State Watch

Cuomo to serve as National Association of Governors chair

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will serve as the next chair of the National Association of Governors, the NGA announced Wednesday. 

Cuomo, who will become the longest-serving current governor next year, was unanimously voted to serve as the chair of the association representing the leaders of all 55 states and territories. He is the first New York governor to become chair of the NGA. 

“There has never been a moment where state governments have been more instrumental in the lives of the people of this country,” Cuomo said during the virtual meeting when he was named chair. “State governments are now in the forefront, and it is a new chapter in the governance of this country. This coming year, states are not only laboratories of democracy – we will also be the engines of economic renewal and the innovators of a new public health system.”

He added that next year’s agenda will focus on “America’s Recovery and Revival” and said leaders need to institutionalize what they have learned so far about pandemics to create and implement a public health system to attack any new virus that emerges. 

He also said the NGA will prioritize calling on federal lawmakers to provide funding for states in upcoming coronavirus response legislation. 

“The NGA is united in telling our Washington colleagues that they must include $500 Billion in unrestricted state funding in the upcoming COVID response legislation. It is a top NGA priority,” Cuomo said. 

Cuomo emerged as a key critic of President Trump’s response to COVID-19 during the governor’s daily press briefings throughout the pandemic. New York was once the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, but the state has largely mitigated the spread of the virus in recent weeks, as cases continue to rise elsewhere in the country. 

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) will serve as vice chair of the NGA. 

Cuomo and Hutchinson will lead the nine-member Executive Committee that guides the association’s priorities and activities. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), the outgoing NGA chair, will serve on the committee.

The other members include Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R), Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D), Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R).

Whitmer said she is pleased to continue serving as a member of the NGA’s executive committee, and echoed Cuomo’s message of the importance of state governments in response to the pandemic. 

“During this time of COVID-19 especially, it is the governors and states providing the leadership needed to respond to the virus. We are committed to working with Washington on finding bipartisan solutions to so many critical issues impacting our states and residents,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and incoming NGA Chair Andrew Cuomo of New York and Vice Chair Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas to continue the good stewardship of the organization in this critical time.

The NGA chair, vice chair and members of the committee are elected annually. The governors supervise the association’s operations on behalf of the entire membership of 55 governors.  

Tags Andrew Cuomo Coronavirus coronavirus relief COVID-19 Donald Trump Gretchen Whitmer Jared Polis Kay Ivey Michelle Lujan Grisham National Governor's Association nga

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