More than 30 of the nation’s governors are headed to Des Moines for the National Governors Association annual meeting which begins Friday. State and local officials have taken extra and expensive security precautions, like parking buses around some of the venues to shield the passages of the governors. Most state troopers are being pulled off the highways to act as bodyguards. There are receptions and parties planned, plus a gift bag for each governor that weighs over 20 pounds. Part of the action, though, will be a discussion among the governors about high school reform. National Governors Association chairman Mark Warner, the governor of Virginia, says the group also plans to talk about health care reform as well as national security issues. “We think it will be very productive,” Warner says. “This will be a real chance not only to highlight Iowa but I think to bring the last, true, remaining bipartisan organization to Des Moines.” Warner guesses about 12-hundred people will come to Des Moines with the governors — their staff, family, even some lobbyists. “We think it will be an important boost for the local economy, but from the governors’ standpoint will also be very important substantively,” he says. “The nation’s governors are really a group that, regardless of our partisan affiliation, (finds) ways to work together. We’re the men and women where the literally the buck stops in our respective offices. We don’t have the luxury of those in the federal government of having the printing press in the basement that allows you to simply roll up those deficit numbers. We’ve got to actually make our budgets balance.” The governors’ meeting will conclude Monday.
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