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Govs On Deck – September 30, 2020

Govs on Deck

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a super relaxing Tuesday evening. Anyways… it’s time for 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.

Debate response:

  • NEW MEXICO Gov. and DGA Vice Chair Michelle LUJAN GRISHAM released the following statement on President Trump’s record of failure.

COVID-19 response:


  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF released a statement condemning a house resolution as a partisan attack on the integrity of Pennsylvania elections. The resolution undermines the authority of county-level elections officials and the Department of State to administer safe, secure, and non-partisan elections.

Reopening efforts:

  • ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER announced that COVID-19 resurgence mitigations will be implemented in Region 1, the northwestern-most counties in Illinois, beginning Saturday, October 3, 2020.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced he will meet with Orthodox Jewish leaders to address COVID-19 clusters in communities downstate. 

Face coverings:

  • CONNECTICUT’s State Department of Education, with the assistance of the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and the Connecticut National Guard, began distributing 600,000 face masks to school districts across the state. 

Public gatherings:

  • NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK announced that he will be issuing an emergency directive adjusting the COVID-19 Statewide Baseline Mitigation Standards, including increasing limits on gathering sizes. The new directive and accompanying guidance address gatherings of all types and iterations. This new directive increases the limit on gatherings from 50 to 250 people or 50 percent of capacity, whichever is less, so long as social distancing can be maintained and all other requirements can be met.

Schools and students:

  • COLORADO announced revisions to school outbreak guidelines, providing more tools to school districts that adopt best practices for COVID mitigation like seating charts and mask-wearing, to safely quarantine close contacts, instead of automatically quarantining entire cohorts or classrooms of students. This is particularly important for middle and high schools, where it is more difficult to keep students in small cohorts. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the state has placed 40 new AmeriCorps members in some of the highest needs schools from the San Luis Valley to the Front Range focused on student outreach and engagement. These AmeriCorps members will help to contact families to help get children enrolled, attending, and engaged in school as soon as possible. 
  • COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced the Colorado Department of Local Affairs has provided $2.1 million through the Next Step 2-Generation Homelessness Prevention Program to support education-housing partnerships to help provide stable housing for children and families at-risk of experiencing homelessness. 

Testing, tracing, and vaccinations:

  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO appointed the members of the state’s independent Clinical Advisory Task Force that will review every COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the federal government, and will advise New York State on the vaccines’ safety and effectiveness in fighting the virus.  
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that New York will deploy 200 rapid testing machines to the sites of several upticks in specific counties and zip codes throughout the state. 

Long-term care facilities:

  • CONNECTICUT’s Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner signed an order rescinding previously issued orders limiting visitation at long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, that were issued to protect the health of nursing home residents in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Family support:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY announced that, as part of the Technology for Families Grant Program, the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund distributed $636,066 to support connectivity for families in need representing 86 Kansas counties. 
  • NEW MEXICO’s Department of Human Services announced that families will receive more than $45 million in additional food benefits following federal approval of the state’s amended Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program for August and September.

Homeowner, renter, and homelessness support:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced the third round of awards for Homekey, California’s innovative, nation-leading $600 million program to purchase and rehabilitate housing – including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other properties – and convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the State’s Tenant Safe Harbor Act will be expanded until January 1, 2021, to protect additional residential tenants from eviction if they are suffering financial hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency. 
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN established a new moratorium preventing residential evictions for non-payment and other no-cause evictions between September 30 and December 31, 2020.

Travel advisory:

  • CONNECTICUTNEW JERSEY, and NEW YORK’s regional travel advisory was updated: Colorado has been added to the list of impacted locations that meet the metrics to qualify, and Arizona and Virginia have been removed from the list.

Relief funds:

  • NORTH CAROLINA Gov. Roy COOPER announced that North Carolina has distributed over $2.6 billion in coronavirus relief funds as of September 21 and continues to work to administer the remaining funds in coordination with federal requirements.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced more than $1.7 million in Community Development Block Grants for three projects in James City and York counties and the city of Williamsburg that will assist local governments and community partners in meeting the needs of Virginia families and small businesses impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced more than $8.4 million in Community Development Block Grants for 14 projects that will help rural communities across Virginia respond to and recover from the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

State budgets:

  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed the Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations Act into law, working together with legislative leadership to enact a revised spending plan that manages to protect core priorities and deliver middle-class tax relief during the historic fiscal crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget plan also fully reestablishes the millionaires tax that expired in 2010, instituting the existing 10.75% rate on income over $5 million to income earned over $1 million.

Other efforts:

  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that he will extend a renewal option for Kentuckians with driver’s licenses that are due to expire.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER and Lt. Gov. Gilchrist highlighted new data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services showing significant progress has been made toward reducing the disparate impact COVID-19 has had on communities of color. The state created the Rapid Response Grant program to help local organizations continue the administration’s efforts to tackle racial disparities. 

Beyond COVID-19 

Natural disasters:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that he has signed a series of bills to improve the state’s emergency preparedness and response efforts, support wildfire survivors, and safeguard communities in high fire hazard areas.
  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM issued an emergency proclamation for the counties of Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta due to the Glass and Zogg fires, which have burned tens of thousands of acres, destroyed homes and critical infrastructure and caused the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS sent a letter to U.S. Sec. of Commerce Wilbur Ross requesting a federal fishery disaster be declared due to the profound and continuing impacts of Hurricane Laura on Louisiana’s fishing communities.
  • OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN announced she is convening a Wildfire Economic Recovery Council to evaluate the economic and community needs of Oregonians statewide as a result of the 2020 wildfire season. 

Housing crisis:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed legislation that will help California make significant progress on the state’s housing construction and equity goals. The package of 15 bills signed today includes new rights for tenants and community groups to purchase homes facing foreclosure, as well as a series of improvements to state law that will lead to more inclusive and affordable neighborhoods so housing can be within reach of more working Californians.

Health care:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that he has signed legislation to bring down the cost of prescription drugs for taxpayers, employers, and consumers.
  • MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER announced that the Healthy Michigan Plan is now providing health care coverage to more than 800,000 low-income residents for the first time.
  • PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced the launch of Life Unites Us, an evidence-based approach to stigma reduction of substance use disorders, specifically opioid use disorder.
  • WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS and First Lady Kathy EVERS announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is one of 15 public health programs across the country to be awarded the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Disease grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Economic development:

  • KANSAS Gov. Laura KELLY applauded the U.S. Small Business Administration on its announcement of a $127,400 award being presented to the Kansas Department of Commerce’s International Division through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR  announced Busche Industries Co., doing business as Xtreme Fabrication, plans to expand its existing Leitchfield facility with 25 high-paying jobs in the coming years.
  • KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that Chapin International Inc., a manufacturer of metal compressed air sprayers, plans to locate a production operation in Mount Vernon with a nearly $5.5 million investment creating up to 100 full-time jobs in the coming years.
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the Career Pathway Training Partnerships program in high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and electric heat pump technologies to prepare New Yorkers for the growing number of job opportunities in the clean energy industry. 
  • NORTH CAROLINAGov. Roy COOPER announced that Pamlico Air, an air filtration manufacturing company, will expand its North Carolina operations with a new facility in Beaufort County, creating 39 jobs.
  • VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced that Hitachi ABB Power Grids, a leader in power and energy technologies, will invest $6.2 million to upgrade equipment and increase manufacturing capacity at its Bland County operation. 

Animal protection:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM signed two bills into law boosting safety and transparency in horse racing. The signings follow an unprecedented 18 months for California’s horse racing industry, from the unprecedented increase and ongoing equine fatalities that occurred in early 2019, to the recent economic hardship caused by the current pandemic.
  • CALIFORNIAGov. Gavin NEWSOM signed legislation prohibiting the use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides which are known to poison mountain lions and other wildlife. 

Other efforts:

  • CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM announced that he has signed several bills to enhance protections for survivors of crime and abuse, including measures that establish an amnesty clause protecting survivors and witnesses of sexual assault, support victims in fertility fraud crimes and certain sexual assault cases in seeking justice, and relieve financial burdens on domestic violence centers.
  • CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT unveiled the first two battery-electric buses entering public service in the State of Connecticut at an event at the GBT Intermodal Transportation Center in Bridgeport. 
  • LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group’s approval of $215 million to construct two projects that will restore more than 4,600 acres of wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats, a major step forward in the continued restoration of Louisiana’s coastal ecosystems injured as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  • NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY signed legislation to exclude combat pay from gross taxable income under the New Jersey income tax. New Jersey is the only state currently taxing combat pay, which is also untaxed by the federal government. 
  • NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that starting today, new reforms go into effect prohibiting businesses from charging a “pink tax,” otherwise known as the practice of charging different prices for “substantially similar” consumer goods or services that are marketed to different genders. 

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