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Lingle in D.C. for National Governors Association meeting


With a focus on strengthening Hawaii’s economy and enhancing partnerships with the federal government, Gov. Linda Lingle is in Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Governors Association annual meeting.

Lingle and the nation’s governors will meet with President Obama at the White House.

Lingle already has met with Obama Administration officials, including Cathy Zoi, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, to discuss the ongoing Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative; Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, to discuss maximizing Hawaii’s partnership with the federal government to ensure residents’ health and well being; and Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, to discuss issues relating to homeland security and public safety, including Hawaii’s role in the security of the Asia-Pacific region.

The governor and Napolitano also discussed the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting, which will be hosted in Honolulu in 2011. Lingle has requested Napolitano designate the APEC meeting as a National Special Security Event.

The high-level international gathering is expected to attract more than 10,000 participants from throughout the Asia-Pacific region to Hawaii, including leaders from 21 APEC economies, senior government officials, business leaders, international economists, Asia-Pacific experts and worldwide media.

Lingle is also scheduled to meet with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to discuss transportation issues affecting Hawaii.

The focus of this year’s National Governors Association meeting explores the states’ role in health care reform – particularly in ensuring a high-quality, efficient, and coordinated health care system.

The opening plenary session (6 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20) on transforming health care delivery will feature remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama and will be carried live on C-SPAN.

The meeting will also focus on other critical issues including energy, transportation and the economy. Other topics that will be addressed include the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – with a presentation by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and homeland security – with presentations by Napolitano, former Homeland Security Secretary and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan.

Lingle returns to Tuesday, Feb. 23 to Hawaii.

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