Governors Find Common Ground Amidst Womens’ Health Care Polarization


Governor Janet Mills (D) at a “Media Availability” Well-Attended by the Press at Noon. Behind her at the Left is Outgoing Chair of the NGA and Governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson; Incoming Chair of the NGA and Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy.  On the Far Right is Governor Spencer Cox, Utah.

A Sign on the Stage at the Holiday Inn By the Bay, Spring Street, Portland.

Singer Song-writer Dolly Parton During a Virtual Presentation of her Imagination Library at the NGA Summer Meeting This Morning, Portland.

Protestors Against the Anti Choice Governors Attending the NGA Summer Meeting in Portland Today.  Nineteen Governors Attended Which is on Target for the Summer Meeting  According to  a NGA Spokesperson.

It was inevitable. Particularly in a state where the popular Governor is pro-choice, disagrees with the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and has pledged that as long as she is Governor,  womens’ health care is safe here.

The last session of the day at the National Governors Association, (NGA)  was a Q&A between the press and the leadership of the bipartisan NGA.  The aggressive press was dogged in its effort to learn whether divergent views had prevented the Governors from doing their  states’ business as prescribed by the mandate of this  group.

The Q&A was the culmination of several days of multiple highlights that surfaced for the nineteen governors who came to Portland to enjoy lobsters by the sea, take advantage of an opportunity to build relationships and exchange ideas on mutual issues before all the  states and the District of Columbia.

“This has been a magical experience.  We hope you will come back to visir or move here,” said Governor Mills to the chuckles of some in the massive press gaggle in the lobby of the Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland.  Governor Spencer Cox, Utah when asked if he had a message for his Republican party colleagues,  said:  “We can disagree without hating people.  By putting Americans first.  It’s easy to use hate for divisiveness.”  Incoming chair of the NGA, Governor Pat Murphy, New Jersey said:  “We are on very different sides of the abortion issue, but that does not preclude our ability to find common ground.:

This morning Governor Mills announced that beginning in April 2023 Maine is launching a statewide expansion of the iconic singer-song writer Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.  The program mails high quality age appropriate books to children from birth until age five every month – no matter the family’s income.  The program is dedicated to improving the lives of children by inspiring a love of reading with books. The Library is free to enrolled children and families.   Earlier this year the Maine State Legislature approved a $200,000 investment to implement the program, which will be administered by the Maine State Library.

By the end of 2023, Maine hopes to have distributed an initial 106,000 books to more than 14,000 children across Maine.  Parton, in a video conversation, said her father was the inspirtation for this Library.  He was smart but came from a very large famly in the Smokey Mountains.  A formal education for all was not possible.  He never learned to read.  That inability to read crippled him according to Parton’s emotional  talk this morning.  The books are selected by a committee of experts in the field of childrens’ literature.  “I feel as proud of this as anything I’ve ever done,” said Parton in her  presentation. Maine is the 13th state, including the District of Columbia, to commit to this program.

It was announced that New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, will serve as the nest NGA Chair,  His focus is “strengthening youth mebntal health,” because it is in crises.  The Governor wants to reduce the stigma of mental health, provide more affordable mental health care resources and parovide training and support for parents.  During a panel discussion led by Heidi Baskefeld, of Childrens’ Hospital in Denver, Colorado, it was disclosed that the US ranks only 55th in the world for maternal care.  Black women die 2 to 3 times more often during child birth than white women.  Governor Murphy said that he has signed a law requiring home visits following births. That law finds issues before they become serious and can detect signs of child abuse that might otherwise go undetected.

Please see previous post herein for more information on the annual Summer Meeting in Portland of the National Governors Assocation, (NGA).