On Wednesday, July 13, the Council of Governors, held its 25th Plenary Meeting in Portland, Maine, with key federal partners. The Council’s work groups on cybersecurity, emergency management and disaster relief, military matters, and workforce discussed progress made in their priority areas. In addition, the Council also received a variety of briefings from senior federal officials on key issues important to states.
The Cybersecurity Work Group led by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon held a discussion with CISA Director Jen Easterly on opportunities to promote a strong cyber workforce, evaluate cyber incident response authorities, and strengthen coordination efforts within the federal government.
The Emergency Management and Disaster Response Work Group led by Oregon Governor Kate Brown discussed with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell the need to further evaluate the disaster policy reform to ensure equity and access in disaster recovery and response across all communities.
The Military Matters Work Group led by Council Co-Chairs Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine discussed the progress of priorities with Assistant Secretary of Defense Melissa Dalton on Army Full Time Support and Reserve Component Duty Status Reform.
The Workforce Work Group led by Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was joined by Under Secretary of Defense Gil Cisneros to discuss priorities to improve recruitment and retention and support of the National Guard members and their families. The group focused particularly on creating parity between active duty and guard service members in access to benefits.
In addition to the work group reports, the Council received briefings from senior federal officials on DOD strategic program and budget build guidelines from Under Secretary/Comptroller Michael McCord, and a disaster response preparedness briefing from FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. The Council also received briefings on the National Defense Strategy and an update on Vietnam War Commemoration efforts.