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Govs On Deck – October 2, 2020

Govs on Deck

It’s Friday and boy, is it October. Time for today’s 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:

Joint state actions:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSONDELAWARE Gov. John CARNEYILLINOIS Gov. J.B. PRITZKERMICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMERMINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZNEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAKNEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHYNEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAMOREGON Gov. Kate BROWNVIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAMWASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE, and WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS signed a joint statement vowing to protect the integrity of the 2020 general election and assuring Americans that every ballot in their states will be counted. The governors also stated if Donald Trump loses the election, “he must leave office — period.”

Emergency declarations:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS extended the civil state of emergency for 30 days. 


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed legislation that will provide municipal election officials with the option of having more time to begin the process of verifying absentee ballots that have been received for the upcoming general election. 
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK released a statement praising the decision by the United States District Court for the District of Montana that affirms the decisions by local counties to expand vote by mail and early voting in Montana for the November election.

Reopening efforts:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that North Carolina will ease cautiously some restrictions while continuing safety measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 as the state’s metrics remained stable in September.

Public gatherings:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Public Health released a document providing guidance to the state’s residents in order to ensure that traditional Halloween activities can be celebrated while being done in a safe and healthy manner amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Public Health issued updated guidance for Halloween festivities. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR shared new guidance on how Kentucky families can celebrate Halloween safely.
  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO shared guidance on how to trick-or-treat safely this year. 

Schools and students:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that applications are now open for newly available grant funds and additional resources to support remote learning for school-age children. The Remote Learning Grant program will help address the learning and supervision needs of school-age children who are not able to attend in-person school due to the pandemic.

Business support:

  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Agriculture announced the availability of $5 million in business recovery funding for livestock producers and small meat and poultry plants suffering interruptions as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced Empire State Digital, a new initiative accelerating New York State-based small businesses’ ability to grow their online presence through a first-in-the-nation program with leading global e-commerce enablers, including Shopify, Square, Clearbanc, and Etsy. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that, during Workforce Development Awareness Week, New York State has been awarded an $18 million federal grant to fund educational opportunities that train New Yorkers for in-demand jobs, support entrepreneurs, and help small businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that minority and women-owned businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic will have access to guidance and $12 million in grants to help them weather the crisis.

Health care:

  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS issued an emergency order to help address healthcare staffing needs. The order provides for temporary interstate license reciprocity for healthcare providers to work in Wisconsin healthcare facilities, extends licenses that may expire during the federal emergency declaration for 30 days after its conclusion, and makes it easier for healthcare providers with a recently lapsed license to apply for a reinstatement with the Department of Safety and Professional Services. Out-of-state physicians can also practice telemedicine in Wisconsin with proper notification of DSPS.

Testing, tracing, and vaccinations:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that his administration has launched a variety of new resources to support those who need to isolate or self-quarantine due to COVID-19. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY and PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that COVID Alert DE and PA will expand its reach to New York and New Jersey. NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY and NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO yesterday announced the launch of COVID-19 exposure notification mobile apps in their respective states that will serve as crucial tools to supplement the effort to trace and contact individuals subject to a COVID exposure. 

Long-term care facilities:

  • MAINE’s Department of Health and Human Services is investing $1 million from the federal coronavirus relief fund to support COVID-19 prevention efforts in congregate care settings.

Worker support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that the Kansas Department of Labor will begin accepting self-certification and processing payments to eligible unemployed workers under the federal Lost Wages Assistance program.

Homeowner, renter, and homelessness support:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that extends the previously issued moratorium on residential evictions through January 1, 2021.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he is doubling funding for the previously announced Temporary Rental Housing Assistance Program for Connecticut residents impacted by COVID-19 from $20 million to $40 million.

Public communication:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that the Virginia Open Data Portal now includes more than a dozen new COVID-19 datasets from the Virginia Department of Health. 

Other efforts:

  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced the Just Recovery for Racial Equity initiative. Just Recovery will identify and support strategies for responding to COVID-19, recovery, and building resilience in communities of color by partnering with community-based organizations and local groups, including other government and social service agencies. All media, outreach, and educational materials will be developed in multiple languages and will be distributed simultaneously with English language materials.

Beyond COVID-19 

Natural disasters:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he has submitted a request for a presidential major disaster declaration resulting from the damage caused by Tropical Storm Isaias in early August.

Criminal justice reform:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed a series of bills into law initiating critical criminal justice, juvenile justice, and policing reforms including a bill ending the use of the carotid restraint statewide, legislation requiring the California Attorney General to conduct investigations into officer-involved shootings of unarmed individuals that result in death, and legislation that reforms the juvenile justice system to put more emphasis on rehabilitation and education, as well as creating a more just probation system.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed a historic executive order granting 2,732 pardons to individuals who have been convicted of possessing one ounce or less of marijuana.

Racial justice:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed a first-in-the-nation law to study and make recommendations on reparations for slavery to the Black community through a state-based task force. He also signed two bills targeting structural racism and bias in our legal system by prohibiting the use of race, ethnicity, and national origin to seek or obtain convictions or impose sentences, and to reduce discrimination in jury selection.

Health care:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced a $7 million grant to support behavioral health services in the Appalachian region.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced that lawmakers will introduce the Reproductive Freedom Act, proactive legislation that will help protect and expand New Jerseyans’ ability to receive reproductive health care, such as birth control, and pregnancy-related care, including abortion. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced final regulations requiring insurers to put into place policies and procedures that will ensure that they are providing comparable coverage for mental health and substance use disorders.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF unveiled a plan that addresses comprehensive health reforms focusing on both physical and behavioral health and promoting affordability, accessibility, and value in health care.

Economic development:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS and Haas Automation Inc. announced a partnership in which Louisiana will become the first state in the U.S. to install advanced Haas 5-axis machining centers at every community and technical college in the state. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS and CF Industries President and CEO Tony Will announced the company will make a $41.4 million capital investment to enhance nitric acid production at the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer complex in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Merchants Distributors, LLC, a wholesale grocery distributor founded in Hickory in 1931 will invest $120 million to expand its services and operations, creating 111 jobs.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Nestlé Purina PetCare Company plans to establish significant new manufacturing and distribution operations in Rockingham County that will become operational in 2022 and create up to 300 new jobs by 2024.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Mount-It!, a leading distributor of more than 500 types of mounting solutions, will invest $7.45 million to establish its first East Coast warehouse and distribution facility in the former Quality Way building in Prince George County. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment awarded Virginia a $775,000 grant to support the siting of wind energy projects across the Commonwealth.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that OmMade Peanut Butter will invest nearly $300,000 to establish an all-natural, gourmet peanut butter manufacturing operation in Fairfax County. 


  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced MI Clean Water, a $500 million comprehensive water infrastructure investment in Michigan’s water systems from source to tap. The MI Clean Water plan marks a significant investment after decades of underinvestment in Michigan’s infrastructure. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF’s administration announced that it is joining with six other states – Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming – in signing a memorandum of understanding expressing a commitment to establish and implement a regional CO2 transport infrastructure plan by collaborating and leveraging resources across the participating states.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed legislation banning 24 toxic chemicals in cosmetics, making California the first in the nation to stop the use of these hazardous ingredients. He also signed legislation requiring companies to disclose harmful ingredients in beauty and personal care products.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services has received a $1 million federal grant to prevent child trafficking and provide support to survivors.
  • MONTANA’s Office of Public Instruction has received a 5-year, $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to provide professional development to general and special educators in serving special needs students. 

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