Information on key policy issues The sheer amount of information on key public policy issues is unmatched.
Utah Senate President Pro Tem Curt Bramble
Best opportunity for staffThe Summit is the best opportunity for staff to meet with peers around the country.
New Mexico, Raúl E. Burciaga 
Turn ideas into laws There are 152 bills that I’ve sponsored – many of which were ideas I got at the Summit.
Maryland Senator Delores Kelley
Meet with fellow leaders It’s educational and a valuable opportunity to network with fellow leaders.
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long
Hear different perspectives It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn from a variety of sources with different perspectives.
South Dakota Senator Deb Peters

The Legislative Summit is the biggest and best gathering of state legislators and staff in the country. Exchange ideas, hear fresh perspectives and develop solutions to pressing issues.




Dynamic keynotes


educational sessions


sq. ft. of exhibits space




Deep Dive sessions


of attendees love it

= 2016

Legislative Summit

Live Streaming Sessions

NCSL is streaming eight sessions live from the Summit in Chicago. The streams are available on NCSL's homepage and will be archived. Stay tuned! Here are the sessions that will be streamed (all times are Central Time).

2:30-4 p.m.
Protecting Legislative Data: Wherever It Is

9-10:30 a.m.
Medicaid Innovations

10:45-11:30 a.m.
No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State

3:30-5 p.m.
Second Chances: Public and Private Approaches to Offender Re-entry

9:15-10:30 a.m.
Crystal Clear? State Efforts to Improve Water Planning

2:45-4:15 p.m.
Building a Strong Workforce: The Role and Importance of Community Colleges

9:30-10:30 a.m.
Cybersecurity Showdown: Challenges and Strategies for States or U.S. Economic Outlook

The Electric Grid Revolution and the Clean Power Plan



Ron Insana

Ron Insana

A highly respected business journalist and money manager, Insana is one of the country’s leading commentators on domestic and global economics, financial markets and economic policy. The author of four books on Wall Street, he has interviewed presidents, billionaires, captains of industry, and foreign leaders. Insana is the keynote speaker for the Monday General Session.

Karlyn Bowman

Karlyn Bowman

Karlyn Bowman is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute where she studies and writes widely on public attitudes. She edits AEI’s monthly polling newsletter, Political Report, and recently collaborated on a project on America’s changing demography nationally and in the states. Bowman is a keynote speaker for the Wednesday General Session.

Dr. Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson is a professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one of the nation’s leading demographers. His research focuses on the changing U.S. population and its effects on competing in emerging consumer markets. Johnson is the keynote speaker for the Wednesday General Session.

Mara Liasson

Mara Liasson

Mara Liasson is a contributor on the Fox News Channel and a panelist on Fox News Sunday. She is a national political correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR). She has covered several presidential elections and was NPR's White House correspondent during all eight years of the Clinton administration. Liasson is the keynote speaker for the Thursday General Session.

Amanda Renteria

Patrick McCarthy

Patrick McCarthy is the president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. He joined the foundation in 1994 to manage its Mental Health Initiative for Urban Children. He has led efforts to improve human services practices and policies to boost positive results for the nation’s most vulnerable families. McCarthy is the speaker for Reaching Across the Aisle on Juvenile Justice.

Julia Stasch

Julia Stasch

Julia Stasch is president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Stasch joined MacArthur in 2001 as vice president for U.S. programs. She previously worked for the city of Chicago as its commissioner of the Department of Housing and as chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Stasch is the speaker for the Law, Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee luncheon.

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates is co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with Bill, she shapes and approves the foundation’s strategies, reviews results, and sets the overall direction of the organization. Together, they meet with grantees further the foundation’s goal of improving equity around the world. Join Gates and fellow attendees in an informal discussion on Wednesday at 4:45 p.m.

Hampton Sides

Hampton Sides

Hampton Sides is the author of "Ghost Soldiers," "Blood and Thunder" and "In the Kingdom of Ice," which recounts the heroic polar voyage of the U.S.S. Jeannette. He will share the historical lessons of leadership and how they can apply to everyday life. Sides is the speaker for the Legislative Staff Luncheon.

Jeanine Pirro

Jeanine Pirro

Jeanine Pirro is a legal analyst and host of the prime-time Fox News program, “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” Pirro is a former prosecutor whose notable legal career spans more than 30 years. She caught the nation’s attention through her prosecution of alleged murderer and millionaire Robert Durst. Pirro is the speaker for the Republican Breakfast.

Amanda Renteria

Amanda Renteria

Amanda Renteria is the national political director for Hillary for America. She previously worked for U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Debbie Stabenow, and was the first Latina chief of staff in the history of the U.S. Senate. Renteria is the speaker for the Democratic breakfast.

Ted Koppel

Ted Koppel

Ted Koppel, a 42-year veteran of ABC News, was anchor and managing editor of Nightline from 1980 to 2005. New York University recently named Koppel one of the top 100 American journalists of the past 100 years. His bestselling book “Lights Out” explores the possibility of a major cyberattack on America’s power grid. Koppel is a keynote speaker at the Energy Policy Summit.

Marianna Swallow

Marianna Swallow

Marianna Swallow is a dynamic speaker and author who has trained more than 25,000 individuals to deliver effective presentations. She uses her engaging style to give her audiences skills to use immediately in the real world. She is the author of "21 Ways to Engage Your Audience." Swallow is the speaker for the deep dive session, Talk Like TED.

Dr. Jim Johnson

Carol Grannis and Cindy Maher

Based on theater, they offer a witty and interactive session for legislative staff on how to give and get feedback that is sure to help you learn and grow at work and home. Grannis and Maher are the speakers for the Legislative Staff University, Feedback -- How to Deliver It, Receive It and Grow.

Maura Devine

Maura Devine

Maura Devine is an expert media relations practitioner. As a managing partner at Kivvit, she works with clients to harness the potential of social and electronic media for business development, reputation management, and crisis communications. Devine is a presenter for the Media Workshop: Top Tactics, Thoughtful Strategies and Legal Considerations for Your Social Media Life.

Lyndon Rive

Lyndon Rive

Lyndon Rive is the co-founder and CEO of SolarCity. In nine years, he has helped SolarCity become one of the most recognizable brands in clean energy. The company has grown to more than 13,000 employees and has entered new markets including 400 schools and universities, more than 100 national homebuilders, and Fortune 500 companies. Rive is a speaker for the Energy Policy Summit.

Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson is a James Beard Award winning chef, author and restaurateur. He is the founder of Seed Life Skills, a multimedia curriculum built to serve the needs of the modern classroom emphasizing retainable real life skills. He competed in Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and stared as a judge on five seasons of Top Chef. Acheson is the speaker for the Fighting Hunger in America luncheon.

Tom Kiernan

Tom Kiernan

Tom Kiernan is the CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. Before joining AWEA, he was president of the National Parks Conservation Association for 15 years. Previous positions include deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation and president of the Audubon Society of New Hampshire. Kiernan is a speaker for the Energy Policy Summit.

Standing Committee and NCSL Business Meetings

Business Meeting

Standing Committee
Business Meetings

The Legislative Summit is your opportunity to join in a unified voice as we develop NCSL’s agenda to advocate on behalf of state legislatures on Capitol Hill and before the administration.

NCSL’s standing committees develop the policy directives and resolutions that guide NCSL’s federal advocacy efforts on a wide range of issues that affect the states. Any legislator may submit a policy directive or resolution for consideration to Molly Ramsdell or Neal Osten, directors of NCSL’s Washington, D.C., office.

Email them by July 11.

Current Policy Directives, Resolutions and Amendments for Consideration at the 2016 Legislative Summit

The 2016 Legislative Summit Standing Committee business meetings schedule:

Committee Date Time
Education Monday, Aug. 8 2:30 p.m.
Health and Human Services Monday, Aug. 8 2:30 p.m
Law, Criminal Justice and Public Safety Tuesday, Aug. 9 9 a.m.
Natural Resources and Infrastructure Tuesday, Aug. 9 9 a.m.
Budgets and Revenue Tuesday, Aug. 9 10:45 a.m.
Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce Tuesday, Aug. 9 10:45 a.m.
Labor and Economic Development Tuesday, Aug. 9 10:45 a.m.
Legislative Effectiveness Tuesday, Aug. 9 Noon*
Redistricting and Elections Tuesday, Aug. 9 Noon*
Committee business meetings will not include votes on policy directives or policy resolutions.
Business Meeting

Business Meeting
Wednesday, Aug. 10
10:35 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

All legislators and legislative staff are encouraged to attend the Annual Business Meeting to consider Policy Directives and Resolutions that will guide NCSL’s advocacy efforts before Congress and the administration. They also will elect NCSL officers and approve NCSL's budget. All other meeting participants are welcome to observe.

This year the Annual Business and Standing Committee Meetings will be paperless. The Policy Directives, Resolutions, NCSL Budget and other Business Meeting documents will be accessible in PDF format on the NCSL App and on the Agenda and Resources page on the Summit website. The calendars for the Annual Business Meeting will be posted no later than 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Connect with colleagues and experience the very best of Chicago

Photo of event

Game On: Networking Reception
McCormick Place West Building, Skyline Ballroom Foyer
Monday, Aug. 8 | 5:30-7 p.m.

Chicago is a world-class sports town. Catch up with friends old and new, test your skills at a variety of games, and enjoy classic ballpark cuisine at this celebration of all things sports.

Photo of event

Illinois Signature Event
Field Museum
Wednesday, Aug. 10 | 6:30-10 p.m.

Savor and sip some of Illinois’ best offerings at one of the world’s great natural history museums. Come face to face with the largest T-Rex ever found, descend into an ancient Egyptian tomb and stand among larger-than-life soldiers in the exclusive exhibition, "China’s First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors." The evening ends with a spectacular fireworks display over Lake Michigan.

Network on a Bike | Lend a Hand
Bipartisan Bike Ride | Dress for Success Donations | LSCC Service Project.

Photo of event

Join us as we cruise the streets and trails of Chicago for the 12th annual NCSL Bipartisan Bike Ride

Thursday, Aug. 11, 6:15-8 a.m. | Starting location is in Grant Park at the corner of South Columbus Drive and East Balbo Avenue.

The ride is a great way to see the best of Chicago at a leisurely pace suitable for experienced and novice riders alike. Visit with friends and meet new ones as you see the sights of the city.

The ride is full. If you are a lawmaker and would like to ride, please contact Douglas Shinkle.

Bikes, helmets, water, and riding tips will be provided by BikeTexas. Dress comfortably. All skill levels and ages are welcome to join this guided ride. Coffee, water and healthy breakfast snacks will be provided. The starting and ending location will be in Grant Park at the corner of South Columbus Drive and East Balbo Avenue.

Generous sponsorship provided by: American Heart Association, General Mills, Herbalife, National Safety Council, Primal Wear, Rails to Trails Conservancy and Walmart.

Please contact with any questions.

Photo of event

Make some room in your suitcase to benefit Dress for Success Chicago

NCSL will be collecting gently used clothing and accessories for a drive benefiting Dress for Success Chicago, an organization promoting the economic independence of women. Dress for Success requests that all donated clothing be clean, folded or on hangers, modern (2010 or later) and workplace-appropriate. Bring your donations to the NCSL Exhibit Hall, Tuesday through Thursday during the Summit.

Accepted Items:

  • Professional suits and separates
  • Blouses
  • Dresses
  • Dress shoes in excellent condition
  • New underwear and hosiery
  • Professional jewelry
  • Handbags, belts, scarves
  • Unopened toiletries and cosmetics

We cannot accept:
Sandals or sneakers; active wear; formal wear; clothing that is stained or extremely wrinkled; opened hygiene items.

This clothing drive is presented by the Women’s Legislative Network of NCSL and generously supported by LexisNexis StateNet. Please contact Katie Ziegler with questions.

Photo of event

LSCC School Supply Drive

Doing some spring cleaning at the office? Help the LSCC support local Chicago students by donating new and used school supplies.

The LSCC will be collecting new and lightly used school supplies to support two local Chicago high schools—Noble Butler College Prep and Noble Baker College Prep are both high performing college-prep high schools serving 100 percent students of color and 94 percent low-income students. With your help, we can support these students with the supplies they need to succeed in school.

Suggested Items:

  •  TI-30X calculator
  •  TI-84 Plus graphing calculator
  •  Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • 2 inch binders, 3 inch binders
  • 8 tab binder dividers
  • Folders with 3 ring prongs
  • No. 2 pencils or mechanical pencils
  • Blue, black, and red pens
  • Highlighters, Dry erase markers
  • Loose leaf paper, Graphing paper (4x4)
  • Rulers, compass, protractor
  • Index Cards (500 pack)

A collection site will be provided at the NCSL booth in the exhibit hall of the McCormick Place convention center. Thank you for considering supporting Butler College Prep and Baker College Prep with the LSCC.

Registration Information
We look forward to seeing you in Chicago.

Category Early Bird
by May 23
by July 11
After July 11 Daily
Legislator, Legislative Staff $575 $640 $715 $440
Dues paying International Affiliate $575 $640 $715 $440
International Legislator, Legislative Staff $600 $670 $750 $460
NCSL Foundation $895 $1,008 $1,125 $670
Gov't, University, Charitable $940 $1,060 $1,175 $715
Business, Union, Trade Assoc., Others $1,080 $1,220 $1,355 $820
Spouse/Child Guest $125 $125 $125 NA

Please register in one of the following ways:

  • Register Online the easiest and fastest way!
  • Paper form:
    Fax to: 303-364-7811
    Mail to: NCSL Registration | 7700 East First Place | Denver, CO 80230

For questions regarding registration, contact or 303-364-7810. 

Payment can be made with cash (onsite), a personal or business check, money order or credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa). Please review the  Registration Policies before registering.

Registration Check-In: All badges wil be distributed onsite. You can pick up your badge and meeting materials from the Registration Area in the Convention Center beginning Monday, Aug. 8 at 7:30 a.m. 

International Attendees: Please register online or use the paper form. If you need to arrange for a wire transfer or have questions regarding the international program, contact Katherine Boyce.

Security: All attendees will be required to present a photo ID in order to pick up their badge onsite. Badges are required to attend sessions, board shuttle buses and attend off-site events.

Badge replacement will incur a $25 fee.

The Legislative Summit is the best value you'll find. Your registration includes:

  • Main Registrant:
    • Admission to all sessions
    • Admission to the exhibit hall
    • Two social events
  • Spouse/Child Guest Registrant:
    • Admission to the exhibit hall
    • Two social events

Housing and Travel



  • Hyatt Regency McCormick Place - $229
    2233 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
  • Hilton Chicago- $209
    720 S. Michigan Ave.
  • Palmer House Hilton- $209
    17 E. Monroe St.
  • Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel - $199
    636 S. Michigan Ave.
  • JW Marriott Chicago - $229
    (No Convention Shuttle or Event Transportation Provided)
    151 W. Adams St.

You can book your hotel reservation at any time. To make a reservation by phone, call 800-967-8852.

You can modify an existing hotel reservation.

The housing deadline is July 11, 2016.

If you plan to bring a delegation or need special assistance, please call Katherine Boyce.

Special Needs
If you require special consideration for housing to accommodate a disability, please specify your request in the ADA section of the online housing process.

Note: The NCSL Housing Bureau DOES NOT contact attendees directly to solicit rates or new reservations. If you are contacted by a vendor who claims to represent NCSL, please notify NCSL or call 303-364-7700.

Air Travel

O'Hare International Airport, is located 17 miles from downtown Chicago.

Midway International Airport is located 10 miles from downtown Chicago and offers another convenient travel option for visitors.

To make flight reservations, contact Christopherson Travel, the official travel agency of NCSL, at 303-694-4344 or 800-825-3283 (toll free) from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (MT).

Transportation To and From the Airport
From O'Hare Airport
From Midway Airport

From O'Hare Airport
From Midway Airport

Car Rental
From O'Hare Airport
From Midway Airport

There’s so much to do in Chicago, and that’s what makes the city so great! Discover suggested itineraries to get you started—featuring everything from neighborhood shops and hidden galleries to hip restaurants and interactive tours.

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is the meeting?
Aug. 8-11, 2016, at the McCormick Place, West Building, in Chicago.

Who attends?
More than 5,000 state legislators, legislative staff, government officials, business representatives, educators and others interested in public policy, along with their families.

What should I bring to wear?
Business casual is the norm for the Legislative Summit. Remember, convention centers can be chilly depending on the room.

Who should I contact about an idea for a session?
Contact the NCSL staff expert on the topic, who may be able to incorporate your suggestion into a session. To find out who that is, contact NCSL (303-364-7700 or

Will child care be provided?
There will not be a separate youth program with childcare. Attendees requiring assistance with childcare should contact their hotel concierge.

When does the NCSL Executive Committee and Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee meet?
On Sunday, Aug. 7. To attend, plan to arrive on Saturday, Aug. 6.

Can I host an event in conjunction with the Legislative Summit?
Any meetings held during the official hours of the Legislative Summit must be approved by NCSL in advance. Events held after normal event hours do not require permission, but NCSL asks to be notified so we can help delegates looking for your event.

What and when is States' Night?
States' Night is an opportunity for delegates from each state to discuss the Summit and explore Chicago. It will be on Tuesday, Aug. 9. All events are coordinated by state delegations. Please let us know if your state has organized an event.

Is there accommodation for people with disabilities?
Buses will be available with advanced scheduling for anyone requiring modified access vehicles. If you are in need of special accommodations at the convention center to ensure your complete participation, please contact us .

More questions, contact us!

Promotional Opportunities

How can you notify legislators and legislative staff that you're exhibiting while also promoting your organization to those unable to attend? Reach out to them with the promotional options listed below.

Free Exhibitor Listing
The NCSL Legislative Summit Program is a guide to the meeting that every attendee receives upon registration in Seattle. It includes the meeting schedule, exhibitor listings and an exhibit hall floor plan. Exhibitors receive a FREE listing including organization name, booth number and short description. Descriptions must be 25 words or less. Please e-mail your listing to LeAnn Hoff (
Deadline: Wednesday, July 1

Organization Logo
Add your logo to your exhibitor listing for only $150. Make your listing stand out, and capture the attention of attendees! Order Form
Deadline: Wednesday, July 1

Mailing Lists
Invite legislators and legislative staff to visit your booth with a pre-show mailing. Mailing lists of registered attendees will be available beginning July 17. Place your order any time before July 17. Order Form

Legislative Summit Program Advertising
Advertising in the Legislatiev Summit program is the only way to reach every attendee. This is your chance to let them know what’s going on at your exhibit booth and where to find you. There are numerous options available to fit your ad size and budget. Order Form
Deadline: Wednesday, July 1

Promotional Packages
Discounted packages are available to maximize your promotions budget. Customize your outreach by choosing the package that best fits your needs. Order Form.
Deadline: Wednesay, July 1

State Legislatures Magazine Advertising
State legislators and their staffs rely on State Legislatures magazine for accurate information regarding state actions and public policy innovations. When planning to attend the Legislative Summit, State Legislatures is the tool they use. The June and July/August issues will draw attendees to your booth, while the October/November post-meeting issue keeps your organization in front of them long after the meeting is over. Order Form
June 26 for July/August Issue
July 30 for October/November issue

Exhibitors receive a 50 percent discount on NCSL's StateConnect service, a complete directory of legislators in every state! Take advantage of this special rate for a one-year, all-access subscription. Contact LeAnn Hoff ( for details.