NCSL Capitol Forum Heading to Phoenix

11/15/2019

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December Meeting Will Focus on Issues Key to State Policymakers

Denver—Gas tax alternatives, arming school personnel, disaster spending, facial recognition technology, student loan oversight and the 2020 census are just a few of the topics on the agenda at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) 2019 Capitol Forum, Dec. 10-12 in Phoenix.

Attendees at the annual NCSL Capitol Forum will hear from a variety of speakers on several topics. All times are Mountain Standard Time. Please check the full agenda for more details, room location and potential time change:

Following are some of the featured sessions:

Tuesday, Dec. 10

  • Autonomous Vehicles Preconference: Learn more about the impact of driverless vehicles on mobility for people with disabilities, state efforts to develop partnerships with industry and other topics. This preconference convenes 20 to 30 state legislative transportation leaders and legislative staff from across the country, as well as national experts and industry leaders. | 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Arming School Personnel: The Pros and Cons: Arming school personnel has become a topic of serious debate as state and local policymakers work to find solutions to keep students safe at school during acts of violence. Hear state legislators share their perspectives and discuss how their states and school districts have chosen to respond. | 9-10:15 a.m.
  • Running on Empty: Alternatives to the Gas Tax: States are exploring alternative funding and financing options to build and operate large transportation projects. Hear an overview of transportation funding trends and learn about trend-setting state initiatives, as well as federal programs that can support state innovation. | 2-3:15 p.m.
  • Proven Approaches to Preparing and Retaining Teachers: Some states and school districts have deployed proven approaches to improving the preparation, development and support of teachers. Hear from experts and teachers about how state policy can support these efforts. | 2-3:15 p.m.
  • Facial Recognition: Do You Have Eyes on Me?: Lawmakers in several states are looking at regulating law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology because of concerns about civil liberties. Learn about this tool and its role in the public sphere. | 3:30-4:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 11

  • Paid to Play: Regulating Student Athletes. California’s recently enacted Fair Pay to Play law has kicked off debate about whether student athletes should be permitted to profit independently off the sale of their name, image or likeness through endorsement deals, advertising and other avenues. Hear from experts about the potential impacts and various legal questions states may want to consider. | 10:30-11:45 a.m.
  • Sharing the Cost of Disasters: State and Federal Spending: Hear from federal and state experts on the how disaster spending is shared between levels of government, and how mitigation measures can save everyone money at a time when disaster costs are increasing. | 2-3:15 p.m.
  • Supreme Court Case Review: Immigration, abortion, transgender civil rights and gun control are just some of the hot issues the U.S. Supreme Court will consider during the 2019-2020 term. Hear State and Local Legal Center counsel Lisa Soronen break these cases down and offer a glimpse of other interesting cases before the court this year. | 3:30-4:45 p.m.
  • State Actions on Student Loan Oversight: Student loan debt has reached $1.5 trillion, second only to mortgage debt. Hear about state legislation and efforts to regulate loan servicers through the creation of state ombudsmen offices and “bills of rights” for students with loans to ensure loan servicers operate in a clear and forthright manner. | 3:30-4:45 p.m.
  • It’s Go Time for the Census: Counting Down to 2020: Census Bureau staff will update the state officials who will do the redistricting on planning at the federal level for this critical, once-in-a-decade task, including current thinking about citizenship data and data privacy. Fifteen minutes will be reserved to discuss how states can approach low-response populations. | 3:30-4:45 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 12

  • NCSL Capitol Forum Business Meeting: 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. Each state has one vote. All NCSL Capitol Forum attendees are welcome to observe. | 10:15-10:45 a.m.
  • NCSL Task Force on Insurance: States and insurance commissioners continue to develop a shared vision of insurance regulatory reform to meet the needs of the modern marketplace while preserving the advantages of the state system. The NCSL Insurance Task Force engages members in policy discussions, educates members and extends networking opportunities to legislative leaders on insurance issues. | 12:30-6 p.m.

A complete list of this year’s speakers can be found on our website along with the full agenda.

Registration Information for Media

All meetings held in conjunction with NCSL’s Forum are open to the press. Online registration is open through Dec. 5; on-site registration for media is available between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort at 50 East Marriott Drive. Please review NCSL’s media policy before registering. Registration is required but free to credentialed members of the media.


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.