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Govs On Deck – September 11, 2020

Govs on Deck

It’s Friday and it’s time for another edition of “Govs on Deck!” As a reminder, your favorite newsletter comes out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

Today, we are mourning and honoring all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and thanking those who risked their lives to save others. 

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:

Federal action:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY and NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM delivered virtual testimony to the House Committee on Financial Services, advocating for support from the federal government to help states recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legal actions:

  • CALIFORNIA’s Supreme Court refused to overturn Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directives limiting in-classroom instruction to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Emergency declarations:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY sent members of the State Finance Council a letter illustrating the importance of renewing the current State of Disaster Emergency Declaration beyond September 15, and what is at stake for Kansas if they fail to act.

Reopening efforts:

  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that Louisiana will move into phase three today. Additional details are expected today.
  • NEVADA’s COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force approved allowing bars in the City of Pahrump and in Washoe County to reopen following the statewide mitigation and enforcement measures. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced indoor dining in New York City will be allowed to resume beginning September 30th with a 25 percent occupancy limit. All restaurants that choose to reopen will be subject to strict safety protocols, including temperature checks, contact information for tracing, face coverings when not seated, and other safety protocols. Bar service will not be permitted, and restaurants will close at midnight. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that, due to significantly improved health metrics in the Eastern Region, localities in Hampton Roads will join the rest of the Commonwealth in Phase Three of the “Forward Virginia” plan to ease public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Face coverings:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO issued an executive order directing the MTA to develop a plan to bolster mask compliance across public transportation system’s subways, buses, and railroads. 

Business support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed three bills into law to support small businesses grappling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and another to jumpstart state construction projects.The legislation allows small businesses to exclude PPP loans from gross income for state taxes, authorizes a $100 million Main Street hiring tax credit program for small businesses, and accelerates $230.5 million in state bond funding to help jumpstart construction projects 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that the Kansas Division of Emergency Management has launched a new Business PPE Stopgap program, which provides PPE to businesses experiencing delays in purchased equipment.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced additional funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund will be directed to the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant and Social Services Nonprofit Grant programs to fully address identified needs.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced $2.3 million in federal CARES Act funding for four organizations to provide critical services to small and mid-sized manufacturers as they adapt to changing market conditions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF called on the General Assembly to provide additional funding to support small businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Schools and students:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order facilitating learning pods due to the presence of COVID-19.
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS launched the $32.7 million Response, Innovation, and Student Equity Education fund to support high-needs school districts, charter schools, and public institutions of higher education in creating sustainable innovations to improve student learning, close equity gaps, and enhance operational efficiency for pre-K-12 through higher education. The RISE Education Fund utilizes federal funds from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, included as part of the CARES Act. The fund will support innovative, locally driven solutions, help to address broad structural challenges that have the potential to be replicated in the future, and advance equity by reaching those students most likely to have been affected by the economic, social, and health impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced outbreak response protocols to support K-12 schools as they respond to suspected or positive COVID-19 cases and take public health-based measures to minimize the spread and keep students safe and healthy. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced nearly $40 million in funding for NC Student Connect, a new partnership created to address internet connectivity gaps that are a barrier to remote learning for many North Carolina students. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced $15 million for schools to secure broadband, mobile hotspots, and other platforms that increase equitable access to remote learning.

Health care:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY received her flu shot and emphasized that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever for all Kansans to get a flu shot.

Worker support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed legislation that immediately extends critical paid sick days protections to California’s workforce. This legislation means that every California employee that has been exposed to or tests positive for COVID-19 will have access to paid sick days for the rest of the 2020 calendar year.
  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Labor announced that the state has been approved for an additional two weeks of Lost Wages Assistance supplemental benefits. 
  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced a new $16.6 million investment to expand job opportunities for Illinoisans who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through two new grants received from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will distribute funding to place, train, and hire nearly 1,300 residents for an array of jobs related to the ongoing pandemic response. 
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER launched the nation’s first program offering tuition-free college to an estimated 625,000 Michiganders who provided essential, frontline services during COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Safe orders between April – June 2020. Futures for Frontliners, inspired by the GI Bill, offers Michigan adults without college degrees or high school diplomas who provided essential services during the pandemic a tuition-free pathway to gaining the skills needed to obtain high-demand, high-wage careers. The funding is not only available to those in the medical field, but also essential workers in manufacturing, nursing homes, grocery stores, sanitation, delivery, retail, and more.

Family support:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Social Services will provide over $16.5 million in Emergency SNAP Benefits to nearly half of Connecticut’s SNAP participants on Thursday, September 17, 2020 – adding to the $100.6 million in emergency benefits disbursed in April, May, June, July, and August. 

Child care:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced $88.6 million in federal CARES Act funding is available to assist child care providers through NY Forward grants as they adjust their programs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is in addition to $30 million made available in the spring and $48.3 million recently awarded to assist child care providers with reopening or restructuring their physical plans to meet new social distancing requirements. 

Relief funds:

  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced the $25 million Delaware Nonprofit Support Fund, which will support organizations that have provided critical services to Delawareans and Delaware families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

State budgets:

  • MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS presented a plan for balancing the state budget over the next ten months as the state faces a projected $528 million dollar shortfall due to the pandemic.

Special sessions:

  • MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ announced that he will convene a special legislative session beginning today. The governor intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days.

Other efforts:

  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS extended an executive order allowing the operation of alternate care sites in Colorado due to COVID-19.
  • CONNECTICUT’s non-congregate sheltering program has been approved by FEMA for a 30-day extension under the FEMA Public Assistance program through October 1, 2020. This program, which was initially approved in March, provides non-congregate housing to certain high-risk individuals, including those who have COVID-19 or have been in contact with individuals who have the virus. It provides the state and its municipalities with a 75 percent reimbursement of all eligible costs associated with this housing. 
  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order which will re-issue and extend several previous orders set to expire next week. The orders allow Kansas to continue effectively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, keep Kansans safe and healthy, and make sure businesses can continue to recover from the virus’s economic impact.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff for one week as a tribute to all those Kentuckians who have passed away due to COVID-19.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation that authorizes the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to use stored driver’s license or identification card photos for longer than eight years and limits certain appointment times at MVC locations to senior citizens and persons with certain medical conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The governor also signed legislation that temporarily extends deadlines to register vehicles and obtain driver’s licenses for new State residents during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Beyond COVID-19 

Natural disasters:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an emergency proclamation for the County of Siskiyou due to fires. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS signed an executive order declaring a state of disaster emergency due to the Grizzly Creek Fire in Garfield and Eagle Counties and related damage to Interstate 70.
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that FEMA has approved an additional two Louisiana parishes for Individual Assistance following Hurricane Laura, bringing the total number of parishes where residents are eligible for aid to 18.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN issued an executive order declaring an abnormal market disruption as a result of the statewide wildfire emergency. This order is in response to reports of unusual increases in lodging rates for Oregonians who have evacuated fire areas and concern that the wildfire emergency may prevent ready availability of other essential consumer goods and services.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued a proclamation today in response to damage from several wildfires across the state. The proclamation will help families and individuals impacted by wildfires with cash assistance for immediate needs. 


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF applauded the State Board of Education today for advancing an update to Pennsylvania’s science education standards. Modernizing standards for how science is taught in schools is vital to the future success of students and important to strengthening Pennsylvania’s economy and creating jobs.


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT joined federal, state, and local leaders at a ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the opening of Union Station in New Haven, during which his administration signed a letter of intent with the City of New Haven establishing a new partnership agreement designed to launch “a new era in managing the (two) State of Connecticut-owned rail stations in New Haven.” 

Economic development:

  • RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology, and next-generation services, plans to hire 500 additional tech workers in Rhode Island by 2023.

Racial justice:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation that designates the third Friday in June as a State and public holiday, known as Juneteenth Day. 


  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced the members who will serve on the People’s Maps Commission, a nonpartisan redistricting commission charged with drawing fair, impartial maps based on 2020 U.S. Census data.

Other efforts:

  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced recently that The School Safety and Security Committee within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is opening a competitive solicitation for grant applications designed to reduce or prevent community violence. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM released a statement after Virginia joined Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia in filing suit against the U.S. EPA for its failure to enforce the terms of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement which require partner states to reduce their pollution levels in the allotted time frame.

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