Governors of the tri-state region have been tackling the issues their states are facing today at the 13th annual Tri-State Governors' Conference.25 years after Iowa Governor Terry Branstad led the charge for more regional collaboration through a group conference, the tri-state leaders met again with some news faces, but the same goals.
Governors Branstad, Heineman and Daugaard all met Wednesday at the Dakota Dunes Country Club with state and local officials to discuss the state of affairs in each of their regions.During their conference, officials discussed several key topics.
Among the most pressing issues includes highway construction for I-29, Highway 20, and Highway 35.
Also, adding more commercial air services for the Sioux City Gateway airport may be in the works.
Leaders hope that rebuilding infrastructure will lead to more efficient transportation and economic development throughout the region.
The governors also discussed how workforce recruitment could add to the region's economy.
Agriculture continues to boom and local businesses are looking to expand, which means helping them attract skilled workers to the area.
But the most controversial and hot topic of today remains the federal government shutdown, healthcare and the Affordable Care Act.
Each of the governors had their own concerns and issues. "As an overarching comment, I think it's unfortunate that the President and Congress have over the last decade evolved gradually into a complete disregard for the goal of having a budget in place by September 30th," said Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman. "We were very fearful that they weren't prepared and now its very obvious that they're not because the system has been down," said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. "The President won re-election; he's got the votes. Obamacare is going to be the law of land but he should have suspended for at least 6 months or a year got it right and now it's created all sorts of chaos and confusion," echoed South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. Even with each governor's hesitancy over President Obama's program, they each plan to work with the federal government.
BEdme@siouxlandnews.comfacebook.com/beairshelle.edme OR twitter.com/BeairshelleKMEG