The Weekender (8/16/19)


Welcome to the Democratic Governors Association’s Friday newsletter, The Weekender. This weekly newsletter keeps you updated on all the gubernatorial campaign news you need to start your weekend.
Let’s get started.

Beshear Unveils First Section Of Kitchen Table Agenda
On Wednesday, Democratic Kentucky gubernatorial nominee Andy Beshear unveiled the first pillar of his kitchen table agenda. The plan will lift up working families across Kentucky by: 

  • Launching partnerships with universities and agritech leaders to develop agritech accelerators 
  • Focusing tax incentives on Agritech business and advanced manufacturing
  • Increasing access to credit for small businesses
  • Expanding workforce grant programs for lower-income adults to boost skills and apprenticeships 
  • Investing in community and technical colleges and align with local jobs 

Sununu Facing Backlash For Loyalty To Trump, NRA 
This week in the Granite State, Republican Governor Chris Sununu finds himself between a rock and…well, his constituents, after his actions on gun violence and Donald Trump have drawn abundant criticism and protests. 
Gun Violence Prevention Vetoes: First, Sununu vetoed three gun control bills, including one that would prohibit firearms on school property. Activists have been protesting Sununu’s vetoes in Concord all week. “I now feel hopeless,” said high school senior Ruby Carr. 
Standing With Trump: Next, Sununu’s blind support of President Trump has come back into the spotlight as Sununu attended the president’s rally in Manchester. Sununu has remained a steadfast supporter of the president, and was the first to greet him at the airport tarmac to welcome him to the state despite Trump once calling New Hampshire  “a drug-infested den.” 
And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention… the 2019 races aren’t going smoothly for the Republicans: 

  • The Louisiana GOP is stuck with C-list candidates to face Gov. Edwards
  • Mississippi’s Republican runoff is getting nasty 
  • Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s own lieutenant governor is suing him 

Pritzker, Carney Enacting Innovative Criminal Justice Reform Policies
This week, Democratic governors are enacting innovative criminal justice reform policies.
In Illinois on Wednesday, Gov. JB Pritzker extended a program that waives the typical fees accompanying petitions to expunge or seal criminal records. Pritzker also signed a bill last week that expanded access to jobs in the health care industry for individuals with a criminal record. 
In Delaware, Gov. John Carney signed a number of bills to remove serious barriers to employment for ex-offenders. The new legislation will make it easier for people with previous felony convictions to be hired as massage therapists, plumbers, and electricians. This is part of a concerted effort to reduce recidivism and improve rehabilitation for former inmates in Delaware by helping them find stable employment. 
“This legislation builds on our efforts to make sure those who served out their sentences can positively contribute to their communities,” Gov. Carney said

350,000,000 – Number of dollars approved in upgrade funding for the Superdome in New Orleans. Gov. Edwards applauded the decision as a way to help the famous stadium maintain “a tremendous atmosphere for decades to come”
25,000 – Number of dollars in grant funding Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced for “wage negotiation” workshops, teaching women skills and strategies for negotiating better compensation to narrow the gender pay gap
22 – Number of states in a coalition that sued the Trump administration this week after an attempt to gut coal power plant regulations. 19 of the 22 states are led by Democratic governors. 

“We have a hearing tomorrow, but here’s the hearing schedule for guns and insulin and other things. That’s still blank, I’m still waiting. Absolutely unacceptable.” 
– Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, holding up a blank piece of paper to protest Minnesota Senate Republicans’ failure to call hearings on preventing gun violence or making health care affordable

“Look, I did not talk to him. I’ve never talked with him about the dismissals. My staff has not been treated right, and I stand by my staff.”
Who said this about a certain Republican governor? Send your answer to and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender! 
If you guessed Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker last week, you were right! The governor cut the ribbon last week to officially open the 161st Annual Illinois State Fair. Gov. Pritzker helped unveil the fair’s 800-lb butter sculpture of a cow, and then spoke with reporters about his favorite kinds of food. “Virtually anything fried tastes great, literally – and I’ve seen virtually everything fried,” Pritzker said.