Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder sat down with Governing Publisher Erin Waters to kick off the conference and reiterated his call for greater transportation investment. "If we were a business, it would be a [no-brainer] decision," he said. (Photos by David Kidd)
Former U.S. Rep. James Oberstar warned of the country's failure to invest adequately in infrastructure, calling the current era a period of "disinvestment and decline." "Other countries are investing faster and more vigorously than we are," he said.
Chicago's transportation commissioner, Gabe Klein, participated in a panel on how states and localities can address the nation's biggest infrastructure challenges.
Carol O’Cleireacain (left), an economic adviser and member of the State Budget Task Force, and Lisa Schroeer (right), the director of U.S. public finance for Standard & Poor’s, discussed government finance trends. O’Cleireacain said that states should take a more active role in municipal finances even with an improved outlook for 2013. O’Cleireacain said that states should take a more active role in municipal finances even with an improved outlook for 2013.
Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (right) sat down with Waters to discuss among other topics, health care, on which he said that "the real action is in the states to implement the Affordable Care Act."
Fitchburg, Mass., Mayor Lisa Wong, who took office when she was 26 years old, discussed how she's helping to build livable and viable communities.
Toni Preckwinkle, the Cook County, Ill., Board President and a 2012 Public Official of the Year, also discussed how to build livable and viable communities.
Zahira Torres (left) of the El Paso Times won this year's Hovey-Harkness award, which recognizes excellence in political investigative journalism, presented by Governing Publisher Emeritus Peter Harkness (right). Torres helped uncover a massive cheating scandal in the El Paso Independent School District.
Governing Executive Editor Jonathan Walters moderated a panel on innovative ideas and solutions -- such as mobile caseworkers -- that can help health and human services programs survive.
Governing Health and Education Reporter Dylan Scott during a health and human services panel.