream inside your heart:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the grand opening of the new Cliffside Mountain Coaster at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. The longest of its kind in the United States, the mountain coaster travels alongside the 1980 Olympic bobsled track and is the latest year-round attraction at the Lake Placid Olympic Sites. 

Stay safe everyone, wear a mask, and wash your hands! See you on Wednesday!