(KCPW News) Governor Gary Herbert will host the 2011 National Governors Association Annual Conference in Salt Lake City next month. He says the three-day event will shore in millions for Utah’s economy, as 35 to 40 U.S. Governors and their families spend the weekend in Salt Lake City, enjoying outdoor activities along the Wasatch Front. The governor is raising $2 million through private donors in the state as well as sponsors from around the country to host the event. Herbert says he’s raised $1.5 million so far.
“They’re not allowed to have their names up.” He says. “There is a limitation so that nobody dominates the donation. We’re just trying to get people that care about good governance and so it’s designed to in fact let the private sector fund it. And to keep the taxpayers money for other things that are government functions.”
The conference will focus on education, fostering innovation and increasing international competitiveness. Washington Governor and NGA Chair Chris Gregoire says former governors who are now presidential contenders, including Jon Huntsman, won’t be there.
“What we try to do as an organization is make sure that it’s as bipartisan and frankly nonpolitical as we possible could make it.” She says. “We’re really just fundamentally looking for how do we govern and how do we solve the nation’s problems.”
This year, Chinese leaders have been asked to join the conference to talk about trade, education and job creation. It begins on July 15th. The NGA last held its annual conference in Utah in 1947.
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