Governors Adopt Policy Positions During NGA Winter Meeting

WASHINGTON—At the National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting, governors adopted policy positions for the five NGA committees: Economic Development and Commerce (EDC), Education and Workforce (EdW), Health and Human Services (HHS), Homeland Security and Public Safety (HSPS) and Natural Resources (NR).

The EDC Committee, led by Chair Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Vice Chair Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, recommended the adoption of amendments to two existing policy positions and the reaffirmation of one existing policy position. The policy proposals include:

  • Amendments to commerce policy which affirms the role governors play to support our nation’s economic growth and prosperity;
  • Reaffirmation of transportation and infrastructure policy; and
  • Amendments to public finance policy which affirms the commitment of governors to preserve public financing and promote policies that are fiscally prudent and financially sound.

The EdW Committee, led by Chair Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Vice Chair Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, oversaw the adoption of two new policy positions, the redesign of one policy position and the reaffirmation of two existing policy positions. The policy proposals include:

  • Reaffirmation of K-12 education reform policy;
  • Reaffirmation of child nutrition policy;
  • Redesign of job-training and higher education policy, which reaffirms governors’ expectations of a state-federal partnership on job training and higher education and sets forth principles for improving federal programs;
  • New policy on early childhood education, which reinforces governors’ support for early childhood education as a workforce development strategy and welcomes collaboration with the federal government on early childhood innovation; and
  • New policy on career and technical education, which affirms governors support for career and technical education aligned to state industry and workforce needs and sets forth governors’ principles on reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.

The HHS Committee, led by Vice Chair Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, recommended the adoption of Medicaid financing language and updates to prescription drug abuse language. The policy proposal includes:

  • Reaffirmation of temporary assistance for needy families; and
  • Amendments to the health policy, which affirms the commitment of governors to ensure sustainability of health care programs in their states.

The HSPS Committee, led by Chair Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Vice Chair Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, recommended the adoption of two new policies and the transference of one policy position. The policy proposals include:

  • Amendment to incorporate public safety and criminal justice reform language into permanent policies, which recognizes the progress governors have made in reforming their state’s criminal justice systems by developing smarter, fairer and more cost-effective policies;
  • Inclusion of language to facilitate the safe administration of state marijuana programs, which recognizes that the legal growth, manufacture and use of marijuana is an emerging issue facing governors; and
  • Transference of “border security” position to “immigration” policy.

The NR Committee, led by Chair California Gov. Edmund G. Brown and Vice Chair Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, recommended the adoption to two existing policy positions and the reaffirmation of one existing policy position. The policy proposals include:

  • Amendments to environmental protection policy, which affirms the commitment that governors have made toward ensuring public health and environmental safety for all Americans;
  • Reaffirmation of domestic energy policy; and
  • Amendment to natural resources policy, which affirms the commitment of governors to protect the nation’s natural resources.

All policy proposals are time-limited to two years, unless otherwise noted.

To view the full list of policy positions, click here.