GovWin SLED Weekly Coronavirus Recon
Published: September 18, 2020
GovWin's SLED Coronavirus Recon, produced by Deltek's SLED Market Research team, is designed to support awareness and understanding of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by state, local, and educational (SLED) entities and the contractors that support them.
- (Utah) Governor Says New Mandates “on the Table” After Frightening COVID-19 Spike
- With 911 new COVID-19 cases reported in Utah on Thursday, Governor Gary Herbert said new health mandates are “on the table” going forward in order to stop the spike in infections.
- Gov. Greg Abbott loosens coronavirus restrictions for restaurants and other businesses in most regions of Texas
- Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that most of Texas will be able to loosen some coronavirus restrictions, including letting many businesses increase their capacity to 75%, as soon as Monday.
- COVID-19 Pandemic Set to Accelerate Automation in the Public Sector, Insight Study Finds
- According to a new survey of IT professionals at local, state and federal government agencies from Insight Enterprises (NASDAQ: NSIT), the global integrator of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ for organizations of all sizes, nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents said they felt their organization was very or extremely prepared to handle COVID-19’s IT business challenges – yet 53% said their organization experienced three or more weeks of downtime for some or all of their workforce.
- To Drive Post-COVID Economic Recovery, Mayors Prioritize Infrastructure and Technology Investments, Study Finds
- While a majority of U.S. mayors (94%) agree that their city’s economic recovery depends on containing and preventing community spread of the COVID-19 virus, investing in infrastructure to generate jobs and economic growth is the top immediate (69%) and long-term (71%) priority for mayors, according to “Infrastructure, Technology and Mayors’ Priorities for Confronting a Health, Economic and Societal Crisis,” a new U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) study conducted in partnership with Siemens USA by The Harris Poll.
- Gov. Murphy Signs New Jersey Coronavirus Legislation, 8 Bills Into Law
- Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation on Monday that addresses the NJ coronavirus outbreak, providing benefits to those who contract COVID-19 while on the job.
- State of Delaware Launches COVID Alert DE Mobile App
- Governor John Carney, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) launched COVID Alert DE – a mobile app available in the App Store or Google Play that will help Delaware fight community spread of COVID-19.
Funding & Economic Impact
- $500 billion loan fund for state governments barely tapped
- The Federal Reserve's $500 billion short term borrowing program intended to give state and local governments and government entities access to cash has barely been touched, despite mounting budget shortfalls in many states around the country.
- (Maine) Governor Mills Signs Curtailment Order to Maintain Budget Stability Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
- Governor Janet Mills today signed a curtailment order to maintain budget stability amid a projected revenue shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Executive Order, which adopts recommendations from the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, curtails allotments to the State’s General Fund by $221,775,584 and to the Highway Fund by $23,000,822.
- More than a quarter of Alaska communities haven’t claimed state CARES Act grants
- It has been nearly four months since Alaska communities started receiving money from the state’s share of federal COVID-19 relief. And even though the process is simple, more than one in four communities haven’t claimed the money yet.
- (Tennessee) Gov. Lee: ‘No additional funding’ for Nashville; questions Cooper’s use of COVID-19 relief funds
- In a letter sent to Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Metro government provided to News 2 by Governor Bill Lee’s administration on Thursday, Governor Bill Lee said he is concerned with an $82.6 million request of the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund award for Nashville-Davidson County.
- (Hawaii) This Is How Honolulu Is Spending $387 Million In CARES Act Money
- Honolulu has just over 100 days to spend more than $300 million in federal CARES Act funds.
- As of Friday, the city had spent only $71,651,070 – less than 19% – of its $387 million pot of money. However, more than $221 million has been allocated, meaning the money is approved for a particular program but hasn’t been contracted out yet. Of that, approximately $136 million is committed via a contract.
- (Pennsylvania) Wolf calls for more funding for small businesses impacted by COVID-19
- As small businesses continue to feel an economic impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis, Gov. Tom Wolf this week called on the General Assembly to provide additional funding to support these businesses.
- (Wisconsin) Gov. Evers Launches $8 Million Grant Program For Tourism Promotion Groups Hurt By COVID-19
- Governor Evers and Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney have launched an $8 million grant program to help Wisconsin tourism promotion and development entities hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The state Department of Tourism will administer the grant program and grants will be used for continuing operations to cover such pandemic-related expenses as payroll, cleaning and sanitization, and purchases of safety equipment and barriers for public-facing facilities.
- Essential Services In Kansas Receive $290 Million In COVID-19 Relief Funds
- The Kansas State Finance Council unanimously approved $290 million to go to public health, essential needs and services, business resiliency and workforce development programs.
- (California) Contra Costa Supes Approve $3.6 Billion Budget, Says More COVID-19 Adjustments Likely
- Almost three months later than the annual county budget is usually adopted, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors approved a $3.6 billion 2020-2021 budget that county officials say will likely require yet more adjustments, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the pressure those added expenses are putting on the county’s finances.
- Schools, local governments spared from cuts under Michigan budget deal
- Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration said they’ve agreed to a framework for the 2021 budget that will protect funding for K-12 schools and local governments despite revenue declines associated with COVID-19.
- Utah’s Troubled COVID-19 Tech Contracts Could Spur Procurement Reform
- Findings by Utah’s legislative auditors that state agencies sometimes failed to communicate effectively on developing contracts for coronavirus response efforts could lead to changes in statutes outlining emergency-spending requirements.
- Auditors wrote that though they found nothing “out of alignment” with state statutes, the “limited review” of the no-bid contracts uncovered poor or nonexistent communication between participating state departments, necessitating further investigation into process “weaknesses.”
- Louisiana house bill protects Tulane against student lawsuits
- This summer, Louisiana State Rep. Buddy Mincey Jr. sponsored a new bill, Louisiana HB-59, that would provide limitations of liability for public and private school districts and postsecondary institutions during a declared state of emergency or a public health emergency. In other words, schools in Louisiana, including private universities, would receive immunity from claims of action related to COVID-19 and other declared states of emergency, including the injury or death of a student by COVID-19 resulting from a school’s decision to reopen. The bill passed on July 8.
- As Campuses Become COVID-19 Hot Spots, Colleges Strain Under Financial Pressures
- The Chronicle of Higher Education estimates that about 20% of American colleges or universities are offering primarily in-person classes, while 16% are offering a mix of in-person and online experiences. Many others are completely virtual. Another note is that in many cases, the decision to offer in-person classes was driven largely by financial concerns.
- The New York Times reports there are more than 88,000 coronavirus cases at the nation's colleges and universities.
- West Virginia University Demonstrates COVID-19 Hypocrisy In Higher Education
- West Virginia University first canceled in-person classes on Sept. 8 citing rising concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Despite President E. Gordon Gee’s acknowledged that the school’s positivity rate was “considerably lower than the 5 to 7 percent they anticipated” and prepared for.
- Over Labor Day weekend, 29 students who attended parties were recorded on social media, and reported by university police, and on an anonymous software provided by the school. The students in question are “banned from campus and cannot take classes, including those offered online” and will not be refunded their tuition per the student code of conduct.
- White House coronavirus task force focuses on higher education in state reports
- The White House coronavirus task force placed a sharper focus on colleges and universities in its recommendations to states this week, pushing states to take measures to prevent further outbreaks as the school year begins.
- The reports are individually tailored to each state with information on cases and test positivity and county-specific data and broadly show concern about spread among institutes of higher education and mitigating cases in surrounding towns.
- (Texas) Layoffs at TSTC blamed on COVID-19 and changes in higher education
- Texas State Technical College announced the layoffs of 44 people at the Waco location and stated the layoffs are in response to changes in higher education along with the impacts the pandemic and recession are having on employers who hire graduates from the school.
- The 44 employees let go represent about 5% of TSTC’s workforce and worked in a wide range of jobs, but were not teachers.
- (Ohio) DeWine unveils first school-based COVID-19 database
- Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday unveiled the Ohio Department of Health’s first round of COVID-19 data showing how many cases are tied to each of the state’s individual school districts.
- Minnesota Department of Education Releases New K-12 COVID-19 Data
- In-person learning for all students is zero to less than ten new cases per 10,000. Elementary in-person, middle/high school hybrid is ten to less than 20 new cases per 10,000. Hybrid for both is 20 to less than 30 new cases per 10,000. Elementary hybrid, middle/high school distance is 30 to less than 50 new cases per 10,000. Distance learning for all is 50 or more new cases per 10,000.
- Michigan news coalition urges Whitmer to release more on COVID-19 outbreaks
- More than 30 Michigan news and government transparency organizations delivered a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urging more regular reporting of COVID outbreaks at schools.
- The group, calling itself the Michigan School-Related COVID Outbreak Transparency Coalition, wants Whitmer to require school districts to notify communities within 24 hours of an outbreak; increase the frequency of statewide reporting data and require universities and colleges to release more information.
- (Kentucky) Governor Beshear and Health Commissioner issue COVID-19 mode of instruction for K-12 for in-person and virtual classes
- Gov. Beshear announced that if the state positivity is less than 6%, and if the hospitals or health care systems have the resources to care for COVID and non-COVID patients, then the model for schools the state has created as guidance is operative.
- (South Carolina) DHEC: 296 COVID-19 cases associated with K-12 schools in SC
- The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced 296 cases in schools across the state. In all, 195 cases reported were students and 101 cases reported were employees and these cases include both public and private schools.
- Where schools are reopening in the US
- CNN created a block map to track school reopening updates across the US through data compiled by Education Week. The data shows that most states are dealing with a wide array of approaches to kicking off the new school year.
- ‘Blended model’ for NYC schools could cost cash-strapped city $32 million a week: IBO
- Majority of increased school spending will be spent on hiring an additional 11,900 teachers and substitutes needed to meet the scheduling demands of hybrid learning.
- Texas officials change how the state reports positivity rate after testing backlogs skewed coronavirus data
- The Texas Department of State Health Services said it will now rely on a calculation that takes into account the date on which a coronavirus test was administered, rather than when it was reported.
- (Minnesota) MDH COVID-19 briefing: State to launch 'no barriers' coronavirus testing initiative
- During a recent state COVID-19 briefing, officials with the Minnesota Department of Health introduced a "no barriers" COVID-19 testing initiative.
- (California) Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Issues Enhanced Testing Order To Increase Access To Coronavirus Testing
- County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody issued revisions to the County’s Healthcare Provider Testing Order, tightening requirements on large healthcare providers to ensure testing is more easily available and without delays to all residents.
- Texas reverses planned $15 million cuts to health programs
- The Texas Health and Human Services Commission originally proposed more than $132 million in budget cuts to meet the mandate, including $15 million in cuts to women’s health services and programs designed to aid low-income families and children with disabilities.
- Test Iowa looking to 'winterize' coronavirus testing sites
- With the onset of colder weather and flu season in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday state officials are in the process of “winterizing” Test Iowa sites that help pandemic-weary Iowans confirm whether they have contracted the coronavirus.
- (Wisconsin) State committee extends suspension of unemployment work search requirements
- As the state’s unemployment rate continues to decline, a COVID-19-related rule waiving the work search requirement while collecting unemployment benefits has been extended by a state rules committee.
- Thousands of Louisiana’s Unemployed Were Sent Overpaid Benefit Notices In Error
- The Louisiana Workforce Commission sent out about 7,600 notices to recently unemployed people but the incorrectly programed computers had miscalculated benefits for about 3,000 and the demands to pay for overpaid benefits had already been sent out.
- Workforce Commissions computer are reworking the programs in order to properly calculate the amounts paid in unemployment benefits.
- All Rise: Virtual Court Is Now in Session
- Guided by an administrative judge with an engineering degree, a Texas county has led the way in making remote court proceedings a reality, including the nation’s first virtual jury trial.
- (California) San Francisco’s BART program earns $1B federal grant
- San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s (BART) long-erm efforts to reduce crowding and increase service will get a critical funding boost thanks to a $1.2 billion grant from the federal government.
- (Pennsylvania) Pa. could lose manufacturing jobs because of public transportation's funding crisis
- Public transportation's funding crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic could cost jobs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by impacting billions in spending on goods from rail cars to construction services.
- APTA: Service cuts, capital projects and jobs are on the line without $32 billion in emergency relief funding for transit industry
- A September survey of APTA business and transit agency members found more than 60 percent of agencies are considering service cuts while one-third of private businesses serving the industry may have to close.
- (New Jersey) Has coronavirus killed public transit? Here’s what needs to change for commuters to come back.
- Commuter rail systems have to adapt to changes in how people work and where they live if NJ Transit hopes to see ridership rebound post coronavirus, experts said.
- (California) SMART approves new cuts amid improved savings outlook
- SMART financial staff expressed optimism that the transit agency can weather the economic downturn of the coronavirus pandemic after it reported better-than-anticipated savings and approved new cuts on Wednesday.
- (California) Caltrain funding measure on the ballot offers lifeline to the struggling rail service as ridership drops
- Caltrain is counting on a sales tax increase on the November ballot to keep the system running through the coronavirus crisis and fund long-term improvements to make service more frequent and accessible.
- Solar market limits pandemic's ill effects, but states with strict restrictions see big installation drop
- The unpredictability of the pandemic and its effect on the overall economy creates uncertainty for the solar market’s immediate future, according to the report’s authors, but forecasts for the rest of 2020 have improved since COVID-19’s disruptions began in March.
- 7 investment priorities for a green COVID-19 recovery: report
- Cities must be the primary beneficiaries of green investments for global nations to pursue a resilient, low-carbon recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Coalition for Urban Transitions.
- Southern Nevada faces $342M shortfall to fight homelessness
- Southern Nevada faces a $342 million annual shortfall to effectively tackle a homelessness crisis that regional officials continue to fear will be worsened by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report heard by county and city lawmakers this week.