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2015 NGA Summer Meeting

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White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (July 23-25)
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Plenary Session Transcripts

Governors Attending

Gov. Robert Bentley, AL
Gov. Bill Walker, AK
Gov. Doug Ducey, AZ
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, AR
Gov. John Hickenlooper, CO    
Gov. Dan Malloy, CT 
Gov. Jack Markell, DE
Gov. Terry Branstad, IA
Gov. Steve Beshear, KY 
Gov. Rick Snyder, MI
Gov. Jay Nixon, MO  
Gov. Steve Bullock, MT

Gov. Maggie Hassan, NH
Gov. Pat McCrory, NC
Gov. Jack Dalrymple, ND
Gov. Mary Fallin, OK
Gov. Kate Brown, OR
Gov. Dennis Daugaard, SD
Gov. Gina Raimondo, RI
Gov. Bill Haslam, TN
Gov. Gary Herbert, UT
Gov. Terry McAuliffe, VA 
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, WV
Gov. Matthew Mead, WY

Guests

Session Guests

Opening Session – Delivering Results

  • Peter Hutchinson, managing director, Accenture Public Services Strategy

Closing Session – Health Care Transformation

  • Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Committee Guests

Joint Session, Economic Development and Commerce Committee and Natural Resources Committee – Innovative State Strategies for Tourism and Economic Development

  • David Allen, president and CEO, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
  • Robert Nutting, chairman of the board, The Pittsburgh Pirates
  • R. Cooper Shattuck, general counsel, The University of Alabama

Joint Session, Health and Human Services Committee and Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee – Taking Action to Address the Nation’s Opioid Crisis

  • Mary Bono, co-founder, Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies, and co-founder, Congressional Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus
  • Lieutenant Detective Patrick Glynn, Quincy Police Department, Quincy, Massachusetts
  • Dr. Debra Houry, director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Education and Workforce Committee – Skills for the Future: Career Pathways Accelerating State Economies

  • Thomas E. Perez, secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Crystal Bonds, principal, High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College
  • Harold Levy, executive director, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Points of Interest

The opening session began with National Governors Association (NGA) Chair Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper calling the 2015 Summer Meeting to order. Gov. Hickenlooper gave an outline of the weekend’s agenda and introduced delegation members. He also thanked West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and his wife, Joanne, for hosting the meeting. Gov. Tomblin welcomed everyone to White Sulphur Springs and expressed enthusiasm for hosting the meeting.

Gov. Hickenlooper thanked and bid farewell to two outgoing governors. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was not in attendance. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear received his award onsite.

Afterward, Gov. Hickenlooper spoke about his chair’s initiative, Delivering Results, which was about improving the effectiveness of government and getting results in a way that better responds to the various needs of people in states. Delivering Results focused on improving the efficiency of some of the core functions of state government. Additionally, the initiative identified ways to recruit and retain the best candidates for state government jobs. Lastly, it focused on adopting innovative performance improvement practices.

Gov. Hickenlooper released the final product of his initiative: a toolkit with a number of documents and resources, including a pocket card providing an at-a-glance overview of the main takeaways from the initiative; an issue brief outlining the core principles that underlie governors’ efforts to deliver results; three additional issue briefs, each addressing one of the three main elements of Delivering Results; and a flash drive filled with tools and resources from the private and public sectors.

Gov. Hickenlooper welcomed the opening session speaker, Peter Hutchinson. Hutchinson elaborated on the core principles of Delivering Results and how they could be applied to spread good governance.

Following Hutchinson’s remarks, Gov. Hickenlooper asked about which branch of state government presents the most cost-effective financial opportunity. Then NGA Vice Chair Utah Gov. Gary Herbert asked how much of being leader is based on personality. Next, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon asked about how to motivate residents to seek jobs in state government. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple touched on the subject of long-term outlooks for state budgets. Lastly, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin asked how to improve higher education and government systems such as Medicare and social security.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell joined governors to talk about health care transformation during Saturday’s closing session. Burwell touched mainly on the subject of helping governors transform the quality and value of health care for constituents. She stated that her goals were to make a health care system that delivers better care, spend dollars more wisely and put educated and empowered consumers at the center of their care to keep them healthy. Burwell also touched on the subjects of Medicare, Medicaid and what the government is doing to address the opioid epidemic.

Gov. Hickenlooper again thanked Gov. Tomblin for hosting the meeting, then called on Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to discuss details of the 2016 Summer Meeting. Gov. Hickenlooper thanked NGA executive director Dan Crippen for his years of service.

Afterward, Gov. Hickenlooper performed two closing administrative acts. The first was to consider a motion for a permanent policy that NGA speaks for all states, commonwealths and territories. The second was a motion to approve an immigration policy.

Gov. Fallin announced the NGA Executive Committee, including the new chair, Gov. Herbert, and vice chair, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Gov. Hickenlooper thanked everyone for his time spent as chair of NGA and officially passed the gavel to Gov. Herbert.

Gov. Herbert spoke in detail about his 2015-2016 chair’s initiative, States: Finding Solutions, Improving Lives. This initiative aims to find innovative solutions to the most pressing problems facing states. States: Finding Solutions, Improving Lives specifically will focus on raising public awareness of the state-level problem-solving, enhancing a collaborative state-federal partnership and sharing best practices among states.

Gov. Herbert then adjourned the meeting.