Portland will host the National Governors Association summer meeting this year for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Gov. Janet Mills, who formally invited the group at the winter meeting held last Friday through Monday in Washington, D.C., made the announcement Tuesday. The dates have not been set, but will cover multiple days in July.

“I am excited to welcome the nation’s governors to Maine for the 2022 NGA Summer Meeting,” she said in a statement. “There is no better place than Maine, especially during the summer, and I look forward to showcasing our state and our people for my fellow governors and the rest of the nation.”

Maine was supposed to host the annual summer meeting in 2020, but because of the pandemic, the event was held virtually. Portland last played host in 1983.

The National Governors Association is open to all governors who wish to participate. Members discuss various issues facing their state and talk about solutions and areas for collaboration, often with policy experts. At the recent winter meeting, Mills and others met with Biden Administration officials to discuss the pandemic response, economic recovery, the opioid epidemic and more.

Mills’ predecessor, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, pulled out of the association in 2012, saying he didn’t think the annual dues of about $60,000 were justified. LePage did still attend annual meetings, however.

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