Maine will host next year's National Governor’s Association Conference. Maine Gov. Janet Mills says the event will bring in hundreds of state officials and representatives of private companies who will spend money for lodging and meals.
Mills says it wasn’t that difficult to convince her colleagues at the NGA to hold the conference in Portland.
"I had to just show them where Maine is on the map and show a few pretty pictures of where I come from in western Maine, and the coast of Maine and what is available," Mills says. "They are delighted to spend some time in Maine in August.”
The cost for hosting the event will run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which Mills says will be raised privately.
Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage pulled out of the National Governor's Association, saying it was a waste of time. But Mills says the work of the NGA is important, and that she has undone the damage LePage did to Maine’s relationship with the organization.
"I have calls with Republican governors and Democratic governors on a variety of issues fairly routinely," Mills says. "They know I have an open door, and they have an open door to us as well.”