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July 6, 2010

Ideas Take Root in the Bluegrass State

Some of the hottest issues covered by state house reporters will be discussed in Kentucky at NCSL's Legislative Summit. 

Historian Frederick Jackson Turner referred to Kentucky as the geographical and cultural crossroads of America. Legislators and legislative staff from all 50 states and the territories, will head there this  month to debate important policy that will affect our country’s future and honor its past at the National Conference of State Legislatures' Legislative Summit.

The Summit will include roughly 150 policy sessions that provide valuable information, success stories and candid discussion. It's the only bipartisan meeting where legislators can hear from a range of experts on effective ways to address the challenges in their states, such as education funding, pensions, energy policy, taxes, job creation, redistricting, immigration and federal health care reform.

This three-day event, July 25-28, at the Louisville International Convention Center, will give lawmakers an opportunity to learn from leading experts, share and debate ideas with colleagues from around the country, and take a stand in our federal system on key issues facing their communities.

Below is a list of the hottest topics to be discussed at NCSL's Legislative Summit. All meetings held in conjunction with NCSL’s Legislative Summit are open to the press. Although registration is required, NCSL does not charge a fee to credentialed members of the media. Please review NCSL media policy before registering. Online registration is open until July 12. After that time, members of the media must register onsite in NCSL’s press room, 113 at the convention center.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Health Summit: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the States  
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Convention Center 207-211, Level 2

You won't want to miss this day-long event that will cover what you need to know about health reform in the states.  More

  • Latest news and implementation issues
  • Workforce and access 
  • Insurance and exchanges
  • State flexibility and options
  • Medicaid changes
  • Funding and opportunities 
  • Wellness and prevention

Energy Policy Summit
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.  Convention Center 105-108, Level 1

Rising costs, an aging and somewhat unreliable infrastructure, and an increasing dependence on foreign sources has led many to see the need to reshape America's energy future. Come to the Energy Policy Summit to explore the issues and opportunities that legislators face as they develop energy policies that promote vibrant economies and healthy sustainable environments. More

Livability 101
1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  Convention Center 101, Level 1

Interest in creating sustainable, livable communities is rising, with significant federal investment in coordinating land-use, transportation and housing planning. Hear from federal agencies on their plans, and see how states have already been helping build such communities. Learn how livable communities may help solve traffic congestion, affordable housing, and environmental concerns. More

Monday, July 26 

Redistricting: Technology and the 2010 Line Drawing Process   
1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Convention Center 101, Level 1

Does your state have the technology in place to start drawing new district plans when the Census Bureau delivers data early next year? What are the technology challenges for the 2010 redistricting cycle? Learn what redistricting software can, and cannot, do.

  • Speakers: Maureen Bard, Office of Census Data, Legislative Services, Indiana
  • Mark Stratton, Office of Census Data, Legislative Services Agency, Indiana 

Coming to Our Senses: A P-20 Approach to Improving Student Success  
1:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.  Convention Center 106, Level 1

In 2008, a College Board commission studied ways to improve the number of adults with postsecondary degrees. Learn about its recommendations for change in 10 key areas of the P-20 educational system. Receive and discuss a practical step-by-step guide specifically for state legislators produced jointly by NCSL and the College Board.

Deficit Reduction Commission 
2 p.m. - 4 p.m.  Convention Center 100, Level 1

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is studying federal fiscal policy and will soon make recommendations to Congress. With overlap between federal and state tax and revenue policies, states have concerns over what the commission may recommend. Listen to experts discuss areas the commission may want to change in order to balance the budget and improve the nation's long-term fiscal outlook.

Tuesday, July 27

Online Sales Taxes: Are They New Taxes?  
10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.  104, Level 1

States have been working for 10 years to streamline the collection of sales taxes to make it less burdensome for out-of- state sellers. Critics argue that this effort is really a new tax on a struggling industry—online sales. Two leading advocates debate the issue.


State Pensions Track: Legislators' Guide to Public Pensions  
10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.  Convention Center 100, Level 1

Learn about legislators' power and responsibilities in the design and oversight of state retirement policy. Examine the complicated question of state governments' ability to change the benefits promised to current employees and retired people. Explore the process of making good policy in this technical area of law. Hear how a state pension study commission can contribute to the process.

Moderator: Representative Juan C. Zapata, Florida

  • Speakers: Keith Brainard, National Association of State Retirement Administrators, Texas
  • Aristotle Hutras, Ohio Retirement Study Council, Ohio
  • Cynthia Moore, former Washington, D.C., Counsel, National Council on Teacher Retirement, Florida

Time for States to Amend the U.S. Constitution?  
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  Convention Center 106, Level 1

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis—a Louisville native—envisioned states as the laboratories of democracy. But increasing federal encroachment threatens states' ability to innovate. Some suggest that changes to the federal constitution need to be initiated at the state level. Others believe a stronger national government is the best way to make decisions on critical issues facing the country. Hear leading advocates and scholars on both sides debate the pros and cons of states taking the lead in changing the U.S. Constitution.

Citizens United v. FEC: Political Blockbuster?  
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.  Convention Center 108, Level 1

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that it is unconstitutional to bar corporations and unions from spending on advertisements for and against candidates. The decision sent shock waves through the 24 states with similar laws. Examine what the ruling means to states, how it might affect this year's campaigns, and how states and Congress have responded.

  • Moderator:Nola Werren, State and Federal Communications, Inc., Ohio
  • Speakers: Delegate Jon S. Cardin, Maryland
  • Kenneth Gross, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom, Washington, D.C.
  • Jason Torchinsky, Holtzman Vogel PLLC, Virginia

Preparing Millennials for Today's Workplace  
1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.  Convention Center 102-103, Level 1 

Noted generational strategist, Richard Delano, focuses on understanding the millennial generation (1982 – 2005) and how schools can better serve them and our nation’s future workforce needs. Learn the key differences in generations and how events, social norms and other factors influence decision-making and learning in each. Unlike generations before them, millennials are entering the workforce later, and thus need internships and job experience while they are still in school. Learn how states and communities are engaging educators, employers and community leaders to connect high schools with colleges and workplaces to better prepare students for success.

  • Presiding: Senator Reginald Tate, Tennessee
  • Speaker: Richard Delano, Social Marketing Services, (SMS, LLC), New York

What's Ahead for the Economy: Choppy Waters or Smooth Sailing?  
2:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.  Convention Center 101, Level 1  

Leading economists believe the U.S. recovery began sometime in the third quarter of 2009. But many officials wonder if the recovery is on track and what the future bodes for state economies. Hear one of the nation's leading economists give his perspective.

  • Speaker: William Strauss, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Illinois

Wednesday, July 28

Arizona Immigrant Trespassing Law: Cause for Preemption? 
8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.   Convention Center 104, Level 1

Arizona's new immigration enforcement law re-ignited a dormant immigration debate in America. Going beyond previous state-federal collaboration, the new law transforms federal civil immigration violations (a misdemeanor) into state crimes to discourage illegal immigration. Hear the pros and cons of the law, the constitutional concerns, and areas of potential federal preemption.

  • Moderator: Representative Joni M. Cutler, South Dakota
  • Panelists: Representative John Kavanagh, Arizona
  • Peter Spiro, Temple University, Beasley School of Law, Pennsylvania
  • Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Texas
  • Hubert Williams, Police Foundation, Washington, D.C.  

Creating Jobs in a Recession-—Subsidized Employment  
8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.  Convention Center 101, Level 1

Investments in subsidized jobs surged during the recession as states sought to train workers in green jobs, high-tech and health care. Officials had to gear up quickly and balance efforts to create jobs for unemployed workers while building their skills for the future. Learn about new funding available for subsidized jobs and ways to engage employers to increase opportunities for low-skilled workers and promote economic development.

Speaker: Demetra Nightingale, The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.

Investing in Our Nation's Infrastructure  
8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.  Convention Center 106, Level 1  

Highways, bridges, drinking and waste-water facilities, telecommunications, smart grid, high-speed rail. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act made significant investments in our nation's infrastructure, both the aging systems and those still in their infancy. Explore the future of our nation's infrastructure and how we continue to maintain these critical systems.

  • Panelists: Former Governor Bill Owens, PCL Construction Enterprises, Inc., Colorado
  • Martin Wachs, The Rand Corporation, California

Room numbers, panelists and times are subject to change. Please check our online agenda and printed program onsite.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.