Washington, D.C. - Iowa Governor Terry Branstad was elected Chair of the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) today during its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton was elected to serve as Vice Chair of the of association. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the MGA, which was formed in 1962 to foster regional development and coordinate public policy of significance to the region.
At the meeting, Branstad announced his Chair's agenda for 2012, which will focus on promoting a positive Midwestern narrative, increasing domestic energy production and supporting efforts to lower energy costs for businesses and families within the region.
As part of the charge to promote a positive Midwestern narrative, the MGA will seek opportunities to renew the Midwestern brand, drive innovation and improve the region's entrepreneurial network. The MGA will identify and highlight the unique strengths of Midwestern states to develop and communicate a positive Midwestern image, including promoting the Midwest's impact on the global economy.
The 2012 Chair's agenda also strives to support states' efforts to increase domestic/Midwestern energy production across all types of energy to help maintain or achieve low energy costs. Midwestern governors will work together to identify development opportunities and barriers, and will create cross-state strategies to achieve these goals.
As part of the Chair's focus, governors at the meeting heard from job-creators and discussed ways to welcome additional businesses to the region and create a business environment that can compete in a global economy.
"I am excited to serve once again as Chair of the MGA and to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the region working together," said Branstad. "To commemorate this step, I look forward to working with Midwestern governors to promote the region and highlight its strengths and opportunities across the country and the globe."
"I want to thank Governor Quinn for his outstanding leadership of the Association during the past year. I look forward to assisting Governor Branstad with leading the organization through its 50th anniversary year. Working together as a region will help ensure that the Midwest continues to be a national and international leader in innovation," Dayton said.
Branstad, who also served as MGA Chair in 1987, will hold this position until February 2013.
More information and updates on his agenda are available by clicking here. Governor Branstad replaces Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who served as Chair in 2011. At the meeting, Governor Quinn provided an overview of his previous year's agenda, Advancing the Midwest's New Energy Economy Through Investment, Innovation and International Trade, and gave an update on its accomplishments, which can be viewed here.
The Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) is a nonprofit, bipartisan organization that brings together the governors of the region to work cooperatively on agriculture, economic development and energy issues of importance to the Midwest. The current members of the MGA are Gov. Pat Quinn (Ill.),Gov. Mitch Daniels (Ind.), Gov. Terry Branstad (Iowa), Gov. Sam Brownback (Kansas), Gov. Rick Snyder (Mich.), Gov. Mark Dayton (Minn.), Gov. Jay Nixon (Mo.), Gov. John Kasich (Ohio), and Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.).