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Thursday, June 8, 2000

Low turnout
expected here for Western
Governors’ conference

Star-Bulletin staff


Only seven out of the 20 state governors in the Western Governors' Association will be attending the association's annual meeting, to be held this year in Honolulu.

Gov. Ben Cayetano is chairman of this year's conference. Also attending the meeting will be Gov. Tony Knowles, Alaska; Gov. Mike Johanns, Nebraska; Gov. Jim Geringer, Wyoming; Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, Idaho; plus governors from American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

But the governors of Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota, Utah, California, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Washington will not make the trip, according to Kathleen Racuya Markrich, Cayetano's press secretary.

Those at the meeting, to be held Sunday through Tuesday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, will be discussing the federal endangered species reform act, new plans to share natural resources and public health projects.

Gov. Cayetano will focus on using the meeting to discuss the potential for the new high-tech economy and economic opportunities in the Pacific and Asia, according to Racuya Markrich.

"States must constantly adapt," Cayetano said. "We will learn about strategies and consider policies that will help our region grow our rural and urban economies."

Cayetano said the governors play a key role in bringing together leaders from business, labor, academia and politics to promote a competitive advantage in important economic areas.

Cayetano said he wants the governors to also discuss "how states, faced with limited resources and increasing demand for government services" can use high-technology solutions to increase productivity.

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