Legislators to Gather in Washington D.C. for NCSL Capitol Forum


State Legislators to Gather in Washington, D.C. for NCSL's Capitol Forum Dec. 6-9

Washington, D.C.—Education, cybersecurity, the opioid epidemic, transportation, the election and redistricting are just a few of the topics on the agenda at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) 2016 Capitol Forum, Dec. 6-9 in Washington, D.C.

Hundreds of state legislators and legislative staff from around the nation will gather to examine issues important to state leaders. Lawmakers will also meet with their congressional delegations.

NCSL press release “This year’s NCSL Capitol Forum is bringing together legislators, legislative leaders and some of the nation’s top experts to discuss the latest topics affecting states,” said Iowa Senator Mike Gronstal, president of NCSL. “This is also an important meeting as we begin to work with the new administration and identifying the 2017 state-federal priorities for the organization.”

Following are some of the featured sessions. All times are Eastern:

Tuesday, Dec. 6

  • Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs: Examine issues affecting military-community relations and the health and well-being of veterans. Featuring the release of “Preparing for Duty: State Policy Options to Sustain Military Installations.” Dec. 6, 8 a.m.-2:15 p.m., Marriott Wardman Park, Lincoln 3.
  • Legislative Lessons from Election 2016: Learn about election administration challenges and triumphs that surfaced during the 2016 election season, from the primaries through the general election, and possible new legislation in 2017 and beyond. Hear from experts on the front lines of election administration and share your experiences. Dec. 6, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Marriott Wardman Park, Lincoln 6.
  • Energy Policy Forum— Hear from top national experts on important energy policy topics including possible solutions under consideration for the storage and/or permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste; rapid advancements in energy storage and what it means for the energy sector; and state solutions to address the growing risk of cyber threats to the nation’s energy infrastructure. Dec. 6, 1-5:30 p.m., Marriott Wardman Park, Wilson ABC.

Thursday, Dec. 8

  • Workforce Development for People with Disabilities: Individuals with disabilities, visible and otherwise, are a large and vital part of our nation’s workforce. Hear about a new report from the NCSL/CSG National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities with policy options for how states can help meet the needs of these workers and how businesses can harness the unique perspectives of these employees to drive innovation and improvement. Dec. 8, 8:15-9:45 a.m., Marriott Wardman Park, Madison AB.
  • The 115th Congress: What’s in Store for States? – The 115th Congress and the 45th U.S. president will face a number of looming fiscal related issues beginning in January. Lawmakers may need to address budget uncertainty in FY 2017 and beyond, the federal debt limit, and continued pressure to reform the federal tax code. Join us to learn more about these fiscal challenges and what the implications will be for the states. Dec. 8, 10-11 a.m., Marriott Wardman Park, Harding.
  • ESSA State Plan Review: States are beginning to release drafts of their ESSA state plans. Review the plans and choices from a number of states, and discuss how these choices compare to decisions made by countries with high performing education systems. Examine how the stakeholder engagement process can continue through the actual submission of the plans and beyond. Dec. 8, 10-11:15 a.m., Marriott Wardman Park, Hoover.
  • Regulating Autonomous Vehicles – The Role of States and the Federal Government: A new transportation world is on the horizon where autonomous vehicles are potentially an everyday presence. A growing number of states are taking legislative and regulatory action and the U.S. Department of Transportation released its Federal Automated Vehicle Policy in September. Join us for an in-depth discussion on the likely next steps including testing, deployment, insurance and safety for this game changing technology. Dec. 8, 10:15-11:30 a.m., Marriott Wardman Park, Lincoln 2
  • Plenary Luncheon: Conquering Opioid Use Disorder: Hear from a panel of national experts on the profound human, societal, and economic effects of opioid use disorder and explore critical components for solutions to this national epidemic. Dec. 8, 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m., Marriot Wardman Park, Thurgood Ballroom.
    • Panelist: Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Combatting Violent Extremism: Congress has appropriated nearly $50 million to help states prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from threats of violent extremism, which may be organized terrorist attacks, lone shooters and other incidents of mass violence. Hear about innovative and preventive approaches to improve community resilience and engagement. Dec. 8, 2:30-3:45 p.m., Marriott Wardman Park, Wilson BC.
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems – Where Do We Go from Here?: State legislatures are debating if and how unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology should be regulated, taking into account both the benefits and potential costs. Yet the industry concerns over the potential for a “patchwork system” created by states has prompted it to lobby for sole federal control. Join us for a discussion between states, the federal government and the UAS industry on where policymakers go from here. Dec. 8, 3:15-5 p.m., Marriott Wardman Park, Lincoln 2.
  • Criminal Justice Reform and Mental Health Disabilities: As many as three quarters of justice involved individuals have mental health needs. Hear about federal requirements, opportunities, and examples of how jurisdictions are providing integrated services. Dec. 8, 4-5 p.m., Marriott Wardman Park, Wilson BC.

Friday, Dec. 9

  • Plenary Breakfast:  A member of the incoming administration will join us to discuss their priorities. Dec. 9, 8:30-9:45 a.m., Marriott Wardman Park, Thurgood Ballroom.
    • Tentative: Vice President-Elect Mike Pence.

A complete list of this year’s speakers can be found on our website along with the full agenda. All meetings held in conjunction with NCSL’s Forum are open to the press. Registration is required but free to credentialed members of the media. On-site registration for media is available at the Marriott Wardman Park, 2660 Woodley Rd., NW, Washington, D.C. Please review NCSL’s media policy before registering.


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.