PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) met in Washington, D.C. this past week for their annual winter meeting to select their 2016 leadership and to discuss Amtrak, opioids, and energy issues.
Through unanimous vote, the member Governors elected Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker as Chair and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo as Vice-chair of CONEG for 2016.
"I am proud to serve as Chair for CONEG this year and will continue to tackle the opioid and heroin epidemics, transportation and energy issues that affect the Northeast region," said Governor Baker.
The Coalition of Northeastern Governors is an association that encourages intergovernmental cooperation in the Northeast through joint consideration of common issues relating to the economic, environmental and social well-being of the Northeast states.
Governor Raimondo said, "I am looking forward to working with Governor Baker and other northeastern governors this year on issues important to people throughout the region, like driving down overdose deaths, making our energy cheaper and cleaner, and modernizing our transportation infrastructure."
During the meeting the CONEG Governors discussed the challenges the region faces with the Northeast Corridor. The topic of Amtrak's operations and investment in the Corridor dominated conversation. The Governors agreed that regional collaboration is essential to secure positive outcomes in the commuter rail service that Amtrak provides the Northeast Corridor.
Next, the CONEG Governors examined the impact that the opioids epidemic is having on their states. Governor Baker will lead a new regional effort to share information and coordinate the states' actions on opioids. This effort builds on the Governors' early and consistent push for aggressive and coordinated action to address the opioid epidemic ravaging families and communities across the region and the nation. Governors Baker and Hassan also co-chair the National Governors Association (NGA) initiatives on opioid abuse and deterrence.
Lastly, the CONEG Governors were joined by U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall for a discussion of the Department's current initiatives in two areas: ensuring the U.S. has an integrated, clean, and resilient electricity system, and that the U.S. undertakes collaborative Research and Development that can accelerate clean energy innovation and commercialization.
Members of Coalition of Northeastern Governors
Members include Governor Charlie Baker (MA & CONEG Chair), Governor Gina Raimondo (RI & CONEG Vice-Chair), Governor Dannel P. Malloy (CT), Governor Paul LePage (ME), Governor Maggie Hassan (NH), Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY), and Governor Peter Shumlin (VT).