The Council of Governors met in Washington, DC for its 26th Plenary Meeting on February 10, 2023. The Council serves as a forum for 10 presidentially appointed, bipartisan governors engage with key federal officials to advance policies aimed at strengthening the National Guard, homeland defense, cybersecurity response and capabilities, and disaster response efforts.
The four Council workgroups on cybersecurity, emergency management and disaster response, military matters, and work force were able to provide attendees with updates on their priority issues. Additionally, the governors received briefings from senior federal officials on Department of Defense strategic budget trends, state-federal partnerships to protect defense critical infrastructure, and supply chain resiliency.
The Council also welcomed two new members, Governor Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, of New Mexico, who were recently appointed by President Biden.
The Cybersecurity Group, led by Governor Jon Bel Edwards and Governor Mark Gordon, discussed with CISA Director Jen Easterly on finalizing the update to the 2014 Joint Action Plan and a number of products to help states address workforce issues in cybersecurity and tools to strengthen their cyber resilience and defense.
The Military Matters Work Group led by, Governor Tim Walz and Governor Mike DeWine, discussed with Assistant Secretary of Defense Melissa Dalton on their efforts to move forward on Duty Status Reform and examining ways to reassess Full Time Support through quality of life initiatives. They also discussed the progress made on notifications to Governors on Air Force basing decision in their states.
The Emergency Management and Disaster Response Work Group, led by our new additions Governor Eric Holcomb and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, engaged with FEMA Deputy Administrator Erik Hooks to discuss what they see as priorities for the group, including building resiliency to mitigate and disaster and building capacity to respond when needed.
The Workforce Work Group, led by Governor Whitmer and Governor Cox, discussed with Under Secretary Gil Cisneros issues impacting our servicemembers and their families, including access to health care and childcare, and ways to address recruitment and retention issues in the National Guard.