Western Governors’ News: Wyoming and Montana partner on carbon capture; North Dakota elevates education; Utah unveils energy action plan

The Western Governors' Association offers a regular roundup of news showcasing the work of Western Governors in economic development, natural resources, education, health and safety, and other areas. Here is what the Western Governors have been working on recently:

ALASKA Gov. Bill Walker aims to improve broadband connectivity for K-12 students through a partnership with EducationSuperHighway, an education nonprofit. The project will assess classroom connectivity and help schools identify opportunities to upgrade.

ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey allocated $38 million from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust to purchase more than 280 new school buses in low-income communities which he said will “will free up existing funding sources, allowing school districts to focus on other capital needs to benefit students.”

CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown detailed the state’s plans to launch an unprecedented, fully online community college program to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. The college will focus on “stranded workers” and career-oriented certificates.

COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper launched MyBizColorado as a more efficient way to register a business and obtain state licenses and registrations.

HAWAII Gov. David Ige signed a bill to increase scholarship funding for community college students. “This program makes it possible for everyone in our communities to have access to colleges, so they can increase their career and earning potential,” said Gov. Ige.

IDAHO Gov. Butch Otter announced a $100 million state surplus after closing the books on fiscal 2018. “Our ability to pay for the public services needed by a growing population is a credit to the dynamism and diversity of Idaho’s economy,” said Gov. Otter.

MONTANA Gov. Steve Bullock promoted the third annual Innovate Montana Symposium as an opportunity for small businesses to meet with promising entrepreneurs and hear panel discussions on workforce development.

NEVADA Gov. Brian Sandoval targeted more than $3.5 million to 14 projects across rural Nevada. The projects are designed to create suitable living environments, provide affordable housing and create economic opportunities for low income residents.

NEW MEXICO Gov. Susana Martinez launched a campaign to address opioid abuse by educating patients and caregivers about safer pain management options and alternative pain management strategies.

NORTH DAKOTA Gov. Doug Burgum highlighted progress made to transform education at the second annual Governors’ Summit on Innovative Education. “We have the ideas, the people and the momentum we need to make North Dakota the nation’s leader in education,” said Gov. Burgum.  

OKLAHOMA Gov. Mary Fallin participated in a summit on criminal justice reform at the White House. Reducing the state’s high incarceration rate has been a priority of the governor’s administration.    

OREGON Gov. Kate Brown touted the state’s renewable energy economy with the announcement of two solar project that will offset energy use at Facebook data centers near Prineville.     

SOUTH DAKOTA Gov. Dennis Daugaard applauded the state’s Bureau of Finance and Management for earning The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.

UTAH Gov. Gary Herbert unveiled his “Energy Action Plan,” which sets a target of increasing energy production in the Beehive State by 25 percent by the end of 2020.

WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee announced nearly $5 million in new federal grant funds to provide job training and other career-development services for people affected by the opioid epidemic.

WYOMING Gov. Matt Mead partnered with fellow Western Governor Steve Bullock of Montana in a new effort to provide state executive leadership on carbon capture policy and technology development.

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