On Jan. 25, 2017, in Washington, D.C., National Governors Association (NGA) Chair Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Vice Chair Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval discussed governors’ collective priorities and recommendations for President Trump and Congress.
“Every day, governors are on the front lines, turning policy into action. We balance budgets, build roads and rail, and attract new businesses to our states,” said Gov. McAuliffe. “In the end, I am confident that we will all work together to leave our states and our nation better than we found them.”
Gov. McAuliffe also said governors stand ready to work with the new Administration and Congress on an agenda that makes life better for citizens and tackles issues of national importance such as the economy, health care, infrastructure and criminal justice. Every single governor in this nation has roads, bridges, tunnels, airports that could be repaired or replaced, which would create jobs and economic opportunity along the way, he added. Then he pointed to his own state, which has advanced plans to unlock high-traffic corridors and to ensure that every taxpayer dollar is spent in growing the economy.
Gov. Sandoval delved into specific state priorities and recommendations for the new Administration in his remarks. First, he discussed how governors know world-class infrastructure is necessary for a strong economy and how states cannot fully realize this work alone. Governors urge the new Administration to support their commitment to bring existing infrastructure into a state of good repair by committing to provide long-term and stable funding for America’s infrastructure needs.
Gov. Sandoval also mentioned health care as one of the issues the American public cares most about. “As the managers of Medicaid for the people of our states, governors have a crucial role to play in the future of American health care,” he said. Finally, he discussed how tax reform needs to be an intergovernmental effort because of its substantial impact on states, adding additional priorities such as education, energy and environment, public safety, cybersecurity and job creation.
In his closing statement, Gov. Sandoval discussed how he believes the National Governors Association will be the go-to entity for policy in the coming years. “Our nation is craving leadership and collaboration in order to propel us forward. This is our moment to come together to protect our union and promote the general welfare of the citizens of these United States,” said Gov. Sandoval.
Once both governors gave remarks, they answered questions from moderator Carrie Budoff Brown, editor of Politico, as well as other reporters in the room.
NGA Executive Director and CEO Scott Pattison also made brief remarks, where he unveiled results from a post-election poll NGA conducted with Luntz Global partners. The poll’s findings reveal that in an era of distrust of many politicians, Americans trust their governors more than any other elected official. “That is why we are thinking of 2017 as the year of the governor,” Pattison said.