Membership Monthly – May 2024

Updates from the NGA Membership Team for May 2024. For more about the programs below and a list of upcoming events please email us at: membership@nga.org.


May Spotlight

Nation’s Governors Call for Discontinuation of Legislative proposals Denying Governor Authority over National Guard

Last week, NGA facilitated a Governor-level briefing where Governors spoke directly with Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall to reiterate concerns with Legislative Proposal 480 (LP 480) which would federalize U.S. National Guard units into the U.S. Space Force and give the U.S. Secretary of the Air Force the sole discretion to move airmen or eliminate their units.

NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Vice Chair Colorado Governor Jared Polis released this statement summarizing the call, emphasizing that the Governors of all 55 states and territories are united in opposition to the proposal and have serious concerns about the Pentagon’s failure to comply with established legal process requiring consultation and approval from Governors on all National Guard deployment matters. 

Last week’s briefing follows a letter Governors sent to the Secretary of Defense calling for the immediate discontinuation of LP480. NGA’s press release provides more details about the Governors’ letter.

The ten Governors who serve on the federally appointed Council of Governors also issued a letter opposing the policy. 

Last week, Governors Cox and Polis held a virtual press conference with more than 30 members of the media to field questions regarding Governors’ position on this issue.


Disagree Better

Governors Cox, Lee Lead Disagree Better Event in Nashville

Country Musician Brad Paisley Joins Governors at NGA Meeting

This week, NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee held a meeting in Nashville in support of Governor Cox’s NGA Chair’s Initiative: Disagree Better.

Centered on the theme of building dialogue skills and fostering positive contact, the event featured panel discussions with bipartisan experts and a service project. Country music superstar Brad Paisley also participated in the meeting to help more Americans learn about the initiative.


Governors Lujan Grisham, Gordon Share Disagree Better Video

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon released a video to help further the work of Governor Cox’s Disagree Better initiative.

In the video, Governors Grisham and Gordon remind Americans that disagreeing better is one of the country’s oldest, most cherished traditions. Watch the video here.


Governors Cox, Moore Write Op-Ed Highlighting Volunteering and Service as Keys to Healing Divides

NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Maryland Governor Wes Moore wrote an op-ed to highlight how “volunteering and service are keys to healing divides.” Both Governors have been leading initiatives to foster volunteer and service opportunities in their states. 

NGA’s service playbook outlines policy options related to service-to-career pathways. NGA also held a meeting with Governor Moore on this topic and released a new publication on service-to-career pathways.


NGA Spring Reception

NGA Welcomes Governors’ Staff to Spring Reception

NGA thanks all of the Governors’ staff members who attended last week’s annual NGA spring reception. NGA also thanks the American Bankers Association (ABA) for hosting the reception.

At the event, NGA’s Executive Director Bill McBride and ABA’s Chief Policy Officer Naomi Camper (pictured) spoke to attendees, expressing appreciation for their commitment to state service.


Communications

Governors Invited to Promote Student Contest to Mark America’s 250th Birthday 

Governors’ offices have been asked to help America250 spread the word about the nationwide America’s Field Trip contest students in grades 3-12 can enter to help celebrate the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026.

This toolkit contains suggested language and other ideas for ways Governors can help raise awareness about the contest. 

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte recently shared a video message to help raise awareness about the contest.

Click here to watch Governor Gianforte’s message.


Government Relations

NGA Leadership Urges Congress to Pass Legislation to Support U.S. Allies 

Last month, NGA leadership issued a statement calling on Congress to come together and pass legislation to support America’s national security. In the statement, NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox and NGA Vice Chair Colorado Governor Jared Polis emphasized that “the supplemental bills should be a bipartisan effort that prioritizes national security amidst the growing threats to the United States.” The full statement can be read here.


Governors Little, Bryan Send Letter to Congress

Idaho Governor Brad Little and U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr., co-chairs of NGA’s Education, Workforce and Community Investment Task Force, sent a letter to the Senate and House Appropriations Committees noting Governors’ priorities as the committees continue to craft and consider the Fiscal Year 2025 appropriations bills. Read the letter here.


Public Health and Disaster Response Task Force Holds Congressional Briefing

Last week, the NGA Public Health and Disaster Response Task Force hosted a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. The briefing focused on building readiness and resiliency to combat disasters and emerging threats including those related to cyber, health, National Guard and homeland security.


Center for Best Practices

Governors Support Mental Health Awareness Month

In recognition of the May observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, NGA released a new publication exploring some of the actions Governors are taking to mark Mental Health Awareness Month.

Additionally, NGA’s recent publication Governors Prioritize Behavioral Health In 2024 State of the State Addresses provides an overview of many of the behavioral health priorities and policies Governors highlighted in this year’s State of the State or Territory addresses.


NGA Releases New Publication on the Emerging Field of Behavioral Health Paraprofessionals 

As states move from filling the behavioral health workforce mainly with professionals who have a significant amount of post-secondary education to creating opportunities for behavioral health support among professionals with more accessible levels of schooling, NGA released a new publication to help states with this work.


Governors are Addressing FAFSA Challenges    

NGA released a new publication detailing some of the actions Governors have been implementing to help students and families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing the FAFSA is the first step a student must take to determine their eligibility for numerous scholarship programs.  


New K-12 Education Resources for Governors’ Offices 

INGA’s K-12 Education Team launched a new webpage that provides an overview of NGA’s technical assistance support for a cohort of nine Governors’ offices working to address students’ academic and mental health and well-being needs through the 2023-2024 Academic Supports and Student and School Staff Well-Being Project. The nine states include Alabama, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wyoming.


NGA Leads Skills Based Strategies National Meeting

NGA recently held a three-day Skills Based Strategies national convening in Washington, D.C. The meeting built on the work NGA has been leading with support and partnership from Walmart to focus on skills-based hiring in the public sector. Learn more here.


State Actions to Address Human Trafficking

NGA recently hosted its monthly briefing for the Criminal Justice Policy Advisors network. The briefing focused on state actions to address human trafficking, including executive actions, taskforces and legislative solutions. A full recap of the briefing is available here.


New Webinar on Fostering Entrepreneurship 

Watch NGA’s new webinar on state models for fostering entrepreneurship. The webinar features details about the work Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro are leading to support entrepreneurs.


NGA to Start Child Care Working Group

NGA’s Children and Families team is convening a child care working group for states and territories to engage in peer-to-peer learning. Offices interested in joining the working group are asked to complete this form.


NGA Holds Meeting with Governors’ Infrastructure Coordinators 

NGA recently hosted its Northeast Regional Project Delivery Workshop in Philadelphia in partnership with Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro’s office. The convening brought together many officials, including Governors’ Infrastructure Coordinators and other advisors from Northeast states, to discuss infrastructure project delivery and coordination challenges facing these states. A summary of the meeting can be found here.

NGA also released an overview of the infrastructure meeting the Kansas Infrastructure Hub recently hosted. 


In Memoriam

Remembering Governors Pryor and Graham

NGA is saddened to share former Arkansas Governor David Pryor (pictured below left) and Florida Governor Bob Graham (pictured below right) recently passed away. NGA extends our condolences to the Governors’ families, friends and constituents.


Monthly Member Update

Governor McKee Highlights Work to Reduce Absenteeism 

Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee (pictured) held an event in Providence to celebrate the work Rhode Island has been doing to increase student attendance rates. Governor McKee has been leading several policy initiatives to decrease absenteeism, including the #AttendanceMattersRI video campaign to promote good attendance. Watch Governor McKee’s video here.


May in Photos

NGA routinely shares photos of Governors at work. A sampling of this past month’s photo highlights follows.


Updates from the NGA Membership Team for June 2024. For more about the programs below and a list of upcoming events please email us at: membership@nga.org.


June Spotlight

Nation’s Governors Continue Call for Discontinuation of Legislative Proposals Denying Governor authority Over National Guard

NGA has been working closely with Governors as they continue to press the Department of Defense to discontinue Legislative Proposal 480 that would weaken or eliminate Governor authority over the National Guard and threaten readiness and operational efficacy of their units.

Governors from both parties in all 55 states and territories unanimously object to the proposal to transfer certain National Guard units out of states. NGA and Governors have also been working with Congress to address this issue.

Most recently, Governors supported the House of Representatives in adopting the Wilson Amendment in the Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act Full Committee Mark Up. The amendment retains Governors’ authorities and the required approval process outlined in Title 10 and Title 32. NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Vice Chair Colorado Governor Jared Polis released this statement commending the action taken in the House.


NGA Holds Convenings for governors’ staff members

NGA Holds Communications, Policy Convenings

Governor Shapiro Welcomes Attendees to Pennsylvania, Praises Public Service

NGA recently held a Convening for Governors’ Communications Directors that ran concurrently with a Policy Summit for Governors’ Deputy Chiefs of Staff, Legislative Directors and Policy Directors.

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, pictured, welcomed the participants to Pennsylvania, recognizing the attendees for their public service. Pennsylvania First Lady Lori Shapiro also spoke with attendees, participating in a panel discussion focused on health policy.

The Communications Convening included meetings in New York City with several of the country’s top media outlets, including The New York Times, pictured, and The Wall Street Journal. The Policy Summit included sessions on a variety of priority issues, including public safety and artificial intelligence. 


NGA Welcomes Chiefs of Staff to Leadership Forum

NGA recently welcomed Governors’ Chiefs of Staff to the Hoover Institution to participate in the State and Local Leadership Forum. The meeting focused on several timely topics, including a session on the implications of economic growth and inflation, as well as a discussion on American leadership that was facilitated by Dr. Condoleezza Rice, pictured with attendees, who serves as the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and a Senior Fellow on Public Policy.


Communications

Governors Cox, Moore Highlight Disagree Better on GMA

NGA Chair Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Maryland Governor Wes Moore conducted an interview with Good Morning America to highlight Governor Cox’s NGA Chair’s Initiative Disagree Better. Watch the interview here.


Communications

Governors Invited to Promote Student Contest to Mark America’s 250th Birthday

As a reminder, Governors’ offices have been asked to help America250 spread the word about the nationwide America’s Field Trip contest students in grades 3-12 can enter to help celebrate the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026.

This toolkit contains suggested language and other ideas for ways Governors can help raise awareness about the contest. 

Watch Montana Governor Greg Gianforte’s video message to see an example of how Governors are helping raise awareness about the contest.


Government Relations

Governors Green and Scott Send Letter to Congress

Hawai’i Governor Josh Green and Vermont Governor Phil Scott, co-chairs of the NGA Public Health and Disaster Response Task Force, recently sent a letter to the Senate and House Appropriations Committees noting Governors’ priorities as the committees consider Fiscal Year 2025 appropriations bills. The letter calls on Congress to prioritize several efforts, including items related to behavioral health, children and families programs, maternal health, older adults and aging, public health infrastructure and healthcare workforce, disaster relief, emergency management, homeland defense, and cybersecurity. Read the letter here.

Last month, Idaho Governor Brad Little and U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr., co-chairs of NGA’s Education, Workforce and Community Investment Task Force, sent a letter to the Senate and House Appropriations Committees asking Congress to prioritize funding in the areas of labor and workforce development, career and technical skills, PreK-12 education, postsecondary education, criminal justice, housing and agriculture. Read the letter here, and contact Tim Carlton for more information.


NGA Shares Farm Bill Resource and Update

Last month, the House Committee on Agriculture passed, with a bipartisan vote of 33-21, the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024, legislation to reauthorize the 2018 Farm Bill. In anticipation of the House mark-up and possible consideration of a Senate Farm Bill package, NGA produced a side-by-side resource comparing Farm Bill proposals in the House and Senate to NGA’s Farm Bill Priorities, which were released and sent to the House and Senate authorizing committees in the fall of 2023.

The 2018 Farm Bill was most recently given a one-year extension at the end of 2023, providing extension of program authorizations until September 30, and at the end of the Crop Year, ending December 31. A timeline for floor consideration of the House Committee-passed Farm, Food, and National Security Act, has not been announced, nor has a Senate Agriculture Committee mark-up been scheduled at this time. 


Governors and National Partners Urge Congress to Preserve Cyber Security Grant Funding

NGA joined several state and local government leaders to send a letter urging Congress to preserve funding for the State and Local Cyber Security Grant Program (SLGCP). The letter reiterates the critical need for SLGCP funding to remain at $100 million for Fiscal Year 2025, the amount previously approved by Congress through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Read the letter here


NGA Holds Congressional Briefing

The NGA Public Health and Disaster Response Task Force held a congressional briefing on building resiliency to combat disasters and emerging threats, including cyber, health, National Guard and homeland security. This briefing brought together Congress, federal agencies and private partners to discuss priorities of state and territory leaders. Read a summary of the meeting here, and watch the briefing here.


Center for Best Practices

Governor Kelly Speaks at NGA Broadband Leaders Workshop

This month, NGA held the second Broadband Leaders Workshop in Overland Park – Kansas City, Kansas. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, pictured, spoke at the event that brought together broadband leaders and key federal officials, industry leaders and stakeholders for a workshop designed to help navigate this critical stage in implementing federal and state programs to achieve key broadband access, affordability and adoption goals.


Governor Stitt to Speak at NGA Energy Policy Institute

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, pictured, will speak at the NGA Energy Policy Institute scheduled to be held June 26-27 in Oklahoma City. The Energy Policy Institute is NGA’s premier convening for Governors’ energy policy advisors and senior staff. This event will feature engaging discussions, informative presentations and ample networking opportunities with state and territory peers, federal partners and industry leaders.


Governors and State Leaders Continue Commitment to Building a More Resilient and Secure Energy Future

American Samoa Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, Hawai‘i Governor Josh Green and U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr., pictured with Hawai‘i First Lady Jaime Green, recently participated in NGA’s Energy Security, Resilience and Recovery Roundtable for Territories and Islanded Communities. The meeting brought the Governors and state and territory leaders together to discuss some of the latest technologies and best practices to help strengthen critical issues of energy resilience and security. A summary of the meeting can be read here.


NGA Partners with Governor DeWine’s Office to Lead Policy Retreat on PFAS, Water Safety

NGA’s Center for Best Practices recently worked with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s policy advisors, along with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH), to develop and host a state policy retreat held May 20-21 in Columbus.

The retreat focused on PFAS testing and mitigation options for private well owners. PFAS is a class of chemicals known as “forever chemicals” that have detrimental human health impacts and can be found in various consumer products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently established PFAS limits for public drinking water systems; however, private wells are not subject to these limits.

Governor DeWine’s office has been collaborating with state agency experts to begin to develop a plan to test for PFAS in private wells and determine treatment options. In December, Governor DeWine, pictured, announced the expansion of H2Ohio, Ohio’s comprehensive, data-driven strategy to improve water quality throughout the state. As part of the program, Ohio will undergo a statewide survey to measure its large rivers for the existence of PFAS.

The NGA Center also continues to work with the Ohio state team on next steps.


NGA Convenes Six States to Explore Best Practices to Advance Disability Inclusive Workforce Policy

NGA convened leaders from Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Ohio and Vermont in Albany, New York, for a meeting designed to help advance their disability inclusive workforce policy agendas. A summary of the meeting can be read here.

To kick off the event, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, pictured, hosted the state leaders at the New York State Executive Mansion.

In January, NGA, with support from the U.S. Department of Labor’s State Exchange on Employment & Disability, selected these six states to participate in the Disability Inclusive Workforce Policy Learning Collaborative.


NGA Releases Webinar on Maine’s Education Priorities 

NGA released a new webinar, “Spotlighting Maine’s Efforts to Strengthen Education for Students, Families and Schools Across the State.” This webinar brings together Joe Marro, Senior Policy Advisor for Maine Governor Janet, and Pender Makin, the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education, to discuss their ongoing work to strengthen education in Maine.


NGA Leads Webinar Series on State Energy Planning

NGA and the National Association of State Energy Officials are conducting a series of webinars on various aspects of the comprehensive state energy planning process. Read more about the series here, and click below to watch the first two episodes.


NGA ANNIVERSARY

NGA Celebrates 116th Anniversary 

NGA observes its 116th birthday this year. NGA was founded in 1908 after Governors met with President Theodore Roosevelt to discuss conservation issues. This meeting prompted Governors to form an association through which they could come together to discuss mutual concerns and act collectively. Learn more about NGA here.


Monthly Member Update

Governor Ivey Announces Summer Reading Challenge

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, pictured, has invited Alabama students to join her for her Summer Reading Challenge, an effort to encourage children to include reading in their summer activities.

As part of the campaign, Governor Ivey released a video message encouraging rising students in grades K through 8 to participate in the initiative.


June in Photos

NGA routinely shares photos of Governors at work. A sampling of this past month’s photo highlights follows.

Top Row (L to R): Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
Middle Row (L to R): Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Bottom Row (L to R): Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer