The GOVERNING Cost of Government summit was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Sept. 18-19. (Photos by David Kidd)
It brought together state and local government officials from around the country to explore the complex dynamics behind a simple question: How can we afford the government we need?
GOVERNING staff as well as speakers and participants tweeted their thoughts throughout the two days using the hashtag #govlive.
Donald J. Boyd, the executive director of the Task Force on the State Budget Crisis, discussed the threats facing states' financial stability, which includes the growing cost of Medicaid, underfunded pensions and a shrinking and volatile tax base.
While state and local government leaders shared their solutions to common problems, many public officials took note.
Mark Funkhouser, far right, the director of the Governing Institute and former Kansas City, Mo., mayor, led several discussions on budgets, taxes and fees.
Nicole Kunko, the chief of public policy for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, was one of many audience members who participated in the discussion.
Participants were given the chance to engage with state and local government stakeholders during breaks.
Florida state Rep. Alan Williams, left, talks with Carl Chase, who works in performance management.
Chris Swopes, right, the editorial coordinator for NPR’s StateImpact, led an Oxford-style debate on municipal bankruptcy and whether it's a viable tool for struggling cities.
Keith Reester, left, the director of public works for Loveland, Colo., said that money spent on infrastructure produces a tangible product that benefits the entire community and creates an environment that makes it easier for companies to do business.
Karen Marshall, left, the human resources director for Fort Worth, Texas, talking with Neil Reichenberg.