Politics & Government
11:39 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Walker Welcomes 22 Governors to Milwaukee

The National Governors Association has opened its annual summer meeting, downtown. The state leaders include 12 Republicans and 11 Democrats.

Three have been mentioned as possible presidential contenders in 2016 - GOP Govs. Walker and Chris Christie, of New Jersey, along with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat.

The state leaders are scheduled to talk about a variety of issues they face, including Medicaid costs and health care reform, the need to create jobs and improve infrastructure and security. Several states have had to confront natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, and others, mass shootings.

Security is tight for the NGA conference. Sidewalks around the Wisconsin Center have been cordoned off, and parking spaces nearby are off-limits
Security is tight for the NGA conference. Sidewalks around the Wisconsin Center have been cordoned off, and parking spaces nearby are off-limits
Credit Ann-Elise Henzl

At Friday's opening press conference, reporters asked Gov. Walker and Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper to reflect on the mass killings their states experienced in 2012. Walker says states need more mental health services, while Hickenlooper wants universal background checks for firearm purchases. This weekend, while the governors huddle in Milwaukee, Oak Creek is remembering the victims of the Aug. 5 shootings at the Sikh Temple, in 2012.

Friday night, Walker will lead interested governors on a motorcycle ride. Last night, they attended the Milwaukee Brewers' game.

Other governors in attendance include neighbors: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton.

At last year's summer meeting in Virginia, 26 governors took part.