Membership Monthly – August 2022

Updates from the NGA Membership Team for August 2022. For more about the programs below and a list of upcoming events please email us at:

The 2022 NGA Summer Meeting took place in Portland, Maine, July 13-15. The meeting proved highly productive with Governors engaging on a number of timely bipartisan policy matters, including the CHIPS Act. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Utah Governor Spencer Cox were elected Chair and Vice Chair of NGA during the Summer Meeting.

At the closing session of NGA’s Summer Meeting, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy accepted the NGA Chair’s gavel from Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Images from the 2022 Summer Meeting.

NGA Leadership Updates

During the 2022 NGA Summer Meeting, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was elected Chair of the National Governors Association, and Utah Governor Spencer Cox was elected Vice Chair.

In addition to Governors Murphy and Cox, the following Governors were elected to positions on the NGA Executive Committee, which guides NGA’s operations and priorities:

  • ● Governor Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas (immediate past chair)
  • ● Governor Jared Polis, Colorado
  • ● Governor Chris Sununu, New Hampshire
  • ● Governor Kathy Hochul, New York
  • ● Governor Roy Cooper, North Carolina
  • ● Governor Doug Burgum, North Dakota
  • ● Governor Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma

NGA Summer Meeting Plenary Sessions

At the 2022 NGA Summer Meeting, Governors joined federal officials and leaders from business, education and philanthropy for bipartisan conversations focused on the top issues in states, commonwealths and territories.

NGA released videos and written commentaries capturing the plenary sessions held during the meeting. The commentaries and videos are available below and via NGA’s website and YouTube channel.

  • ● Plenary Session I: K-12 Computer Science Education commentary
  • ● Plenary Session II: The Return of Travel and Tourism commentary
  • ● Plenary Session III: Transition of NGA Leadership and Introduction of the 2022-2023 Chair’s Initiative commentary
  • ● Meeting with Dolly Parton commentary

2022 Summer Meeting – Plenary I: K-12 Computer Science Education

The opening plenary session of the 2022 NGA Annual Meeting featured a discussion with then NGA Chairman Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson; Patrick Gelsinger, CEO, Intel; and Dean Kamen, President, DEKA and Founder of FIRST, regarding Governor Hutchinson’s NGA Initiative to expand access to computer science education. During the session, Governor Hutchinson announced 50 Governors signed a computer science education compact committing to strategies for expanding computer science education in schools, including by establishing state plans, providing funds and creating pathways to postsecondary success.

2022 Summer Meeting – Plenary II: The Return of Travel and Tourism

The second session, moderated by Tori Emerson Barnes, EVP Public Policy, US Travel Association, focused on the return of travel and tourism and discussed ways Governors can work with the travel industry moving forward.


  • ● Amir Eylon, President and CEO, Partner, Longwoods International
  • ● Al Hutchinson, President and CEO, Visit Baltimore
  • ● Keiko Matsudo Orrall, Executive Director, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism
  • ● Chris Thompson, President and CEO, The Brand USA

2022 Summer Meeting – Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Governors met with Dolly Parton for a discussion about early child literacy efforts, including Ms. Parton’s Imagination Library program that mails free books to children.

2022 Summer Meeting: Transition of NGA Leadership & Introduction of the 2022-2023 Chair’s Initiative

In the final plenary session of the 2022 Summer Meeting, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was elected Chair of NGA. Governor Murphy announced his Chair’s Initiative, Strengthening Youth Mental Health, to bring together policy experts, public officials and private sector leaders to take a holistic approach to the youth mental health crisis. New Jersey First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy also shared her plans to create a national model to help address the maternal and infant health crisis in the United States. Utah Governor Spencer Cox was elected the NGA Vice Chair, with a role overseeing the NGA Center for Best Practices, the only research and development office directly serving the nation’s Governors.

Monkeypox Updates

State of Emergency Declaration

This month, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra declared monkeypox a public health emergency. The emergency declaration will free up federal funding for health agencies and can also fast-track the development of therapeutics or diagnostics.

White House Monkeypox Response Team

On August 2, President Biden named Robert Fenton as the White House National Monkeypox Response Coordinator and Dr. Demetre Daskalakis as the White House National Monkeypox Response Deputy Coordinator.

Biden Administration Updates

On August 9, the White House held a briefing to provide updates on monkeypox response efforts. As part of its effort to mitigate the spread of monkeypox, the Biden Administration announced that it has taken action to increase the number of vaccine doses available by up to five times through an alternative dosing regimen. The Food and Drug Administration is granting Emergency Use Authorization for the JYNNEOS vaccine to be administered intradermally. Because intradermal administration requires a smaller dose, this change allows the number of available doses to increase by as much as five-fold while continuing to ensure the vaccine meets high standards for safety and quality. The White House National Monkeypox Response team outlined its plan to implement this approach and ensure providers and public health officials put the alternative dosing regimen into practice. Fact Sheet

Government Relations

Council of Governors Holds 25th Plenary Session

On July 13, the Council of Governors, led by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, held its 25th Plenary Meeting in Portland, Maine. Key federal partners took part in the meeting. The Council’s work groups on cybersecurity, emergency management and disaster relief, military matters and workforce also discussed progress on priorities drafted and agreed upon at the Council’s 24th Plenary that took place during the 2022 NGA Winter Meeting held in Washington, D.C. earlier this year. During the July meeting, the Council also received a variety of briefings from senior federal officials on key issues important to states, including the national defense strategy and disaster preparedness. In addition to Co-Chairs Governor Walz and Governor DeWine, the following Governors are members of the Council of Governors: Delaware Governor John Carney, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Vermont Governor Phil Scott and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.

CHIPS Act Becomes Law

On August 9, President Biden signed into law the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. The bill provides more than $52 billion in grants and incentives for the American semiconductor industry. In addition to the chips funding, the legislation includes money for research and workforce training and 5G wireless technology. Last month, NGA Chair New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and NGA Vice Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox issued a statement applauding passage of the bipartisan legislation in the Senate and House. 

Briefing on the 2021-2022 U.S. Supreme Court Term and Impacts for States

On August 2, NGA hosted its monthly legal counsel briefing which reviewed the 2021-2022 U.S. Supreme Court term. The briefing discussed Court decisions and other Court actions of interest to states and territories. The briefing also focused on what these impacts mean for Governors. NGA released a written memorandum about the briefing.

Public Student Loan Forgiveness Access

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona wrote a letter to Governors seeking their assistance to increase access to Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Since last October, the Department of Education has provided a limited waiver to public servant student loan borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify for repayment under the PSLF program. Such circumstances include past payments made on older loans originated by private banks and lenders under the Federal Family Education Loan program and Perkins loans issued by colleges for borrowers who consolidate into the Direct Loan program, as well as payments made under non-qualifying repayment plans. 

Support for Unwinding the Medicaid Continuous Care Requirement

Once the public health emergency ends, Medicaid agencies will need to resume Medicaid eligibility redeterminations and renewals. To assist, the NGA is hosting monthly call for advisors to share insights and best practices on how they plan to develop strategies and coordinate with state agencies and external stakeholders, issue new regulations or guidance, and establish means for minimizing gaps in coverage or access to services during the unwinding period.

NGA Activities

Cultural Responsiveness in Behavioral Health Services

Recognizing state leaders face an array of challenges in addressing the behavioral health needs of all communities, NGA has released a new paper that details strategies to enhance cultural responsiveness in behavioral health services. The paper notes that current and future potential federal investments in behavioral health, and in crisis response specifically, present states with an opportunity to focus on those communities that have been most challenged with access issues. The paper identifies overarching strategies to enhance cultural responsiveness and promote equity in behavioral health services across the crisis continuum to engage affected communities, incorporate the voice of people with lived experience and establish processes for accountability.

Community Renewal Task Force Meeting on the Educator Workforce

NGA released an overview about the Community Renewal Task Force virtual session Missouri Governor Mike Parson held last month to focus on the state of the educator workforce as states and territories prepare for the 2022-2023 school year.

State Efforts to Address ACEs and Trauma

NGA released a commentary detailing how states are working to prevent and mitigate adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and advance trauma-informed care with the implementation of the 988 number created to help more Americans access the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

NGA Spouses’ Program

The First Spouses who attended the NGA Summer Meeting took part in several meetings, including a briefing with Dr. Lana Israel, CEO of Muzology, a company using music videos to teach children math. First Spouses also participated in the session with Dolly Parton to highlight ways First Spouses have been working with Governors to bring Ms. Parton’s Imagination Library to their states.

At the Summer Meeting, New Jersey First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy discussed plans to create a national model to help address the maternal and infant health crisis in the United States, building on her Nurture NJ program.

At the Summer Meeting, NGA Chair New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy held a panel discussion with experts who spoke about ways to improve youth mental health and maternal health.

Membership Programs

Water Cooler Meetings Continue

NGA Membership continues to hold virtual Water Cooler conversations as an informal way to connect Governors’ staff members to learn, discuss and share best practices with their colleagues from across the country. Upcoming Water Cooler dates for additional groups will be shared in the coming weeks. Individuals interested in learning more about these virtual meetings or proposing a topic to discuss are encouraged to contact the Membership team.

NGA Starts Native Americans and Tribal Issues Advisors Network

NGA has started a new NGA Governors’ Advisors Network focusing on Native Americans and Tribal issues. Governors’ offices are invited to designate a representative to participate in this network. This individual could be a state’s Director of Indian Affairs, Director of Tribal Relations or a policy advisor focused on these issues.

NGA knows 48 states/territories have a federally recognized tribe. While these tribes represent sovereign governments, they often interact with and serve many of the same roles as states/territories. As Governors lead on many issues, including implementation of federal programs like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), there are opportunities for closer collaboration with tribal governments. The network would also serve as a forum for the Governors’ staff to share their experience and improve upon lessons learned from other states/territories.

NGA plans to hold monthly network calls, and advisors will receive invitations from NGA to participate in more dedicated technical assistance opportunities as they arise. The aim is to have the activities of the network be directed by state/territory participants to keep engagement relevant and respectful of participants’ time.

Cybersecurity Policy Advisors Network Resumes

NGA is pleased to announce the creation of a renewed NGA Governors’ Cybersecurity Policy Advisors Network. Governors’ offices are invited to designate a representative to participate in this network. This individual could be a policy advisor in a Governor’s office who handles the Governor’s cybersecurity portfolio, a cybersecurity advisor, a cybersecurity office/division director or another official of the Governor’s choosing. The intent is that this individual can speak to the Governor’s priorities as they relate to cybersecurity. Offices are welcome to designate more than one representative as long as the Governor’s office has recommended their participation.

NGA is looking to provide Governors with programming and technical assistance tailored to their mission priorities. This network will serve as a forum to share ideas and troubleshoot challenges with colleagues from other states, connect advisors with valuable resources and materials and provide opportunities to hear from subject-matter experts via periodic webinars and workshops. As the network expands, NGA plans to host regular calls to facilitate timely discussions.