PORTLAND, Maine — On Friday, the National Governors Association wrapped up its 2022 summer meeting in downtown Portland. On the last day of the meeting was the ceremonial passing of the gavel to the incoming chair of the association.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, R-Arkansas, served as the chairman last year and focused the association on K-12 computer science education.
Now, it's Gov. Phil Murphy's, D-New Jersey, turn to call the shots.
"I am honored to take the cover off of my 2022 to 2023 chair initiative in strengthening youth mental health," Gov. Murphy said.
He added this is something that has become even more necessary since children had to deal with so much during the pandemic.
"We announced a 4 pillar approach and we're going to tackle this. We began today and over the next year, we are going to do everything we can to share best practices to give it the focus it needs to have to de-stigmatize to normalize mental health just as we would physical health," Murphy said.
Fewer than half of the nation's governors actually came to Portland for this conference. But for the ones who came, the ratio of Democrats to Republicans was pretty much split down the middle.
"We know how to find common ground and we know that is so important," Gov. Mills said. "Your visit to Maine is invaluable too. And Maine, as you know, is a welcoming state and we welcome you all to come back and visit and hang here or move here."
This meeting was two-and-a-half years in the making, after being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and Gov. Mills says it was a big deal to Maine's economy to finally have this event.