Governors Convene for 2013 National Governors Association Winter Meeting

WASHINGTON—Governors from across the nation gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 2013 National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting. Governors will meet with President Obama, members of his Administration, business leaders and other experts for conversations about issues and challenges facing states.

Led by NGA Chair Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and NGA Vice Chair Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, business sessions at the event will include opening, special and closing sessions and meetings of the four NGA committees.

The official business portion of the meeting will begin this morning with an opening session that will focus on Gov. Markell’s Chair’s Initiative, A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities. This initiative focuses on the employment challenges that affect individuals with intellectual and other disabilities and the roles both state governments and businesses can play in advancing employment opportunities for these individuals. Gregory D. Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreens, will address the governors and then join in a discussion.

“Every governor wants to be the ‘jobs’ governor,” said Gov. Markell. “We can’t forget the people in our states with disabilities; we need to be the jobs governor for them, too. That’s why I’ve chosen to focus my initiative on ways that states and businesses can increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.”

Later today, the Economic Development and Commerce Committee will have a conversation about federal tax reform. Concurrently, the Health and Homeland Security Committee will take on the issue of cybersecurity as well as the nationwide public safety network.

On Sunday morning, governors will gather for a special session on how states can assist businesses in employing people with disabilities. Later that day, the Education and Workforce Committee will look at ways to support teachers and school leaders. Meanwhile, the Natural Resources Committee will meet to discuss extreme weather events and how best to coordinate with the Army Corps of Engineers.

“Through NGA, governors identify the priorities of our states and find common ground that unites us,” said Gov. Fallin. “The NGA Winter Meeting is a great opportunity to learn from our peers and share our own best practices. We certainly have a busy weekend ahead, and I am eager to get to work.”

On Sunday evening, governors and their spouses will join the President and Mrs. Obama at the White House. On Monday, governors will return for a meeting with the President and Vice President.

Prior to Monday’s meeting at the White House, governors will meet in a closing session to consider the NGA policy positions. They also will hear from Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the The Dr. Oz Show. Throughout the meeting, there also will be “Governors-Only” sessions to provide governors the opportunity for discussion among themselves.

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Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington, D.C.’s most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 55 states, territories and commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. For more information, visit www.nga.org.


Governor’s Weekly Message: Making Progress: Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

(Wilmington, DE) In his weekly message, Governor Markell shares an update on his initiative as Chair of the National Governors Association, which will be highlighted during the NGA’s Winter Meeting this weekend.

“As I join with my colleagues from across the country in Washington D.C. this weekend our Winter Meeting, we will continue to raise awareness with Governors and the private sector about the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities, with two of the nationally televised sessions focused on this topic,” said Governor Markell. “By this summer, we will develop a blueprint with concrete steps that states and businesses can take to provide opportunities that benefit both individuals with disabilities and the companies that employ them. Coming together to ensure we provide every person with the best possible chance to achieve personal and professional success will keep our country and our state moving forward.”

Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message:  Making Progress: Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

Every Friday, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form.  The message is available on:

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Delaware.Gov: http://governor.delaware.gov/information/podcast_video.shtml

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Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Making Progress: Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

Last summer, I became chair of the National Governors Association, affording me the opportunity to tell Delaware’s story to other state leaders and some of the nation’s largest employers, as well as make our views known on a number of national issues. But as part of my chairmanship, I am also focusing my fellow governors on advancing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Our initiative is titled, “A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities,” It focuses on the employment challenges affecting individuals with intellectual and other disabilities and the roles that both state governments and businesses can play in advancing employment opportunities for these individuals. Halfway through my time as chair, we have made great progress in highlighting the benefits that employees with disabilities can play with employers of all sizes, including improving their bottom line and creating a more welcoming workplace.

As I join with my colleagues from across the country in Washington D.C. this weekend at our Winter Meeting, we’ll continue to raise awareness with Governors and the private sector about the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities, with two of the nationally televised sessions focused on this topic.

By this summer, we will have developed a blueprint with concrete steps that states and businesses can take to provide opportunities that benefit both the individuals and the companies that employ them. It doesn’t matter whether someone was born with additional challenges to face or – in the case of our wounded veterans, for example – acquired them later in life. What matters is what they have to offer and the tremendous impact this will have on their overall well-being and on the bottom line of the businesses that employ them. Coming together to ensure we provide every person with the best possible chance to achieve personal and professional success will keep our country and our state moving forward.


Delaware Issues Important Consumer Alert About Corporate Records Service Scam

The Delaware Secretary of State’s Office and the Delaware Division of Corporations recently learned of a deceptive solicitation that has been mailed to numerous Delaware corporations from a company named Corporate Records Service. These solicitations urge corporations to file information and send payment in the amount of $125.00 by a certain date in order to complete corporate meeting minutes on behalf of the corporation.

These solicitations appear to be purposefully timed to coincide with the March 1 due date for annual corporation franchise tax reports. The solicitations include statutory citations regarding corporate records and annual meetings and are designed to look official. However, Delaware corporations are not required to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State’s office or the Division of Corporations and consumers should independently evaluate their need for such a service before paying any vendor to provide such a service.  We want to alert all entities of this deceptive solicitation to prevent entities from completing the form and sending funds or forms to Corporate Records Service for a service that is not required by Delaware law.   

Delaware Corporation Annual Franchise Tax Reports are required to be filed online with the Delaware Division of Corporations at corp.delaware.gov/paytaxes.shtml on or before March 1 of each year. Delaware LLC and Partnership Annual Taxes are required to be paid on or before June 1 of each year. For information on Delaware’s annual franchise report filing and tax requirements please visit corp.delaware.gov/paytaxes.shtml.  

Additionally, please keep in mind that any official notice received from the Division of Corporations will contain the Delaware Coat of Arms and contact information for the Division of Corporations.   

Please contact the Division of Corporations at (302) 857-3073 should you have any questions or concerns regarding these solicitations.

The Secretary of State’s office is working closely with the Attorney General’s office to investigate these deceptive solicitations. If a Delaware corporation received this solicitation and sent a payment, please contact the Consumer Protection Unit of the Attorney General’s Office at (302) 577-8600 or 1-800-220-5424.


Delaware Receives $2.48 Million Innovation Grant from Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

(Dover, DE)   The National Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today that over the next six months, the state of Delaware will receive up to $2.485 million to develop its State Health Care Innovation Plan.

Delaware’s proposal entitled, “Transforming Delaware’s Health: A Model for State Health Care System Innovation,” addresses the need for a broad vision and comprehensive approach to more cost effective delivery of quality health care for all Delawareans.  Delaware plans to build a strong local foundation for innovation in order to develop a system-level transformative healthcare plan that can serve as a model for the country.  Through the collaborative planning process, Delaware will design a model to accelerate the adoption of payment and service delivery models across public and private payers; enhance health data collection and analytic capacity to support care coordination and outcomes-based payment models and integrate workforce planning, behavioral health and public health initiatives.

“Delaware will use the grant to develop a model system focused on better health, better health care and lower costs,” said Governor Markell.  “This is about meeting the health care needs of existing and coming generations and accelerating critical reforms that can deliver better health outcomes, better health care, and serve as a model for the nation.”

Governor Markell wrote a letter in September 2012, submitting the grant application for review.

“The award of this State Innovation Model Award to Delaware presents a tremendous opportunity at a critical time in health care. This award enables Delaware to develop innovative new models to deliver and pay for high quality affordable health care,” said Bettina Tweardy Riveros, Chair of the Delaware Health Care Commission and Advisor to Governor.  “ We appreciate the commitment of our entire health care community to work together to develop a statewide innovation plan and models that will improve health, improve health care and lower costs for all Delawareans.”

Details of the grant announcement can be found here.