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Govs On Deck – October 21, 2020

Govs on Deck

Welcome to Wednesday and 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 amestoy@dga.net. 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:


Reopening efforts:


  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 7 (Will and Kankakee counties) and Region 8 (Kane and DuPage counties), beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, October 23, 2020. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 5, in Southern Illinois, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, October 22, 2020.
  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM and state health and workplace safety officials announced new enhanced mitigation efforts to crack down on COVID-19 throughout New Mexico, a targeted and moderated approach that is intended to break the chain of escalating statewide infections and prevent the virus from overwhelming state hospitals without enacting wholesale business closings.


Elections:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order activating up to 10 members of the Colorado National Guard Defensive Cyber Operations Element to assist with election cybersecurity defense efforts during the 2020 Presidential election. The National Guard members may participate in training activities and assist with election cybersecurity defense efforts from October 19, 2020, through November 4, 2020, and will help ensure that Colorado remains a model for elections.


Schools and students:


  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that all North Carolina teachers and parents are invited to attend a free virtual conference on October 28 to help them navigate technology and remote learning. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation today establishing safety guidelines for higher education institutions and living facilities.  


Business support:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that he is creating the Connecticut CARES Small Business Grant Program to assist small businesses and nonprofits. The program will provide businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut that have fewer than twenty employees or a 2019 payroll of less than $1.5 million with a one-time grant of $5,000.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY, along with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, announced a new grant program to assist contract poultry growers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced the launch of the Hawai‘i Business Pivot Grant program. The grants will distribute $25M in financial and training support to struggling small businesses in Hawai‘i to help them adjust to marketplace changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced a $7.7 million plan to support agricultural producers, meat processors, and farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded through the federal CARES Act, the financial support will help farmers who have experienced market disruptions recover from and purchase equipment and supplies necessary for COVID-19.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO signed an executive order extending the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures through January 1. 


Health care:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order allowing voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures to proceed under certain conditions. 
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced the creation of a Health Care Relief Fund to support Delaware health care providers through the COVID-19 crisis. The $100 million fund will support providers throughout the health care industry that have been on the front lines fighting COVID-19 in Delaware. This includes home health care agencies, intellectual and developmental disability providers, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, behavioral health service providers, and Delaware’s hospital systems.
  • KENTUCKYGov. Andy BESHEAR announced that due to this escalation, the commonwealth has renewed state surge preparations, including reviewing plans about the capacity in hospitals, examining possible hotel options, if needed, as well as the use of state parks. The state is also ensuring operational plans are in place to stand up a field hospital, if necessary.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced today that the state is investing more than $1 million and will contact more than 1 million Michiganders to help those who may have lost health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic get covered. 


Testing, tracing, and vaccination:


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM named a group of nationally acclaimed California physician-scientists with expertise in immunization and public health to the state’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup that will independently review the safety and efficacy of any vaccine that receives FDA approval for distribution. 


Worker support:


  • MICHIGAN’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity has been awarded $17,827,178.11 million in a U.S. Department of Education competitive grant to respond to the economic impact of COVID-19 in the state. These federal funds will help Michigan job seekers make the jump from education and training to employment by delivering short- and mid-term customized training solutions. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed legislation codifying part of her executive orders expanding unemployment benefits to Michiganders. The bills the governor signed today will extend unemployment benefits for Michiganders who have lost work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic from 20 to 26 weeks until the end of the year.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced today the Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund is now open for applications. The relief fund will provide $40 million in federal funds allocated by the state to assist Washington workers who miss work due to COVID-19 but are unable to access federal stimulus programs and other social supports due to their immigration status. While the fund is operational, eligible recipients will receive $1,000, with a limit of $3,000 per household. 


Housing support:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that makes technical revisions to Executive Order No. 9E, Section 1, which extended the moratorium on residential evictions through January 1, 2021.
  • KENTUCKYGov. Andy BESHEAR signed an executive order today that ends the statewide moratorium on disconnections for nonpayment on Nov. 6, but takes additional steps to help Kentuckians. The executive order designates $15 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds for the Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund, which will provide relief for Kentuckians at risk of natural gas, water, wastewater, or electric service disconnection. The order will also require utilities to create a payment plan for residential customers that runs no less than six months. It will continue to waive late fees on utility bills for residential customers through Dec. 31, 2020.


Relief funds:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS made an announcement about the Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund. Colorado agricultural producers are eligible for grant awards up to $12,500. Farmers’ markets, food hubs, processors, and other intermediaries that support producers are eligible for up to $50,000. Grant dollars were made available through CARES Act funds.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announces more than $780,000 in federal funding has been awarded to Kentucky public safety agencies and offices to help protect Kentuckians, including seniors, against scams and fraud and to respond to price gouging during the fight against COVID-19.


Travel advisory:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONTNEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY, and NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO released a joint statement regarding the regional travel advisory that was issued by their states in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • CONNECTICUTNEW JERSEY, and NEW YORK’s regional travel advisory was updated: Arizona and Maryland have been added to the list of impacted locations that meet the metrics to qualify, and no states or territories were removed from the list this week.


Other efforts:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order permitting state agencies and municipal boards, commissions, councils, and local legislative bodies to conduct business using “hybrid meetings,” wherein members of the public may attend in-person and others attend and participate remotely using video technology, and allows members of such bodies to attend remotely. 
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation that requires public health emergency credits to be awarded to certain inmates and parolees during a public health emergency. The legislation includes certain exclusions and prohibits inmates or parolees to contact their victims upon their release.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced he has signed a series of new laws and proposed changes to bills that will support the Commonwealth’s ongoing COVID-19 response.


Beyond COVID-19 


Natural disasters:


  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS and Maine’s Congressional Delegation welcomed the announcement today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made farmers throughout Maine eligible for disaster relief assistance due to the drought.


Economic development:


  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY applauded the announcement of a new, 148,000-square-foot Nor-Am Cold Storage facility in Dodge City.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR congratulated TOPY America Inc., a steel wheel manufacturer for the North American passenger car and light truck markets, on completing a $38 million renovation at its Frankfort operation, a project positioning the company and its employees for success in the years ahead.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. will expand its Shipyard Division workforce near Houma. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER released a statement after GM announced investments in five Michigan plants, including the Lansing Delta Township Assembly and Flint Assembly for future crossover and full-size pickup production.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Silk City Printing, LLC will relocate its corporate headquarters, investing $5.7 million to establish a new silkscreened apparel production operation in the former Thomasville facility in Fluvanna County that has been vacant since 2007.


Housing:


  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced more than $32.4 million in federal housing tax credits will be allocated to developments in five communities in Montana to preserve or build more than 160 new affordable homes.


Infrastructure:


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the investment of $181 million for 16 drinking water, wastewater, and non-point source projects across 12 counties through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.


Criminal justice reform:


  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed three bills which together establish a compassionate release program for certain inmates, require a cost-savings study of compassionate release programs and elimination of mandatory minimum terms, establish a “Corrections Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention Fund,” and add a defendant’s youth to the list of permissible mitigating factors a court may consider when sentencing a defendant.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced he has signed a series of new laws and proposed changes to bills that will advance criminal justice reform.


Other efforts:


  • MONTANA’s Office of Public Instruction has been awarded a new $199,800 school nutrition grant to support the National School Lunch Program.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM released the inaugural Virginia Roadmap to End Hunger, which establishes a unified set of goals and strategies to prioritize food security during the current public health emergency and beyond. The Roadmap was produced by Governor Northam’s Children’s Cabinet.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced an estimated $256.4 million in tax relief for Wisconsin taxpayers as a result of the additional revenue collected by the Department of Revenue from out-of-state retailers and marketplace providers for the twelve-month period ending Sept. 30, 2020. The amount is more than three times the $77.4 million in tax relief in 2019. 


All dogs go to heaven:


  • Thinking of NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER and his family who said goodbye to a very good boy last night. 


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