NGA - National Governors Association

11/15/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/16/2023 15:02

Membership Monthly – November 2023

Updates from the NGA Membership Team forNovember 2023. For more about the programs below and a list of upcoming events please email us at: [email protected].

ABOVE: Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro (top left), Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (top right), Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (bottom left) and New York Governor Kathy Hochul (bottom right)

Governors Cox and Polis Call for Healthy Political Debate at Colorado Event

November 14, NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox and NGA Vice Chair Colorado Governor Jared Polis collaborated for the second in a series of bipartisan events to help address toxic polarization in America - the aim of Governor Cox's 2023-24 NGA Chair's Initiative: Disagree Better. Montana Governor Greg Gianforte and Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt also participated in the event.

Held in Westminster, Colorado, the meeting centered on teaching youth about healthy conflict and fostering open debate, free expression and viewpoint diversity in higher education.

In addition to panel discussions and a service project focused on Unified Sports, the event also featured a student debate at the University of Denver, facilitated by Braver Angels.

ABOVE (L to R): Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox and NGA Vice Chair Colorado Governor Jared Polis attend the second Disagree Better event.

During the event, Governor Cox shared Disagree Better's latest bipartisan video, featuring Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Missouri Governor Mike Parson.

NGA Holds Convening for Governors' Staffers

Last month, NGA hosted the 2023 Policy Summit, designed exclusively for Governors' Deputy Chiefs of Staff, Legislative Directors and Policy Directors, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee spoke at the event, welcoming attendees to Tennessee and thanking them for their service to their states and territories.

ABOVE: Tennessee Governor Bill Lee speaks at the NGA Policy Summit.

This unique gathering brought together key decision-makers from across the nation to delve into critical policy matters, share insights and forge collaborative solutions.

NGA's also released a commentary providing an overview of the meeting.

Save the Date: NGA 2024 Winter Meeting

NGA 2024 Winter Meeting Scheduled February 22-24

NGA will bring Governors, Governors' Spouses and Governors' staff together with NGA partners, Congressional leaders and invited guests from February 22-24, 2024, for the NGA 2024 Winter Meeting.

Registration and business sessions will be located at the Marriott Marquis located at 901 Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C.

NGA will notify Governors' offices when the online registration page goes live.

NGA Holiday Reception

NGA will hold its annual holiday reception in Washington, D.C., December 12.

All Governors and Governors' staff members who will be in town December 12 are invited and encouraged to attend the reception.

Communications Spotlight

Governors Cox and Polis Write Op-Ed on Ending Toxic Polarization

The Colorado Sunpublished an op-ed NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox and NGA Vice Chair Colorado Governor Jared Polis wrote about ways to tackle toxic polarization.

The Governors write, in part, "We're also calling on elected officials at all levels to join the campaign. We're starting with governors, but the invitation is open to everyone: members of Congress, state legislators, mayors, city council members."

The Governors' opinion piece can be read here.

Request for Dates of State of the State Addresses

NGA maintains a resource to provide details about Governors' state of the state, territory or commonwealth addresses, including the dates of the addresses as well as links to transcripts and/or video of the addresses.

Each year, NGA closely monitors Governors' state of the state addresses to help inform the organization's overall communications strategy.

As offices schedule and announce the dates of the upcoming addresses, we welcome receiving notification of the date so the NGA resource can be updated accordingly.

NGA Releases Disagree Better Video Toolkit

NGA created the Disagree Better Video Toolkit to help Governors' offices and other stakeholders share videos Governors have recorded to help promote the Disagree Better movement NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox is leading with his NGA Chair's Initiative.

Individuals interested in highlighting the Disagree Better initiative are encouraged to share one, some or all of these videos, along with #DisagreeBetter, to help raise awareness about the initiative.

NGA is also promoting and sharing Governors' videos through its YouTube channel.

In addition to accessing the videos via YouTube, videos are also available to download and share via a Google Drive folder. Individuals interested in the document can contact [email protected].

Governors' offices interested in recording a video can do so by contacting NGA.

Government Relations

Governors Share Federal Funding Concerns to House Speaker

NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Vice Chair Colorado Governor Jared Polis sent a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson urging the House and Senate to work together to ensure a government funding bill is signed into law prior to the November 17 deadline.

Read the full letter here.

Governors Cox, Polis Issue Statement Calling on Congress to Pass Continuing Resolution

On September 29, NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer and Vice Chair Colorado Governor Jared Polis released a statement regarding funding the federal government.

The Governors' statement can be read here.

NGA Releases One-Pager on State Revolving Funds

NGA has drafted a one-pager on the impact of Congressionally Directed Spending on the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.

This is a follow-up to a letter sent to Congressional leadership in September by Governor Andy Beshear and Governor Henry McMaster, Co-Chairs of NGA's Economic Development and Revitalization Task Force.

NGA Issues Statement on Autonomous Vehicles

NGA joined partner organizations to release a statement urging Congress to ensure that any legislation being considered that contemplates laws governing autonomous vehicles respects and maintains the role of state, territorial and local governments to ensure that proper safety measures are in place on roadways operated and maintained by respective state, territory and local governments.

The statement reads, in part: "It is critical that states and territories retain the unburdened authority to enforce federal and state traffic safety violations, to act decisively against imminent public safety hazards, and to respond to individual traffic incidents as well as the broader, rapidly changing traffic environment."

Center for Best Practices - Vice Chair's Corner

NGA Shares Recap of Recent Health and Human Services Policy Advisors Institute

NGA released the commentary "2023 Health and Human Services Policy Advisors Institute" to provide an overview of the recent Health and Human Services Policy Advisors Institute NGA held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The NGA Center for Best Practices' health and human services teams hosted Governors' staff, subject matter experts and partners with the goal of sharing best practices and innovative strategies across these policy areas.

Governor Tony Evers provided recorded remarks during the event that underscored his commitment to investing in health and human services to support youth and families. The Governor's remarks also detailed how optimal health contributes to children's ability to learn in the classroom.

NGA thanks Wisconsin Governor Evers and everyone who took part in the event.

ABOVE: Representatives from Governors' offices participate in the Health and Human Services Policy Advisors Institute.

NGA Releases Paper on Enhancing Supply Chain Resiliency

NGA released the new paper "State Approaches to Enhancing Supply Chain Resiliency."

The paper focuses on supply chain issues in advanced manufacturing and related sectors including infrastructure and transportation, renewable and alternative energy, and battery applications.

NGA Releases Publication on Hydrogen Energy

NGA released the publication Federal Funding and Financing for Hydrogen Energy Production and Use.

This brief discusses the $7 billion funding announcement for the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, the growing nationwide interest in hydrogen energy generation and alternative federal funding, and financing mechanisms for hydrogen generation projects.

This publication comes following the recent announcement President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm made naming the seven projects selected for funding through the H2Hubs program.

NGA Releases New Publication on Accessibility Innovations in Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Rec

NGA released the new commentary Accessibility Innovations in Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation.

With increasing awareness of the well-documented health and wellness benefits of travel and outdoor activity, Governors are taking action, and the commentary examines how Governors are championing policies to ensure their unique parks, museums, attractions and historic sites are accessible and welcoming for all.

NGA will host its next webinar on EDA TTOR projects December 13and will release a report summarizing findings from projects with significant economic impacts and inventive practices in the fall of 2024.

In a series of NGA webinars, state and other officials are sharing best practices and highlighting innovative and replicable projects. Following webinars on economic resiliency and workforce development, NGA recently held a third webinar focused on Advancing Equity in the Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Sectors.

At the 2023 NGA Summer Meeting, Governors met with key tourism and travel industry leaders to discuss how the industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The discussion also focused on the significant economic impact the industry has on states, businesses and individual Americans.

NGA Releases Overview of Opioid Litigation Settlement Summit

This summer, NGA convened the Opioid Litigation Settlement Funds Summit in Cleveland, Ohio, with representatives from 18 Governors' offices who engaged in peer-to-peer discussions and shared ideas on how to optimize the use of opioid settlement funds.

NGA's new commentary Opioid Litigation Settlement Funds Summit provides an overview of the summit and information about how states are receiving, disbursing and monitoring opioid litigation proceeds.

NGA Releases Commentary on Recent AI Briefing

NGA recently hosted the virtual event, "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence in State Government," co-organized with the Center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS EPI Center).

NGA's new commentary provides an overview of the recent event, focusing on foundational knowledge about AI technologies and applications in state government.

NGA Commentary Releases Commentary on Governors' Responses to Challenges in Housing Availability and Affordability

In October, NGA hosted Governors' staff in Nashville to discuss options to respond to the national housing shortage. Policy Directors and Deputy Chiefs of Staff for Governors received a briefing on economic trends and heard presentations from multiple states regarding ongoing regulatory and legislative efforts to address housing problems.

NGA's new commentary provides an overview of the meeting and information about how Governors are responding to housing challenges in their states.

NGA Marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month was observed throughout October. This year marked the 50 year anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

In recognition of the observation, NGA released a commentary to highlight efforts Governors are leading to foster inclusive employment policies and practices.

The commentary also provides details about former NGA Chair Delaware Governor Jack Markel's NGA Chair's Initiative focused on advancing employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities.

NGA Releases Commentary on Defelection and Pre-Arrest Diversion Programs Learning Collaborative

NGA recently wrapped up a learning collaborative with four states on the development and implementation of sustainable state-level Deflection and Pre-Arrest Diversion (DPAD) programs.

Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania participated in the learning collaborative.

This learning collaborative was a six-month-long opportunity designed to support Governors' offices and other senior state officials in the development and implementation of sustainable state-level DPAD initiatives.

NGA released this new commentary to provide an overview of the learning collaborative.

Legislative Energy Horizons Institute 2023

NGA facilitated the participation of six Governors' Energy Advisors in the 2023 Legislative Energy Horizons Institute (LEHI) cohort, organized jointly by the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER), the University of Idaho, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the NGA Center.

For 13 years, the LEHI program has convened diverse groups of energy policymakers from across the United States, Canada and tribal nations for a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum.

Governors Energy Advisors from Alabama, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Utah and Virginia participated in the cohort.

Visit NGA's website to learn more about the cohort.

ABOVE: Energy advisors from Alabama, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Utah and Virginia meet in Washington, D.C.

NGA Releases Commentary about American Samoa's Behavioral Health and Healthcare Workforce Needs

NGA launched a yearlong Stimulant and Polysubstance Use Policy Academy to support states and territories, including American Samoa, in adopting more comprehensive policy approaches in response to stimulant polysubstance use challenges.

The commentary American Samoa Supports Behavioral Health and Healthcare Workforce Needs provides insights into the work NGA is conducting with states and territories in addition to exploring how American Samoa is working to address behavioral health and workforce needs in several ways.

November in Focus

NGA routinely shares photos of Governors at work through the organization's social media channels. A sampling of this past month's photo highlights follows.

Top Row (L to R):
Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee celebrated Halloween.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem met to discuss the partnership between their states.
Delaware Governor John Carney met with students.

Middle Row (L to R):
Oregon Governor Tina Kotek attended the Pendleton Round-Up.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte recognized the head of the Montana Asia Trade Office.
Idaho Governor Brad Little highlighted work taking place to eradicate invasive quagga mussels from the Snake River.

Bottom Row (L to R):
Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders celebrated Halloween.
American Samoa Governor Lemanu P. S. Mauga and U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. participated in the 47th U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Business Meeting.
Maine Governor Janet Mills visited the Central Maine Medical Center to thank the medical professionals working to help the victims of the Lewiston tragedy.