The NCSL Blog


A wide and deep agenda of topical policy issues characterize NCSL's Capitol Forum, which is underway in Coronado, Calif.

2017 Capitol Forum logoWildfire response—the most topical issue in California today given the fires raging in and around Los Angeles—is the subject of an issue forum, Best Practices for an Ever-Growing Disaster, on Monday.

Immigration, health insurance, federal tax reform, cybersecurity, occupational licensing, redistricting, the future of technology, early education and much more are on the agenda.

California state librarian Greg Lucas, who has written on everything from presidential politics to the introduction of prune burgers in school cafeterias, will talk about California's rich history and politics during Monday's plenary session.

With the iPhone blowing out 10 candles on its birthday cake this year, John Feland, CEO of Argus Insights, will gaze into the electronic future and predict how technology will affect the role of state policymakers during Tuesday's plenary.

Forum fave Reid Wilson, national correspondent for The Hill, will examine what's ahead in Washington politics in 2018 and how it will affect state capitols and the 2018 election.

Can't make it to Coronado? NCSL will provide Facebook Live interviews and coverage throughout the week. will stream two sessions each on Monday and Tuesday on the homepage of And watch the NCSL blog for coverage of sessions. 

There are among the policy session highlights. Those marked with an * will be live streamed on the NCSL homepage:

  • NCSL Task Force on Immigration and the States discusses federal and state activity related to immigrants and refugees: Ajay Chaudry, author of “Cradle to Kindergarten,” reviews the demographic changes in the population of young children in the U.S. and explores the opportunities and capacities of all children to succeed and contribute to a stronger economy. Sunday, Dec. 10 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • What is Happening with Health Insurance Now?: What can states do to make sense of the health insurance market? How does state outreach and marketing, rate review, and subsidized coverage, or broader redesign, fit in? A recent survey report by The Commonwealth Fund can help us know where coverage policies are going. Sunday, Dec. 10 | Noon-1:30 p.m.
  • Wildfire Response: Best Practices for an Ever-Growing Disaster: How can states effectively manage to mitigate potential disasters and successfully respond when a fire breaks out. Is a federal solution just around the corner or will states be left to their own devices? Monday, Dec. 11 | 9-10:15 a.m.
  • *What Could Federal Tax Reform Mean for the States? Learn how potential federal tax changes could affect state budgets and whether states may need to adjust their own tax codes. Monday, Dec. 11 | 9-10:15 a.m.
  • State and Federal Response to the Equifax Breach: Participants will discuss how states and the federal government are responding to help consumers, given the breadth and depth of information collected by credit reporting agencies. Monday, Dec. 11 | 9-10:15 a.m.
  • Occupational Licensing: Meeting Challenges of Specific Population Groups: Differences and disparities in occupational licensing laws across states can create barriers for those looking to enter the labor market or relocate across state lines. Learn what state lawmakers can do to ease the burdens for these population groups. Monday, Dec. 11 | 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Redistricting 2020: Questions Legislators Should Be Asking Now: Few political exercises have more impact on the legislative institution and its members than redistricting. Find out the key questions legislators and staff should be asking as Redistricting 2020 approaches. Monday, Dec. 11 | 9-10:15 a.m.
  • *The Future of Sports Betting: State Regulation? With the future of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in doubt, states may soon be faced with regulating sports betting. Hear the latest. Monday, Dec. 11 | 1:30-2:45 p.m.
  • Principles of Effective Juvenile Justice State Policy: The NCSL Juvenile Justice Principles Work Group will release a report, “Principles of Effective Juvenile Justice Policy.” Hear about approaches, practices, challenges and successes in enacting cost-effective juvenile justice policies that protect public safety, reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for juveniles, families and communities. Monday, Dec. 11 | 2:45-4 p.m.
  • *The Intersection of Cybersecurity and Autonomous Vehicles: How can states, the federal government and the automotive industry work together to ensure a robust cybersecurity environment for autonomous vehicles? Tuesday, Dec. 12 | 9:45-10:45 a.m.
  • *Defending Democracy Against Cybersecurity Attacks: The federal government has declared elections to be “critical infrastructure.” What do state legislators need to know about cybersecurity to defend democracy? Tuesday, Dec. 12 | Noon-1:15 p.m.
  • Managed Lanes, Congestion Pricing and Transit: Opportunities and Challenges: Participants will learn about equity, taxation and funding issues associated with building new highway capacity and managing demand. Wednesday, Dec. 13 | 10:15-11:45 a.m.
  • State Policy and Research for Early Education (SPREE) Working Group Report Release: The SPREE Working Group will release a new report that provides an in-depth summary of ECE research, its implications for policy, actionable strategies and state examples. Wednesday, Dec. 13 | 10:15-11:45 a.m.
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About the NCSL Blog

This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.