- Policy Platforms
The 2020 Winter Meeting was held as a virtual event on Dec. 10 and featured discussions about wildfires and COVID-19, as well as special guests Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Microsoft President Brad Smith
The Western Governors’ Association 2020 Winter Meeting featured the Governors discussing their ongoing work to manage the impact of COVID-19, their response to this year’s widespread wildfire season, and conversations with special guests about broadband, innovation, and healthcare.
The meeting, which was presented virtually on Dec. 10, opened with a special video about Western Governors’ decisive response to the unprecedented challenges of 2020, including the pandemic and destructive wildfire season. Meeting highlights (read more here) included:
Opening Remarks: WGA Chair and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s keynote offered an update on the work done by WGA on her central policy effort, the Electric Vehicles Roadmap Initiative. (Watch)
COVID-19 and State Leadership: Gov. Brown moderated a conversation that included WGA Vice Chair, Gov. Brad Little (Idaho), as well as Governors Jared Polis (Colorado), Gary Herbert (Utah), Lou Guerrero (Guam), and Kevin Stitt (Oklahoma).
Remarks, Alex Azar: The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services outlined the administration’s work in collaboration with states in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conversation with Brad Smith: The President of Microsoft engaged with Governors Doug Burgum of North Dakota and David Ige of Hawaii about broadband availability and how technology has enabled government, the private sector, and education to adapt during the pandemic. (Watch)
Wildfire Response in the West: Vice Chair Gov. Little moderated a session featuring Governors Steve Bullock (Montana), Mark Gordon (Wyoming) and Gov. Polis. (Watch)
Conversation with Dr. Sanjeev Arora: Governors Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and Mark Gordon of Wyoming had an insightful exchange with the founder of Project ECHO about its "tele-mentoring" model to expand health care expertise. (Watch)
New WGA Resolutions: Western Governors formally approved five policy resolutions on: Strengthening the State-Federal Relationship, Utilizing State Data in Federal Decision Making, Wild Horse and Burro Management, National Forest and Rangeland Management, and Species Conservation and the Endangered Species Act. Read, download resolutions.