Western Governors’ News: Economic and workforce development, water conservation, cybersecurity, and infrastructure improvements among projects pursued by Governors

The Western Governors' Association offers a periodic roundup of Western Governors' work in economic development, natural resources, education, health and safety, and a variety of other areas. Here are some of the issues that the Governors have been working on recently:

ALASKA Gov. Mike Dunleavy coordinated donations of salmon to families in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region following the closure of chinook and chum salmon fishing in the Yukon River due to poor returns. 

AMERICAN SAMOA Gov. Lemanu Mauga committed to better serving the people of Manu’a, a collection of three small islands that he said, “have been grossly underserved.”

ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey announced $101 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding to launch the Visit Arizona Initiative to increase visitation and tourism spending, bolster job creation and accelerate economic recovery. 

CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill to increase college affordability and access – including expanded student financial aid and training grants for workers displaced by the pandemic, transfer pathways for community college students, and college savings accounts for low-income and underrepresented public school students. 

COLORADO Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill to invest $25 million in reskilling and upskilling opportunities for Coloradans displaced by the pandemic and $35 million for innovation grants to help build stronger infrastructure and prepare Coloradans for the jobs of the future. 

GUAM Gov. Leon Guerrero discussed how islands are coming together, through the Local2030 Island Network, to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals during an event at the 2021 United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

HAWAII Gov. David Ige signed seven bills that will help the state achieve the long-term vision articulated in the newly updated Hawaiʻi 2050 Sustainability Plan, including food sustainability and economic diversity.

IDAHO Gov. Brad Little helped groundwater and surface water users in Blaine County reach a settlement to avoid the curtailment of about 140 groundwater users on approximately 23,000 acres of land in the Bellevue Triangle area.  

KANSAS Gov. Laura Kelly created the Governor’s Cybersecurity Task Force to protect Kansas’ digital infrastructure from cyber-attacks. The bipartisan task force is charged with developing a comprehensive plan to address cybercrime and protect essential services.

MONTANA Gov. Greg Gianforte announced the state will devote $3.9 million in funds to bridge the technology divideand expand learning opportunities for students from pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade.

NEW MEXICO Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the expansion of its Child Care Assistance Program, doubling eligibility for families from 200% of the federal poverty level to as much as 400%.

NEVADA Gov. Steve Sisolak celebrated the success of The Pandemic Emergency Technical Support grant program, which allocated more than $100 million in funding to help roughly 9,400 state small businesses, by personally delivering a check to the final recipient.  

NORTH DAKOTA Gov. Doug Burgum announced the approval of two new water supply programs and allocated $2 million to the Drought Disaster Livestock Water Supply Project Assistance Program to help farmers and ranchers battling the state’s worst drought in at least 30 years.

NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS Gov. Ralph Torres signed bills appropriating funds for infrastructure improvements, Saipan Higher Education Financial Assistance, and community organizations such as the Northern Mariana Islands Museum of History and Culture, and the Commonwealth Women’s Association.

OREGON Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill to provide more than $220 million to help modernize and improve state wildfire preparedness through three strategies: creating fire-adapted communities, developing safe and effective responses, and increasing the resiliency of Oregon’s landscapes. 

OKLAHOMA Gov. Kevin Stitt traveled to Azerbaijan to strengthen strategic partnerships and start an agreement between Oklahoma State University and the Azerbaijan State Agricultural University to develop joint academic and exchange programs. 

SOUTH DAKOTA Gov. Kristi Noem announced a Cooperative Interstate Shipping agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service to allow state-inspected meat processors to ship their meat across state lines, opening up new market opportunities. 

UTAH Gov. Spencer Cox highlighted current water conservation efforts and outlined measures needed to plan for the state’s water future as 100% of the state experiences drought conditions. 

WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee declared a statewide state of emergency relating to wildfires, including a statewide prohibition on most outdoor and agricultural burning. "We must be vigilant in our efforts to prevent wildfires, and the loss of life and destruction of land and property that comes with them,” he said.

WYOMING Gov. Mark Gordon relaunched the Wyoming Meat Processing Expansion Grant Program to support state meat processing facilities and state citizens impacted by supply chain disruptions and regional shut-downs of processing facilities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get the latest news about the West and its governors by following the Western Governors' Association on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Check out our podcast, Out West, on PodbeanSpotify and Apple Podcasts

sign up for our newsletters