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Govs On Deck – October 9, 2020
Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck!” As a reminder, your favorite newsletter comes out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
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.
What we’re talking about:
- NEW JERSEY Gov. and DGA Chair Phil MURPHY released a statement on the foiled kidnapping plot against MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that Louisiana will stay in Phase 3, keeping its strong COVID-19 mitigation measures, including a continued statewide mask mandate, in place for another 28 days.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order that enacts the previously announced, Phase 3 increases in gathering sizes for spiritual, religious, and worship services. The order also extends the previously enacted provisions regarding drive-in religious and graduation ceremonies through at least November 9.
Schools and students:
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced a new allocation of more than $220 million in federal CARES Act dollars to help K-12 public schools in Virginia. The funding will support COVID-19 preparedness and response measures for the 2020–2021 school year, including testing supplies, personal protective equipment, sanitization, and technology for distance learning.
- MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced he is directing $200 million in state Coronavirus Relief Funds to effectively double the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and prevent the thousands of Montana businesses who pay into unemployment insurance from experiencing an 85 percent spike in their tax rate.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended executive orders that maintain eligibility for Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Basic Health Plan and ordering expedited unemployment insurance claim processing.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced today the Alternate Care Facility at Wisconsin State Fair Park will begin accepting COVID-19 patients within the next week. The announcement comes as Wisconsin health systems experience rising pressure to manage record surges in COVID-19 patient hospitalizations. As of yesterday, there were 853 COVID-19 hospitalizations, an increase of 71 over the day before.
Homeowner and renter support:
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced he is directing $12 million in additional funding from the federal CARES Act to Virginia’s Rent and Mortgage Relief Program, due to high demand for financial assistance. The program assists households and landlords with rent and mortgage payments to avoid eviction or foreclosure due to COVID-19.
- HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced trusted testing and travel partners for the COVID-19 pre-travel testing program that starts October 15.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that his administration is dedicating $2.6 million of Connecticut’s Coronavirus Relief Funds to support the state’s public libraries as they continue to make health and safety improvements and offer more services to residents amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced $60 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund for the Local Government Emergency Fund to aid counties and municipalities that were excluded from the federal government’s direct CRF allocation plan. The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted county and local governments in New Jersey, and they are facing increased costs in health benefits, health and human services, public safety, overtime, equipment, and supply expenditures. These relief funds will help to address necessary and unexpected expenditures necessitated by the pandemic.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced today that the Office of State Fire Commissioner will be awarding $50 million worth of grant funding to fire, rescue, and EMS across the commonwealth to offset expenses related to COVID-19.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Virginia is allocating $30 million in funding from the federal CARES Act to improve broadband access in underserved localities.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation today establishing safety guidelines for behavioral health facilities.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that President Donald Trump has approved his request for a federal emergency declaration in advance of Hurricane Delta, which is forecast to make landfall along Louisiana’s coastline.
- OREGON’s request for a direct housing mission to help provide temporary housing for hundreds of Oregonians displaced by wildfire was granted from FEMA.
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order to establish the Office of Broadband Development and announced the distribution of nearly $50 million in Connectivity Emergency Response Grant funds to underserved communities across Kansas.
- CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM advanced an executive order enlisting California’s vast network of natural and working lands – forests, rangelands, farms, wetlands, coast, deserts, and urban green spaces – in the fight against climate change. These novel approaches will help clean the air and water for communities throughout the state and support California’s unique biodiversity.
- COLORADO’s Division of Insurance announced that the reinsurance program continues to deliver significant savings for Coloradans buying individual health insurance. For 2021, the reinsurance program will save consumers across Colorado an average of 20.8% over what premiums would have been without the program. On the Western Slope and southwest Colorado, the program will save Coloradans nearly 38%.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the Department of Financial Services has issued a Circular Letter to New York-regulated health insurers, clarifying coverage for pre-exposure prophylaxis, known as PrEP, for the prevention of HIV infection and related services.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced a second round of awards of more than $423,000 for the purchase and installation of equipment to deliver addiction telehealth services statewide. Expanded telepractice capacity ensures access to critical addiction services for individuals and families who may not otherwise seek out treatment.
Campaigns and elections:
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation allowing public officeholders and candidates for public office to use political contributions to pay for child care expenses related to official or campaign activities.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that Gentex Corporation, a fourth-generation, family-run, advanced manufacturer of personal protection equipment and situational awareness systems for defense, law enforcement/first responder, and industrial safety applications has partnered with the commonwealth to expand its operations at its headquarters in Fell Township, Lackawanna County, creating 60 new jobs and retaining 484 jobs at the facility.
- 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.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Plasser American Corporation, a manufacturer of railway construction and maintenance equipment, will invest $52.6 million to expand in the City of Chesapeake.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Premium-PPE, a manufacturer of AmeriShield branded masks and personal protective equipment, will invest $5.3 million to expand its operation in the City of Virginia Beach.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed legislation that increases accountability among Connecticut’s utility companies by implementing a performance-based incentive system that ensures their earnings and profits are tied to good performance and certain penalties can be enacted amid extensive service disruptions.
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced the Federal Victims of Crime Act Victim Assistance grant awards. A total of $21,972,342 was awarded to 69 organizations.
- PENNSYLVANIA’s Commission on Crime and Delinquency, which was created by executive order by Gov. Tom WOLF, reconvened the Special Council on Gun Violence today to discuss state agencies’ progress in implementing recommendations from its Report of Findings, Recommendations, and Action Steps adopted in March 2020, and to hear from communities working to address gun violence.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM declared Monday, October 12, 2020, Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the first such proclamation in Virginia history.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS granted pardons this week to nine individuals. The Governor’s Pardon Advisory Board heard from applicants virtually on September 15, 2020. Applicants who the Board recommended for pardon were forwarded to Gov. Evers for final consideration. To date, the governor has granted 74 pardons.
Stay safe everyone, wear a mask, and wash your hands! See you on Monday!