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Concerns and optimism of Western governors a year into the Trump administration

Kurtis Lee, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

PHOENIX -- Some see a renewed relationship between the states and the federal government. Some see Cabinet members who are engaged and willing to work with the states.

Others aren't nearly as optimistic. And don't get them started on those tweets.

With President Donald Trump now 11 months in office, we asked some Western governors to assess how he's doing so far -- the good and not-so-good.

The 10 governors had come to Phoenix for a two-day meeting of the Western Governors Association. Dealing with wildfires and other disasters was a major focus, and the governors and their representatives shared ideas on how to prevent and combat wildfires. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, said of wildfires: "This is an ongoing tragedy that affects us all. ... It shows no partisan slant."

As for Trump, the reviews, as expected, were mixed.

We talked to seven of the 10 Western governors and asked them to share their biggest concern about the president, as well as what makes them optimistic. (California Gov. Jerry Brown did not attend the conference , but he's fiercely criticized Trump on health care, immigration and climate change, among other issues.)

 

Here's what the governors had to say. The interviews have been edited for length and clarity:

Gov. Dennis Daugaard, Republican, South Dakota

Concern: The use of social media by the administration and the difficulty that presents in knowing whether that is an indicator of policy positions or simply an indicator of an attitude at a given moment in time.

Optimism: The seemingly pretty wide-spread attitude among the Cabinet that they welcome and initiate communication on policy matters that affect us in the states.

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