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Governors and DOD Achieve Milestone Agreement on Budget Consultative Process

Following the National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting, the Council of Governors (CoG) finalized a consultative process with the Department of Defense (DoD) to maintain an ongoing dialogue that will ensure governors' priorities are better incorporated into the budget process in future years.

"This is a remarkable achievement for all of us. NGA and the Council have worked tirelessly on this issue for several months, and this resolution allows all governors to be a part of the process," said CoG co-chair Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. "As commanders-in-chief of the National Guard, it is critical that our voices are heard as part of this process. This agreement will help us avoid future unannounced spending changes that affect the safety and security of our citizens."

Similar to what governors and DoD were able to achieve on the Dual Status Command agreement to coordinate state and federal military forces during an emergency, this budget consultative process is part of on-going collective efforts to improve how states and DoD work together.

"Improving collaboration and communication with the states and the U.S. Department of Defense is a significant step forward," said CoG co-chair Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. "This agreement on the budget consultative process will help us foster an on-going dialogue so that working together, we can build a more resilient nation."

The agreement:

Sets the expectation that all governors and their adjutants general will have the opportunity to discuss budget and programming issues or proposals affecting the National Guard in advance of their formal submission or implementation;

Establishes a requirements gathering process that will help ensure the National Guard is treated more equally in DoD's budget process; and

Ensures that the CoG will receive regular updates on strategic budget matters affecting the National Guard and have the opportunity to discuss them before they are finalized or implemented.


The Council of Governors (CoG) consists of 10 governors appointed by the President to focus on matters pertaining to the National Guard, homeland defense, synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States and other matters of mutual interest pertaining to the National Guard. CoG governors include: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer; Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy; Delaware Gov. Jack Markell; Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie; Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, co-chair; Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, co-chair; Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon; Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval; Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell; and Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead.

In addition to the 10 council members, charter federal participants include the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, the President's homeland security and counterterrorism advisor, the commander of U.S. Northern Command, the commandant of the Coast Guard and the chief of the National Guard Bureau.


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

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