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  • Meagan Dorsch
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Washington, D.C.
July 23, 2012

SCOTUS, Gaming, and Abramoff: a Sample of NCSL 2012 Summit Sessions

How are state lawmakers dealing with health reform, online gaming and “stand your ground” laws?

These are just a few of the issues addressed in  more than 100 policy sessions during NCSL’s 2012 Legislative Summit, which begins Aug. 6 in Chicago, Ill. NCSL’s Legislative Summit is the only venue of its kind where legislators and staff gather to promote bipartisan dialogue on the  pressing concerns facing states. As a reporter, you will be able to gather dozens of story ideas, put local issues into a national context, and have several opportunities to meet and learn from other reporters, legislators and keynote speakers from across the country.

All policy sessions will take place at the McCormick Place West (MPW) Convention Center in Chicago. Some sessions of interest include:

Monday, August 6

The Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Law: What's Next?
Monday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at MPW W187abc - Level 1
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act will reverberate throughout the states. Explore what the ramifications of this landmark ruling, particularly the Medicaid expansion, could mean for states.

Immigration Policy and the States
Monday, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at MPW W180 - Level 1
State legislators have been taking the lead in pressing for immigration reform in areas from law enforcement to worksite enforcement to immigrant integration. Examine the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. United States for the roles and responsibilities of state lawmakers.

Self Defense and "Stand Your Ground"
Monday, 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. at MPW W184cd - Level 1
Nearly half the states have enacted "stand your ground" laws. They, as well as "castle doctrine" laws, gained renewed attention following the neighborhood shooting death of a Florida teen. Discuss self-defense laws as well as pending federal legislation that would impose concealedcarry reciprocity requirements from state to state.

Tuesday, August 7

State Budget Update
Tuesday, 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. at MPW W183b, Level 1
States are slowly rebounding from the Great Recession, but are far from full recovery. In this roundtable discussion you’ll hear the latest information on current state budget conditions and have an opportunity to share your state's response to ongoing fiscal challenges.
Supreme Court Roundup
Tuesday, 2:45 to 4:30 p.m. at MPW W180, Level 1
The U.S. Supreme Court's recent term included decisions in several cases with implications on states and states’ rights. Get an overview of the court's review and opinions handed down in these cases.
Balancing the Powers of Governors
Tuesday, 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. at MPW W178ab - Level 1
Legislatures often fare poorly when taking on the governor  the deck seems stacked in favor of the executive branch. Alan Rosenthal, the leading academic expert on state legislatures, advises legislative leaders on how to work with governors and play a consultative role in shaping their agendas. His new book, “The Best Job in Politics,” examines why governors are so successful at achieving their goals.

Wednesday, August 8

New Union Approach to Education Reforms = More Collaboration?
Wednesday, 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at MPW W184cd, Level 1
Hear a discussion between the presidents of the two largest teachers unions and a top education expert about reforms in the teaching profession and whether they will lead to a more collaborative approach to education reform in the statehouses.
Placing Bets on Gaming: What's on the Screen?
Wednesday, 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. at MPW W180, Level 1
Congress has introduced legislation regarding online gaming that may encroach upon the states' prerogative in this area. Explore state gaming developments and the possible impacts on states if the federal bill is enacted.

Thursday, August 9

The Business of Creating Jobs
Thursday, 9 to 10:15 a.m. at MPW Skyline Ballroom - Level 3
John Engler, former Michigan governor and current head of the Business Roundtable, Douglas Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar Inc., and Edward B. Rust Jr., CEO of State Farm Mutual and vice-chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will participate in a lively discussion on the different roles government and businesses can play in creating jobs.

Lessons in Ethics
Thursday, 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. at MPW W183b, Level 1
Term limits, no revolving door, no gifts. These reforms are touted by America’s best-known lobbyist/felon, Jack Abramoff. He will defend his ideas in front of a panel of experienced legislators who will talk about ethics reforms in their states and challenge Abramoff on what makes sense.

All meetings held in conjunction with NCSL’s Legislative Summit are open to the press. Registration is required, but free to credentialed members of the media. Please review NCSL media policy before registering. Online registration has been extended until Friday, July 27, 2012. Members of the media can register online or by emailing NCSL’s press room through July 31, 2012. After that date, members of the media must register in the NCSL’s press room at the McCormick Place West Convention Center during business hours. Media credentials for NCSL’s Legislative Summit will not be issued outside of operating hours.

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.