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Govs On Deck – October 30, 2020

Govs on Deck

Happy freaky Friday from your worst nightmare – a stressed-out Democrat who’s decided that tweeting more is probably the answer – and welcome to 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, 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:

Emergency declarations:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS extended the State of Civil Emergency through November 27, 2020.

New mitigation efforts:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 3—West-Central Illinois—beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, 2020. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 9, Lake and McHenry counties, beginning at 12:01 am on Saturday, October 31, 2020. 
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR urged every Kentuckian in 68 red zone counties to up their game in the fight against COVID-19 and follow nine recommendations beginning Monday, Nov. 2, through Sunday, Nov. 8, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as cases flare in those areas.

Reopening efforts:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the “Red Zone” micro-cluster focus area in Orange County has met the metrics required to shift to an “Orange Warning Zone.” 

Face coverings:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that counties, via their local departments of health, will now be allowed to require that mask mandates be extended at all times in both public and private schools under their jurisdictions.

Public gatherings:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that allows municipalities that are in the orange level of the state’s weekly COVID-19 Alert Map to have the option of reverting to Phase 2, in addition to the red level municipalities, as previously ordered. In addition, there is no longer a deadline for municipalities to decide whether they want to revert to Phase 2. Effective immediately, municipalities can elect to revert to Phase 2 any time that it is categorized within the red or orange levels.


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order concerning changes to 2020 election activity to limit in-person contact while allowing the election to proceed safely and without interruption to the Secretary of State’s operations. 
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that grants an extension to municipalities that want to pre-process absentee ballots but missed the Saturday deadline for providing notice to the Secretary of the State.
  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ, Attorney General Keith Ellison, and Secretary of State Steve Simon issued statements reminding all Minnesotans that they have the right to vote safely and securely and that voter intimidation or interference will not be tolerated. The statements reflect the three leaders’ commitment to maintaining Minnesota’s strong record of voter turnout and ensuring that all Minnesotans can safely exercise their right to vote.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that the Wisconsin National Guard will assist local election officials as poll workers for the November 3 election across Wisconsin. 

Schools and students:

  • CONNECTICUT’sDepartment of Public Health, in collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education, launched a dashboard for the public reporting of confirmed COVID-19 cases among PK-12 students and staff in all public and private schools. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a directive to the Department of Retirement Systems to issue an emergency rule regarding continuity of pension benefits for school district employees continuing to experience work disruptions as a result of remote learning.

Business support:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced the release of $94 million in emergency relief funds for communities and small businesses statewide. More than $46 million in small business grants through the historic Business Interruption Grants program will provide relief to offset COVID-19 related costs for over 1,200 businesses in all corners of the state. Additionally, over $48 million in Local CURE funding has been issued to 163 local governments submitting eligible emergency costs for reimbursement. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that the State Finance Council unanimously approved providing $20 million in CARES funding more for small businesses.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Rebuild VA, a grant program to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, will expand eligibility criteria and increase the amount of grant money businesses receive.

Health care:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK secured five teams that will include five nurses per team from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist critical access hospitals in rural areas of the state with caring for patients.

PPE and medical supplies:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, in collaboration with the Kansas Department for Children and Families, is making visible personal protective equipment available to deaf and hard of hearing individuals, their family members, and/or personal caretakers.  

Testing, tracing, and vaccination:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEYNEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY, and RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that their states will be working together on asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that the State Finance Council unanimously approved investing up to $45 million more in CARES funding in COVID-19 testing.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY delivered remarks detailing the framework for the Unified Testing Strategy. 

Worker support:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order providing mandatory health and safety standards to protect all New Jersey workers at work during the pandemic.  The executive order will require both private and public sector employers to follow health and safety protocols that will serve to protect their in-person workforces.  
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Virginia is allocating $30 million in federal CARES Act dollars to help Virginians whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis pursue workforce training in a high-demand field. 

Family support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order directing the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to make one-time direct stimulus payments to qualifying individuals experiencing economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Housing support:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER issued an executive order to strengthen eviction protections to help North Carolina renters stay in their homes.
  • NORTH CAROLINA’sDepartment of Health and Human Services released a request for applications to fund up to $10.6 million in community-based projects to prevent opioid overdoses for people who are involved in the justice system. During the COVID-19 pandemic, North Carolina has seen a resurgence in the opioid overdose crisis. 

Public communication:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM and global superstar and activist Becky G teamed up with YouTube for an exclusive “Plática,” or conversation, about the importance of the youth and Latinx vote in shaping America’s future. The two urged Latinx Gen Zers, Millennials, and Gen Xers to turn out in the upcoming election and discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted diverse communities throughout the state and nation.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an executive order addressing a variety of issues in response to the pandemic.

Beyond COVID-19 

Emergency declarations:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency to provide additional support to Philadelphia after several days of unrest following the shooting death of Walter Wallace Jr. by two members of the Philadelphia Police Department.

Natural disasters:

  • COLORADO’s Department of Revenue will offer relief on state-collected taxes to Colorado businesses who have been affected by the fires in Estes Park and Grand Lake.  
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that President Donald Trump has approved his request for federal assistance related to Hurricane Zeta. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN extended the state of emergency in Oregon for fire-impacted counties to support ongoing wildfire emergency response and recovery efforts.


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that a West Sacramento motel will now provide permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness through a Homekey award as part of the seventh and final round of funding. The final round of funding totals $129.6 million awarded to nine jurisdictions for 17 projects totaling 982 units. 

Renewable energy:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS released a statement applauding the decision by the Board of Directors of the Platte River Power Authority to adopt a resource plan that will meet the needs of Northern Colorado with reliable, affordable, low-carbon electric power. The PRPA Board adopted an electric resource plan to retire the Rawhide coal plant, add 400 megawatts of renewable generation, and reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 90% by 2030. The Board’s adopted plan achieves 90% GHG pollution reductions below 2005 levels by 2030 and supports the state and region’s broader sustainability and decarbonization efforts.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced a three-state collaboration to advance offshore wind projects in the region and promote the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic United States as a hub for offshore wind energy and industry. 


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the USDA has awarded a grant of $6 million to Yampa Valley Electric Association to expand northwestern Colorado’s rural broadband access to an additional 264 homes, farms, and businesses located in Routt, Moffat, and Eagle counties.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM joined the Virginia Department of Transportation and state and local leaders to break ground on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) Expansion Project. The $3.8 billion project will increase tunnel and interstate capacity along 9.9 miles of Interstate 64 between Hampton and Norfolk, reducing congestion and easing access to the Port of Virginia and the world’s largest Naval base.

Workforce development:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced the release of a strategic plan on workforce development, which was created by the Governor’s Workforce Council and generates a set of recommendations focused on setting a coordinated, statewide strategy for building an equitable, inclusive, and innovative workforce that meets the needs of the current economic environment and has the ability to adapt to the needs of the future.

Economic development:

  • ILLINOIS’ Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity officials announced that FlexXray’s new state-of-the-art food and product inspection facility has plans to hire 150 workers from the community. FlexXray, a leading x-ray inspection and recovery service for the food industry, is expanding to serve the increased demand for its services and to meet the changing demands facing the US food supply chain due to COVID-19 while building on Aurora’s steady growth as a regional hub for manufacturing.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the Nova Steel USA, Inc plans to locate a tube manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, a $70 million investment that will help build a better Kentucky and is expected to create 110 full-time jobs in the coming years.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced Kentucky has received the largest Appalachian Regional Commission investment in a single state in decades, totaling more than $36.5 million. The funding supports 34 projects to improve economic diversification in Kentucky’s 54 Appalachian counties, many of which are affected by the changing economics of America’s energy production.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that BioAgilytix Labs, LLC, a leading life science testing company, will create 878 jobs and invest $61.5 million in Durham.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that Nuvotronics, an advanced technology manufacturer of microelectronics components and subsystems, will create 150 jobs in Durham County.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Revalation Vineyards will invest more than $2.3 million to build a new wine production facility, tasting room, and event space in Madison County. 

Criminal justice reform:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed a bill expanding on the state’s historic Clean Slate law by removing an obligation to pay any outstanding court-ordered financial obligations before eligible cases can be sealed. 

Suicide prevention:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state has been awarded a five-year grant from the CDC to enhance a range of suicide prevention activities coordinated among several state agencies. 

Health care:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced two new projects in Pike and Boyd counties have been selected for more than $8 million in funding through the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot grant program. The grants will help expand health care and grow jobs in Boyd, Pike counties
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed several bills that support mental health parity, sexual assault survivors, and veterans.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS released an executive order updating weather and safety condition directives and protocols for State employees that will both provide for continuity of government and services and ensure the safety of State employees.
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the award of Community Development Block Grants through the Kansas Department of Commerce to assist with a commercial redevelopment project in Fort Scott.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the New York State Department of Health has filed proposed regulations to regulate cannabinoid hemp products in New York State.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO  proposed new legislation to strengthen the State’s enforcement tools to hold utilities accountable in response to widespread failures to prepare for and respond to the reality of more frequent and extreme weather events such as Tropical Storm Isaias. 

I mean, you already have a mask:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY is hosting a virtual costume contest. What are you waiting for?

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