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Govs On Deck – September 25, 2020

Govs on Deck

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. 


As always, questions or suggestions? Send me a note at amestoy@dga.net. 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 requests:


  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO and MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER released a statement calling for a Congressional oversight investigation into the Trump administration’s politicization of government functions that have impeded the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Emergency declarations:


  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE signed a supplementary emergency proclamation that extends the COVID-19 emergency period through Oct. 31. 


Reopening efforts:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced details for his plans to move Connecticut into Phase 3 of the state’s reopening amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The plan, which is targeted to take effect on Thursday, October 8, 2020, will ease some of the restrictions that were put into place on businesses and gatherings while ensuring that the state continues taking a safe approach to limit the spread of the virus.


Business support:


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed an executive order to extend the authorization for local governments to halt evictions for commercial renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through March 31, 2021, and address a variety of issues in response to the pandemic.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced that eligible Delaware small businesses and nonprofits will be able to apply for the $30 million available from the second round of DE Relief Grants starting Thursday, October 1st.


Health care:


  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Public Health is announcing the state of influenza vaccination clinics in Connecticut for the coming flu season and is encouraging people in the state to get vaccinated for the flu as soon as possible.
  • HAWAIIGov. David IGE approved the award of $14 million in CARES funding for the Department of Health to provide more than 200 additional nurses and other specialists for hospitals statewide over the next four months. Some of the out-of-state personnel will begin arriving this weekend.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER got his flu shot today at the Wake County Public Health Center and encouraged North Carolinians to do the same. 


Testing, tracing, and vaccination:


  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York State will form an independent Clinical Advisory Task Force comprised of leading scientists, doctors, and health experts who will review every COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the federal government, and will advise New York State on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness in fighting the virus. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the individual saliva swab diagnostic test for COVID-19 developed by SUNY Upstate Medical University and Quadrant Biosciences has been granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced $8.3 million to support COVID-19 testing efforts at Wisconsin’s private, nonprofit and tribal colleges and universities. 


Worker support:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that as companies continue navigating the impact of the ongoing, global COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Connecticut will be expanding its Shared Work program, which helps businesses in the state prevent layoffs by allowing them to temporarily reduce employee hours and use partial unemployment benefits to supplement lost wages. The program will be expanded beginning the week of October 5, 2020.


Family support:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced the launch of a new initiative to provide emergency food resources to Connecticut’s food pantries as the state continues to respond to the ongoing impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Under the initiative, food pantries in need of assistance can visit CTPantryResources.com, where they can connect to resources on food procurement and distribution, volunteer assistance, shipping and storage supports, and more.


Homeowner and renter support:


  • CONNECTICUT’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) today announced that it has issued a ruling that will extend the enrollment period for the COVID-19 Payment Program for non-residential utility customers through November 1, 2020. 
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced the expansion of the Rent and Mortgage Relief Program, which first launched at the end of June with $50 million in federal CARES Act funding to assist households facing eviction or foreclosure due to COVID-19. Landlords can now apply to receive financial assistance for current and past-due rental payments dating back to April 1, 2020, on behalf of their tenants who qualify for RMRP. This new application is available in addition to the existing tenant-based application.


Travel restrictions:


  • HAWAII Gov. David IGE signed a supplementary emergency proclamation that leaves in place the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers. However, beginning Oct. 15, a pre-travel testing option will allow travelers an alternative to the mandatory 14-day quarantine.


Relief funds:


  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced $4.2 million in additional funds have been awarded through the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant program to aid small and medium-sized meat processors in responding to the COVID-19 crisis through the adaptation and advancement of meat processing infrastructure and capacity in Montana.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that more than $5 million of funding from the federal CARES Act will be awarded for the expansion of high-speed, broadband internet.  Funding will be awarded by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to applicants from the 2020 broadband expansion grants that did not receive funding and are able to connect customers by December 30, 2020, and satisfy the requirements of the federal CARES Act.


Special sessions:


  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS, in a letter to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House, requested that the Louisiana Legislature, during its Special Session, reallocate $175 million in money unspent in the Main Street Recovery Grant Program. The governor’s proposal is to allocate $75 million in funding to the state’s unemployment trust fund, $75 million to local governments most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and $25 million in grants for businesses closed in Phase 2 and Phase 3 of Louisiana’s COVID response, such as bars. 


Other efforts:


  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY signed an executive order that provides for the extension of drivers’ licenses that would expire before January 26, 2021, and sets a staggered deadline for vehicle registrations depending on when a vehicle was purchased. Specific registration deadlines are outlined within the release.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced that Washington is setting new requirements for commercial airports and recommendations for airlines. This is a statewide approach to the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect the health and safety of workers, passengers, and crew in the aviation sector.


Beyond COVID-19 


Federal requests:


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF called on U.S. Senator Pat Toomey to follow the precedent he set in 2016 and refuse to vote to confirm a new Associate Justice to the Supreme Court until the presidential election concludes and the elected candidate is sworn into office. 


Natural disasters:


  • NEW MEXICO’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced that New Mexico firefighters are en route to California to help crews battle wildfires. This is the second mobilization this year by New Mexico in response to California wildfires.
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER requested a major disaster declaration to help defray some of the costs for communities impacted by Hurricane Isaias.


Climate change:


  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed legislation that will make California the first state in the nation to establish minimum recycled content requirements for plastic beverage containers, and make California’s standards the strongest in the world. 
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the launch of California Climate Action Corps, the country’s first statewide corps of its kind with the mission of empowering Californians to take meaningful action to protect their homes, health, and communities against the harshest impacts of climate change.
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that the Department of Finance has released the California Climate Investment Framework, which integrates the climate risk strategies of the state’s three largest pension funds into a statewide approach to sustainable investment going forward.
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that he will aggressively move the state further away from its reliance on climate change-causing fossil fuels while retaining and creating jobs and spurring economic growth. The governor issued an executive order requiring sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector.
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed multiple pieces of legislation to combat climate change and protect the environment.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed two executive orders to create the MI Healthy Climate Plan. The governor’s comprehensive plan will protect Michiganders’ public health and the environment and help develop new clean energy jobs by putting Michigan on a path towards becoming fully carbon-neutral by 2050.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced new regulations have been finalized to significantly reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons in New York and help prevent these climate-altering gases from affecting the state’s environment and public health. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that grants totaling $14.6 million will fund 39 projects to protect North Carolina’s land and water from the mountains to the coast. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF vetoed a bill that would have prevented the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection from taking any action to abate, control or limit carbon dioxide emissions in the commonwealth without the prior approval of the General Assembly.
  • WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE penned an op-ed in Rolling Stone declaring we “cannot give in to defeat and permission” on the climate crisis. 


Health care:


  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS released Behavioral Health in Colorado: Putting People First, a blueprint to reform the state’s behavioral health system. The BHTF, initiated by the governor and led by the Colorado Department of Human Services, met for more than a year, engaging with communities across the state, to create a blueprint to make substance use and mental health services more accessible and affordable across the state. 


Economic development:


  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that a Connecticut consortium, led by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment that will fund the Digital Model Initiative, a two-year pilot program to accelerate the adoption of 3-D design and manufacturing technology throughout Connecticut’s defense supply chains.
  • DELAWARE Gov. John CARNEY announced a $1.5 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Administration to Delaware Innovation Space to create a Hard Science Startup Accelerator. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced low-cost power economic development awards in support of nearly 5,000 jobs and nearly $280 million in capital investments throughout New York State. 
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that Globus Medical, a Pennsylvania-based medical device company focused on the design, development, and commercialization of musculoskeletal implants, will expand its manufacturing operations to Montgomery County, creating 243 new jobs and retaining more than 1,000 Pennsylvania jobs statewide.


Infrastructure:


  • ILLINOIS’ Environmental Protection Agency announced two grant opportunities with $20 million in funding available to assist communities with inadequate or nonexistent wastewater collection and treatment facilities. 


Racial justice:


  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR called for more information to be released and committed to listening, hearing, and doing more following the grand jury report into the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville.


Other efforts:


  • MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK, joined by family and friends of the late Tony Schoonen, announced new access and the renaming of another fishing access site on the Big Hole River in honor of the public lands advocate. 


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