Govs On Deck – September 2, 2020
It’s Wednesday, it’s September, and it’s time for another edition of “Govs on Deck!” As a reminder, your favorite newsletter comes out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
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Programming note: we will be taking a brief hiatus for the Labor Day weekend and will return on Wednesday, September 9th.
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.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO and prominent New York labor leaders today called on Congress to provide $59 billion to address catastrophic budget shortfalls that impact the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of workers in the state.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed orders extending Connecticut’s states of civil preparedness and public health emergency to February 9, 2021.
- OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN extended her state of emergency declaration for 60 days.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF signed the second renewal of his 90-day disaster declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced additional COVID-19 mitigation efforts will be implemented in the Metro East effective Wednesday, September 2, 2020. Region 4 has only increased its positivity rate following initial mitigations and is now reporting a current 7-day rolling test positivity average of 9.6%.
- NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that after a summer of hard work to slow the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina will take a modest step forward move into Phase 2.5 starting this Friday, September 4th at 5 pm. Mask mandates and other prevention methods remain in effect and are even more important to contain the virus.
- DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY signed a modification to his State of Emergency Order, releasing updated guidance from the Delaware Division of Public Health on playing fall sports safely in Delaware.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order increasing the limits for indoor gatherings that are religious services or celebrations, political activities, wedding ceremonies, funerals, or memorial services to 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 150 people, an increase from the current limit of 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 100 people. Other indoor gatherings, including house parties, remain at the limit of 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 25 people.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of New York’s absentee ballot portal where voters can directly request an absentee ballot for the upcoming November 3rd election.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed an executive order establishing rules for the resumption of indoor dining on Friday. The order also contains requirements for movie theaters and other indoor entertainment businesses, where the number of patrons for a performance will be limited to 25 percent capacity, up to a maximum of 150 people.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced new state guidance for agritourism businesses as New York State enters the Fall season. The businesses, which include corn mazes, pick-your-own fruit and vegetable operations, hayrides, and haunted houses, are considered low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment and are permitted to operate under New York’s NY Forward guidance.
- NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER signed an executive order extending the limited hours on the sale of alcoholic drinks in North Carolina. As the state continues to fight the spread of COVID-19, the order requires restaurants to end the sale of alcoholic beverages at 11 pm.
Schools and students:
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS, the Colorado Department of Education, and Colorado Education Initiative are partnering with Rocky Mountain Public Media to provide K-3 students, their families, and caregivers with direct-to-home remote lessons in literacy, science, art, and math through Colorado Classroom: Learn with Me at Home starting September 7th and airing for 15 weeks on RMPBS. The website, which will include accompanying lesson plans for families, caregivers, and their children will launch the same day at rmpbs.org/ColoradoClassroom.
- RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that public and private schools will have an “entirely separate” testing system from the rest of the state.
- ILLINOIS’ Department of Employment Security announced it has submitted its application to FEMA for the new federal Lost Wage Assistance funds, despite serious concerns about the unfairness of this new federal unemployment program, especially for the lowest-income workers.
- NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER called on the state legislature to expand unemployment benefits as they return to session this week.
- KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY and the Kansas Department for Children and Families announced an additional benefit in September for those receiving child care assistance to support families as they adapt to delayed school openings across the state. DCF is supplementing September child care plans to equal the benefit issued in August. In a typical year, the benefit would be reduced in September to account for children being in school. DCF also is expanding eligibility criteria for its Hero Relief Program. The program expands DCF’s child care assistance subsidies for families by making them available to essential workers who financially qualify. Effective September 1st, school personnel will be added to the list of eligible workers.
Homeowner and renter support:
- CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed legislation to protect millions of tenants from eviction and property owners from foreclosure due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. These protections apply to tenants who declare an inability to pay all or part of the rent due to a COVID-related reason.
- NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK signed an emergency directive, extending the moratorium on certain residential evictions for 45 days, through October 14, 2020.
- OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN extended protections from foreclosure for Oregon homeowners and business owners through executive action, until December 31. Her executive order will extend House Bill 4204’s current moratorium on foreclosures, as allowed by that legislation.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF urged the legislature to quickly pass legislation to protect Pennsylvanians from eviction from their homes and fix a state program so it helps more homeowners and renters as intended.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced $4 million in funding for the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia, which will support 20 Legal Aid attorneys in providing services to Virginia tenants facing eviction for the next two years. This critical investment comes as thousands of Virginians continue to be at risk of eviction and is supported in part by a $2 million donation from IKEA U.S. Community Foundation. The governor will match the donation with $2 million from Virginia’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, which was approved by the General Assembly in April.
- CONNECTICUT, NEW JERSEY, and NEW YORK’s regional travel advisory was updated and now includes Alaska and Montana on the list of impacted locations. No areas were removed in this week’s update.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced the state will provide CARES Act funding for the reopening of 26 Sheltered Workshop programs throughout the state.Sheltered Workshop programs provide employment, job, and skills training to people with disabilities. Statewide, there are 26 programs operating 28 sites. All have been closed since early March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation that authorizes municipalities and counties to borrow funds to cover revenue shortfalls and expenditures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, by issuing bonds and notes.
- NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM announced $150 million in CARES Act grants to local governments across New Mexico to cover the cost of necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that more than $6 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program was approved by the Executive Committee of the Criminal Justice Services Board of the Department of Criminal Justice Services. The Committee awarded 171 grants to localities, nonprofit organizations, and state agencies throughout Virginia.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced nearly $190 million will be awarded from the state’s federal stimulus funding to local governments that did not receive direct distributions under the CARES Act.
- DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY submitted a formal request to President Donald Trump, asking for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for the state as a result of the severe weather events during the period of August 4, 2020, through August 7, 2020.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that FEMA has approved an additional seven Louisiana parishes for Individual Assistance following Hurricane Laura, bringing the total number of parishes where residents are eligible for aid to 16.
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced $2,998,892 in grant funding for four projects in Eastern Kentucky for utility improvements, economic development, and tourism advancements that will create economic opportunities in the region.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that Ball Corporation will create approximately 230 new, good-paying full-time jobs at its new aluminum beverage packaging plant in Pittston, Pennsylvania, in Luzerne County.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced a new low-interest loan approval through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority that will assist in the construction of a multi-occupancy building in Fayette County that could create up to 250 full-time jobs.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that businesses that suffered damage in Kenosha over the last week will be eligible for up to $20,000 each in no-interest loans to help cover repair costs.
- CALIFORNIA Labor Commissioner Lilia García-Brower, together with the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and First Partner Jennifer Siebel NEWSOM, have partnered to host a series of #EqualPayCA trainings on the Equal Pay Act as part of the Workplace Rights Ambassador Project to provide women and girls with the tools to fight pay discrimination and file claims under California’s Equal Pay Act.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation that would amend current law to include false incrimination and filing a false police report as a form of bias intimidation. The bill also establishes the crime of false 9-1-1 calls with the purpose to intimidate or harass based on race or other protected class.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the release of two requests for proposals for programs that build and support homeless housing across the state. Combined, the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program and the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative make available $158 million for projects that will house New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and provide supportive services aimed at addressing the root causes of housing instability.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that General Motors will begin using Colorado’s assignability provisions of the Colorado Innovative Motor Vehicle Tax Credit, effective immediately. This will allow Colorado consumers to immediately take advantage of the financial benefit of the current $4,000 state tax credit at the point of sale.
- MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK issued a statement in response to the decision in the federal district court that dismissed a case brought by an out-of-state dark money group challenging his executive order increasing transparency on dark money spending.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation that prohibits lawful presence in the United States as a qualification to obtain a professional or occupational license, provided that the applicant meets all other requirements for licensure. The bill impacts the roughly 500,000 undocumented residents in New Jersey, who will now be eligible for professional licenses such as nursing, counseling, and cosmetology.
Stay safe everyone, wear a mask, and wash your hands! See you next Wednesday!