Can you donate now to join our fight?

We just launched the Power to Appoint Fund to highlight the important role Dem Govs play to ensure integrity in our country’s judicial process and protect fundamental freedoms. Your support will ensure we can make crucial investments in key states and protect our democracy. Please don’t wait: rush your gift to elect Democratic governors! >>>

Govs On Deck – October 28, 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 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.

Just fantastic:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ and former Minnesota Governors Mark Dayton (D), Tim Pawlenty (R), and Jesse Ventura (I) launched a nonpartisan PSA campaign calling for civility and decency around the upcoming election. Watch it. 

COVID-19 response:

Legal actions:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS filed a lawsuit in state court defending his COVID-19 public health emergency proclamation, which has been challenged by a group of members of the House of Representatives just as new COVID-19 cases reach a third spike in other areas of the country. 

New mitigation efforts:

  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE signed a stay-at-home order for Lāna‘i island.
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 11, the City of Chicago, beginning at 12:01 am on Friday, October 30, 2020. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Regions 4 and 10, which encompass Metro East and Suburban Cook County respectively. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR said that community, long-term care, and school leaders and administrators, as well as Kentucky families in red zone counties, should prepare a weekly COVID-19 reduction plan based on each Thursday’s incidence rate map.

Public gatherings:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced updated guidance for youth and adult recreational sports, including, but not limited to, school-based sports, travel clubs, private leagues and clubs, recreational leagues and centers, and park district sports programs. Collegiate sports and professional leagues are not impacted by these restrictions. 


  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation and guidance memo clarifying the application of COVID-19 requirements for voters and for voting service operations, including county elections offices, county voting centers, and student engagement HUBs throughout the state. 

Schools and students:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced some early childhood education updates, including the creation of the Child Care Remote Learning Grant to support licensed child care facilities that are supporting school-age students’ remote learning. The state has set aside $1 million in federal CARES Act funds for the grants, which will range between $500 and $7,500 depending on the need of the child care provider.
  • ILLINOIS’ Board of Higher Education is awarding grants to nine colleges and universities which will target equity in recruitment and retention. The $3 million in funding comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund for use in FY 2021. The institutions will support the students’ progress toward degree completion by closing digital equity gaps, providing targeted, academic, and social/emotional supports through peer mentoring and other innovative efforts. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced a new allocation of more than $116 million in federal CARES Act dollars to support Virginia’s institutions of higher education. 

Health care:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM and state behavioral health officials highlighted resources to support New Mexicans during the ongoing health emergency.

Testing, tracing, and vaccination:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced a substantial list of community testing sites this week. Testing locations include pop-up and Curative trailer sites.
  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAKOREGON Gov. Kate BROWN, and WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE joined CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which will independently review the safety and efficacy of any vaccine approved by the FDA for distribution. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the MTA will begin a voluntary COVID-19 screening program for frontline employees. Under this new initiative, free COVID testing will be offered at rotating field locations and medical assessment and occupational health services centers to frontline NYC Transit, LIRR, Metro-North, and Bridge and Tunnels employees.

Worker support:

  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced that eligible Michigan teachers and support staff who worked additional time and incurred additional costs during the 2019-2020 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic can receive a grant through two new grant programs. Under both the Teacher COVID-19 Grant and the Support Staff COVID-19 Grant programs, eligible teachers can receive up to $500 and eligible support staff can receive up to $250. The state of Michigan’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget provides $53 million for eligible K-12 classroom teachers and $20 million for eligible support staff.

Travel advisory:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that makes slight revisions to the previously enacted travel advisory, most notably the creation of an exemption for the nearby states of New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island from appearing on the list of affected states from which travelers are required to self-quarantine.
  • CONNECTICUTNEW JERSEY, and NEW YORK’s regional travel advisory was updated. California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania have been added to the list of impacted locations that meet the metrics to qualify.
  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced that Japan is being added to Hawai‘i’s pre-travel testing program. 

Public communication:

  • NEW MEXICO’s doctors, nurses, health care practitioners, and providers from all across New Mexico this week signed an open letter urging New Mexicans to double down on safe practices and personal caution to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the state’s health care and hospital resourcesMore than 350 signed the letter. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO and his daughter Mariah Kennedy Cuomo announced New York State is partnering with The RealReal and dozens of New York fashion designers to launch “Mask Up”, a campaign to benefit COVID-19 relief efforts and remind the public of the need to wear masks. 

Beyond COVID-19 

Joint efforts:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ and governors from thirteen other states sent a bipartisan letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the United States House and Senate Armed Services Committees in support of ensuring that states’ National Guard units have the aircraft needed to support missions abroad, as well as domestic missions at home.

Natural disasters:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that California has secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant from FEMA to help ensure the availability of vital resources to suppress the Blue Ridge Fire burning in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump in advance of Hurricane Zeta, which is forecast to make landfall along the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, making it the third such hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana since late August.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS issued a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Zeta. 


  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that seven Kansas colleges will be receiving $2,229,125 million in Pell funding for incarcerated citizens. The awards were officially announced by the U.S. Department of Education in April 2020, with colleges receiving notice in September of specific amounts.

Workforce development:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced a first-of-its-kind program to expand manufacturing training opportunities for Illinois residents. Through a $15 million Notice of Funding Opportunity released today, Illinois will establish two new innovative Manufacturing Trainings Academies that will expand opportunities for skills training, boost retention of manufacturers in downstate communities, and attract more investment by manufacturing companies throughout Illinois. 

Economic development:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY celebrated the announcement of Peerless Products, Inc., purchasing a 150,000-square-foot facility in Iola to expand its production capability.
  • MICHIGANGov. Gretchen WHITMER announced that Perrigo, a leading global provider of self-care products, plans to establish its North American Corporate Headquarters in Grand Rapids. The project is expected to generate $44.7 million in private investment and create 170 well-paying jobs for Michigan workers.  
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that East Coast Steel Fabrication, Inc. will add 28 jobs to its production operations in Perquimans County.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Eastern Wholesale Fence, LLC, a New York-based fence manufacturing company, will create 142 jobs in Rowan County.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Texwipe, a global manufacturer of contamination control supplies, will create 33 new jobs in Surry County.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that Wren Manufacturing, Inc., a manufacturer of custom kitchen cabinets, will establish its North American headquarters and a manufacturing center in the Hanover Industrial Estates in Hanover Township and Sugar Notch Borough, creating a combined 360 new jobs at both locations in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Ison Furniture Manufacturing, Inc., a North Carolina-based furniture manufacturer, will invest $3.5 million to acquire and renovate the recently closed A.C. Furniture Company, Inc. facility in Pittsylvania County. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS applauded HARIBO of America’s announcement that it will begin construction later this year on its gummi production campus in Pleasant Prairie.

Racial justice:

  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM issued a statement after Richmond Circuit Court Judge W. Reilly Marchant ruled in his favor in Taylor v. Northam, affirming the Governor’s authority to remove the Robert E. Lee monument.

Criminal justice reform:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM filed an amicus brief in People v. McDaniel, a case before the California Supreme Court that involves issues of racial bias in jury deliberation and sentencing decisions. This filing marks the first time in California history that a sitting governor has filed an amicus brief calling attention to the unfair and uneven application of the death penalty, noting the state’s bedrock responsibility to ensure equal justice under the law applies to all people no matter their race. The brief argues that capital cases should require unanimity in the jury’s penalty verdict and proof beyond a reasonable doubt of disputed aggravating evidence.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced he has signed new laws that will significantly advance police and criminal justice reform in Virginia. Governor Northam has been working closely with legislators on these measures since early summer when the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor led to a national reckoning on racial bias in policing.

Renewable energy:

  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that the state plans to publish a request for proposals for a 600-megawatt offshore wind farm which would be built in federally-designated waters off the coast of Rhode Island or Massachusetts.

Other efforts:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY and The Voter Turnout Project of the Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission urged all voters who requested advance ballots by mail to vote with their mailed ballots.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced $3,000,394 in Appalachian Regional Commission grants for six projects in Central and Eastern Kentucky communities that will improve workforce training, bolster education systems, update critical infrastructure, further economic diversification and build a better Kentucky.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced $3,690,902 million in Appalachian Regional Commission grants for seven projects in Eastern Kentucky communities that will update infrastructure, bolster education, spur economic development, improve health care and build a better Kentucky.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF strongly encouraged voters who still have their mail ballots to immediately hand-deliver their voted ballot to their county election office or another officially designated site, including drop boxes.

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