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Govs On Deck – October 7, 2020

Govs on Deck

Hello everyone, and welcome to Wednesday’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:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS, MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER, NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK, NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY, NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM, OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN, PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF, VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM, and WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS released a joint statement condemning President Trump’s decision to halt COVID-19 relief talks. 

Reopening efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended the Protect Our Neighbors executive order. 
  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS announced that Maine will move into Stage 4 of the Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy beginning Tuesday, October 13, 2020. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a new cluster action initiative to address COVID-19 hot spots that have cropped up in Brooklyn, Queens, and Broome, Orange, and Rockland Counties. Working with the top public health experts, New York State developed a science-based approach to attack these clusters and stop any further spread of the virus, including new rules and restrictions directly targeted to areas with the highest concentration of COVID cases and the surrounding communities. The new rules will be in effect for a minimum of 14 days.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced several updates to Washington’s Safe Start reopening plan. The changes seek to align guidance and adjustments to regulations of several industries.

Public gatherings:

  • NEW MEXICO announced a calendar of 13 family-friendly Halloween activities New Mexicans can safely enjoy at home all through the month of October.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS directed the Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue Emergency Order #3 limiting public gatherings to no more than 25 percent of a room or building’s total occupancy.


  • 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. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed a bill that will allow some clerks to begin processing ballots early.

Business guidance:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced alcohol may be served at sporting events in parishes that qualify and have opted in to open bars, beginning this weekend.

Business support:

  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced more than $100 million in investments aimed at providing additional economic stabilization for small businesses and communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Health care:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order expanding the health care workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities.

Testing, tracing, and vaccinations:

  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced a plan to deploy a huge influx of rapid COVID-19 tests from the federal government. Oregon will be receiving 60,000 to 80,000 COVID-19 rapid tests per week until the end of the year. The Abbott BinaxNOW antigen tests can diagnose cases of COVID-19 in 15 minutes.

Family support:

  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced today an additional $47 million investment in COVID-19 support for child care, healthcare navigators, and energy and rental assistance to Wisconsinites across the state. 

Child care:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is providing $35 million in operational grants from federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to help child care programs providing in-person child care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homeowner and renter support:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order providing relief to public utility customers. 

Travel restrictions:

  • CONNECTICUTNEW JERSEY, and NEW YORK’s regional travel advisory was updated: New Mexico has been added to the list of impacted locations that meet the metrics to qualify, and no states or territories were removed.

Relief funds:

  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK and Lt. Governor Mike Cooney visited Dehler Park, home of the Billings Mustangs minor league baseball team, to highlight how support through the Coronavirus Relief Funds will help to sustain America’s favorite pastime following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other efforts:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton announced the Healing Illinois initiative in response to the racial disparities highlighted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extension of 26 proclamations today in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond COVID-19 

Natural disasters:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS declared a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Delta, which is forecast to make landfall in South Louisiana on Friday or Saturday.

Criminal justice reform:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER proposed seven guiding principles that will be foundational in the administration’s plans to take action, in partnership with the General Assembly, to reform and modernize the state’s criminal justice system. From ending cash bail to reducing recidivism and modernizing sentencing laws to increasing police accountability and training, these principles aim to keep all Illinois families safe and build opportunities in all communities. 

Workforce development:

  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state is expanding the Educators Rising Academy curriculum in ten school districts across Connecticut, giving high school students access to a program that encourages students early on to consider careers in education and diversifies the pipelines to the state’s teacher workforce.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Virginia will invest $1.7 million over the next two years to expand the innovative Network2Work program, a unique workforce development initiative established by Piedmont Virginia Community College that connects job seekers with local job networks and support services. 


  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the recipients of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s new Short Line Rail Fund program.

Economic development:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the autonomous vehicle company Blue White Robotics is establishing a Command and Control center at the Tech Garden in Downtown Syracuse.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced two new low-interest loan approvals through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority that will assist in the construction of a produce growing, processing, and warehouse facility in Snyder County and the demolition, renovation, and construction of an existing manufacturing property in Lebanon County that could create a combined over 60 full-time jobs.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Danish company Rose Holm, a leading manufacturer of threaded bolts for the food and beverage, wind power, and heat exchange industries in Northern Europe, will invest $1.35 million to establish its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Henrico County.

Health care:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced Monday the state has reconnected kynect in order to provide easier access to health coverage and other benefits. The new kynect offers expanded benefits, enhanced usability, a new mobile-friendly format and helps to ready the commonwealth for the return of the state-based exchange, scheduled for enrollment in 2021 to begin the exchange in January 2022. The move is expected to save Kentuckians about $15 million a year.

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced his nomination of Justice Martin Jenkins (Ret.) for Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Justice Jenkins would be the first openly gay California Supreme Court justice and only the third African American man ever to serve on the state’s highest court. It has been 29 years since an African American man has served on the California Supreme Court.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced the awarding of $3 million in federal grant money that will enhance the safety and preparedness of 25 communities across the commonwealth.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. PHIL MURPHY announced that the New Jersey Fish and Game Council has proposed changes to the state’s Game Code that would end bear hunting in New Jersey after 2020. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN Department of Administrative Services last week published the annual maximum rent increase allowed by statute for the calendar year 2021. The DAS Office of Economic Analysis has calculated the maximum percentage as 9.2%.

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