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Herbert To Lead National Governors' Association
Gov. Gary Herbert will serve alongside VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe as chair and vice-chair, respectivley.

On Saturday, Republican Gov. Gary Herbert was named chairman of the National Governor’s Association. Almost immediately, the governor laid out an initiative entitled “States: Finding Solutions, Improving Lives.” The initiative calls for more state-federal partnerships while highlighting state solutions to political issues.

State Rep. Jon Cox said that Herbert’s new appointment will allow Utah to learn from what other states are accomplishing. He said that the NGA is an invaluable platform to share ideas.

“It’s about states teaching each other. The quote is often used about each state being a laboratory of democracy and as a laboratory you’re trying different things, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” Cox said. “Rather than every one of the 50 states going through that same process, sometimes stumbling and sometimes succeeding, we can share the best practices back and forth, learn from the good, and avoid the bad.”

Herbert previously served as the organization’s vice-chair. Leadership rotates every year between Democratic and Republican governors. Cox said that governors from other states have shown interest in Utah’s SB296, which balanced religious freedom with anti-discrimination legislation for the state’s LGBT community.

“It draws attention to the state to say, ‘What’s going on in Utah?’ We certainly have a lot of things working out in our favor, things that we’re happy to talk about and happy to share,” he said. “Not just our economy but several governors have reached out to Gov. Herbert and asked specifically about our anti-discrimination bill that we passed during this last legislative session. Their comments in these meetings were centered on this idea of, ‘How did you get that done and how did you get everybody on board?’”

The outgoing Chair of the NGA is Democrat John Hickenlooper of Colorado.