Law and Criminal Justice Committee's 2013 Spring Forum Agenda (As of April 24, 2013)

May 2-4, 2013
Hyatt Regency Denver 
Denver, Colorado

NCSL's Spring Forum - General Information

Thursday | Friday | Saturday

Thursday, May 2

8 a.m. - Noon

Pre-Conference Workshops / Task Forces / Working Groups

10:30 a.m. - Noon
Level 3 - Centennial DE

Orientation for Standing Committee Officers and Steering Committee Meeting

1 - 2:30 p.m.
Level 3 - Centennial F

Can Violence Be Prevented?

(Joint Law and Criminal Justice Committee and Education Committee)

Legislators throughout the nation are working on ways to ensure our schools and communities are safe from violence in the aftermath of recent tragic events. Learn about research on violence prevention and best practices in school readiness and safety. 


  • Senator John W. Ford, Oklahoma


  • William Woodward, director of Training and Technical Assistance, Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, University of Colorado
  • Susan Payne, executive director, Safe2Tell, Colorado

2:30 - 2:45 p.m.


2:45 - 4:15 p.m.
Level 3 - Centennial F

Fiscal Impacts of Immigration

(Joint Law and Criminal Justice Committee, Budgets and Revenue Committee, Human Services and Welfare Committee and NCSL Task Force on Immigration and the States)

States have taken a larger role in immigration in recent years, partly in frustration at federal inaction and recognition that immigrants have wide-ranging effects on state programs, economies and budgets, particularly in human services, health, education and law enforcement, while the federal government reaps the lion's share of taxes on their income. Explore how changing demographics and immigration affect states, job creation and business development that depend on foreign workers. 


  • Dr. James H. Johnson Jr., William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor, Kenan-Flagler Business School, director - Urban Investment Strategies Center, Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

NCSL gratefully acknowledges the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for this session. 

4:30 - 5:45 p.m.
Level 3 - Centennial DE

Opening General Session:  The Silver Tsunami

Hear insights on the challenges ahead to Medicare, Social Security and other government programs as baby boomers retire by the millions.


  • Dr. James H. Johnson Jr., William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor, Kenan-Flagler Business School, director - Urban Investment Strategies Center, Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

5:45 to 7:00 p.m.
Level 3 - Centennial Foyer

Opening Networking Reception at Hotel

Friday, May 3

8:15 - 10 a.m.
Level 3 - Centennial F

Prescription Drug Use in the States and Lessons from Workers' Compensation

(Joint Law and Criminal Justice Committee, Health Committee, Human Services and Welfare Committee and Labor and Economic Development Committee)

Growing use and abuse of prescription drugs such as opioids are continuing to put more families of injured workers in harm's way. Explore state legislation and rising concerns over physician dispensed prescription drugs.  Breakfast will be served. 


  • Representative Curtis Oda, Utah


  • Dr. Kathryn Mueller, professor of surgery, University of Colorado School of Public Health
  • Dr. Richard Victor, executive director, Workers Compensation Research Institute, Massachusetts
  • Dr. David Barbe, American Medican Association, Missouri

NCSL gratefully acknowledge the Workers Compensation Research Institute for their support for this breakfast.

10 - 10:15 a.m.


10:15 - 11:45 a.m.
Level 3 - Centennial F

Marijuana Regulation  (CLE)

(Joint Law and Criminal Justice Committee, Health Committee, Human Services and Welfare Committee and Budgets and Revenue Committee)

Colorado and Washington voters have approved legalization, regulation and taxations of marijuana, with limits. Explore how they will implement the new laws and the potential impacts on other levels of government. 


  • Representative Curtis Oda, Utah
  • Michael Hely, Staff Attorney, New Mexico Legislative Council Service


  • David Blake, deputy attorney general for Legal Policy and Government Affairs, Colorado Department of Law, Office of the Attorney General
  • Robert Morrison, executive director, National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), Washington, D.C.
  • Meg Sanders, Gaia Plant-Based Medicine, Colorado

11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Level 3 - Centennial F

Federal Update and Business Meeting

Discuss federal issues of interest to states and the NCSL policy process.


  • Susan Parnas Frederick, NCSL

12:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Level 3 - Centennial DE

General Session Luncheon:  The Natural Gas Bonanza  
The combined use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has unlocked a bounty of natural gas, often in regions unaccustomed to oil and gas extraction.  Explore the domestic natural gas picture and issues states are confronting as they work to ensure safe, responsible natural gas development.

2:45 - 4:45 p.m.
Level 3 - Centennial ABC

General Session:  Federal Deficit Reduction

Hear economist Alison Felix's perspective on the impact of the federal budget crisis – the fiscal cliff, sequestration, the continuing budget resolution – on states and the nation. Then participate in a town hall meeting where you can share your approaches to dealing with cuts and uncertainty.

5 - 6 p.m.
Level 3 - Centennial G

Steering Committee

6 - 7 p.m.
Level 3 - Centennial Foyer

Closing Reception at Hotel

Saturday, May 4

8:30 - 10 a.m.
Level 3 - Centennial DE

General Session Breakfast:  Higher Education

States have less money to invest in higher education at a time when a college degree is more important than ever. Hank Brown, a former Colorado legislator, congressman and U.S. senator, has been president of two state institutions – the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Colorado. Hear his view on the changing world of higher education and state legislators’ role in planning for the future.

10 - 10:30 a.m.
Level 3 - Centennial DE

NCSL Spring Forum Business Meeting

10:30 a.m. - Noon
Level 3 - Mineral ABC

Special Briefings:  Countdown to Health Reform 
The countdown has begun. In five months, health exchanges will be open to the public in all 50 states and in eight months, 100 percent federal funding will be available for Medicaid expansion.  What will states do?  Hear how employers large and small are responding to new roles and choices in health.

10:30 a.m. - Noon
Level 3 - Centennial F

Special Briefings:  State Options to Help Returning Veterans 
Veterans coming home from recent conflicts face a host of medical, mental health and employement challenges. Learn how states are meeting the growing need for services through initiative, coordination and efficiency measures, and partnerships with federal, local and private entities. 

10:30 a.m. - Noon
Level 3 - Mineral DE

Special Briefings:  Bond Rating Agency Changes Affecting Pensions
Hear how Moody’s Investor Services may adjust the way it measures public sector pension obligations, expected to be finalized in April. Learn how Moody’s will evaluate reported and adjusted pension data, including the effects of material pension plan amendments or reforms yet to be reflected in reported pension data.