- Policy Platforms
The 2019 Annual Meeting in Colorado featured a conversation with Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, keynotes by pollster Frank Luntz and Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz, and the election of North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum as WGA Chair.
The Western Governors’ Association 2019 Annual Meeting brought 12 Governors to Colorado for three days of public discussion about significant policy issues facing the region and nation.
Western Governors attending the event held June 10-12 at the Hotel Talisa in Vail included, from left: WGA Vice Chair Doug Burgum (North Dakota), Laura Kelly (Kansas), Kristi Noem (South Dakota), WGA Chair David Ige (Hawai’i), Brad Little (Idaho) Lourdes Leon Guerrero (Guam), Jared Polis (Colorado), Gary Herbert (Utah), Steve Sisolak (Nevada), Kate Brown (Oregon), and Mark Gordon (Wyoming). Not pictured, but in attendance, Michelle Lujan Grisham (New Mexico)
DAY ONE: Western Governors had an in-depth conversation with Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, released the Biosecurity and Invasive Species Initiative Special Report, and announced an agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to pursue collaborative projects on the first day of the 2019 Annual Meeting. The Governors also discussed how to boost rural broadband capability, heard from Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and best-selling author Craig Johnson, and released their Annual Report. Read the Day 1 report.
DAY TWO: The reconstituted Western Governors’ Foundation was launched on Day Two, followed by a discussion of how to best utilize data and forecasting in western water management. Pollster Frank Luntz shared “words that work” and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Eric Boechler presented on the frightening growth of illicit fentanyl. Read the Day 2 Report.
DAY THREE: New Western Governors took the opportunity to explain their paths to office and current policy focus in a special roundtable on the final day of the meeting. The Governors concluded the Annual Meeting by revisiting their role in the creation of online education pioneer Western Governors University, engaging Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson about the work of the agency, and electing North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum as Chair of the association. Read the Day 3 Report.
The Governors announced policy resolutions on: Federal-State Land Exchanges and Purchases; Biosecurity and Invasive Species Management; National Parks and the West; and Wildlife Migration Corridors and Habitat. See all new resolutions.
The meeting concluded with the announcement of the Western Governors’ Reimagining the Rural West Initiative, the Chairman's Initiative of Gov. Burgum in his new role as WGA Chair.