CFI Committee 2014 Forum Agenda


2014 NCSL Forum graphicCome to the NCSL Forum in Washington, D.C., Dec. 9-12, 2014, to help craft the States’ Agenda and learn the latest on important state-federal issues..

Items in bold denote committee activities.

All meetings will take place at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel unless otherwise noted.

Access the Forum Resources webpage to review the session handouts.

Tuesday, Dec. 9
Time Sessions

7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mezzanine-Registration A


10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Exhibition Hall C-Lincoln 3


Cyber Security Summit
Joint with the NCSL Leveraging IT to Strengthen Government FSL Partners Project

This workshop will inform state legislators and staff about the risks of cyber threats and the consequences of data breaches and critical infrastructure disruption for state governments. It will include cybersecurity briefings from experts and discussion among state, federal and business partners about strategies for combating these threats.


10 – 11:15 a.m.
State Governments at Risk
In light of the increasing severity, volume and sophistication of cyber threats, states are more and more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Despite heightened attention and an increasing focus on security, the number of cyber incidents, their associated costs and their impact on the lives of US citizen continues to grow. Learn about state efforts to combat these threats.


11:15 a.m. – Noon
Escalating Cyber Security Attacks
The dramatic growth in the number of cyber intrusions and attacks is one of the most serious economic and national security threats our nation faces. Hear from experts at the Department of Homeland Security about strategies to protect the nation’s cyber security.


Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Cyber Security – An Industry Perspective (Lunch Program)
Large-scale cyber attacks are becoming more frequent and more costly for government and businesses in the United States. Hear from industry experts about strategies to minimize risks and protect critical data.


1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Strategies for Safeguarding State Information Assets
In this panel discussion, speakers will identify key questions for state policymakers to ask and issues to explore in addressing the scope of the cyber security threat in their state. In addition, speakers will highlight resources available to state policymakers.

2:45 – 3 p.m.
Closing Remarks

Noon-1:30 p.m.

CFI Committee Officer Lunch

CFI Committee officers will have lunch offsite with their fellow officers. Meet at Noon in Thurgood Marshall West.

1:30-3:30 p.m.

Mezzanine-Thurgood Marshall South

New Committee Officer Orientation & Steering Committee Meeting

The steering committee consists of the overall standing committee officers and the legislator and staff co-chairs of the individual committees. Review plans for this Forum, policy directives and resolutions for consideration, and the rules of procedure in the committees and business meeting.

4-5 p.m.

Mezzanine-Thurgood Marshall SE

General Session: Public Health Emergencies - Are We Prepared to Respond?

First response to any public health event always comprises local emergency services supplemented by state and volunteer organizations. State and local health departments must consider their capacity to respond to public health events as they arise. This Hear how state and federal authorities respond to a public health event, current capabilities, and barriers to achieving readiness goals.


  • Dr. Karen DeSalvo, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Mezzanine-Thurgood Marshall Foyer

Opening Reception
8-10 p.m.
Omni Hotel, Capitol Room

Young and New Professionals Reception

NCSL gratefully acknowledges Diageo for sponsoring this reception.

Join fellow new and young professionals for an after-dinner reception at the Omni, Capitol Room! Don't miss this opportunity to network with colleagues and peers in similar positions as yours.
Wednesday, Dec. 10

7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mezzanine-Registration A


8-9:30 a.m.

Mezzanine-Thurgood Ballroom

Lobby Day Breakfast and Briefing

NCSL officers and staff will brief members on the issues to be discussed on Capitol Hill. Briefing will be from 8:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
9:30-10:30 a.m.

Bus Ride to Capitol Hill for Legislators

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Mezzanine-Wilson ABC

Legislative Staff Discussion

All legislative staff attending the Forum are invited to participate in this one-hour session with NCSL staff officers to discuss legislative staff engagement in the committees.

10:30 a.m. - Noon

Mezzanine-Wilson ABC


Legislative Staff: Effective Communications Training

Enjoy a fun and interactive session where you can hone your communications skills.


  • William Black, Billblack Public Affairs Strategies, Washington, D.C.
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Senate Dirksen Building

Congressional Briefing


  • Senator Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
  • Senator Thomas Carper (Del.), Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
  • Congressman Jason Chaffetz (Utah), U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., Chair, National Security Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee
  • Congressman Peter Welch (Vt.), U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
  • Congressman Steve Womack (Ark.), U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Congressional Meetings

NCSL will arrange visits for all state legislator attendees with their congressional delegations to discuss important state-federal issues. Individual meeting schedules will be provided in advance of the Forum and at the hotel.

Noon - 1 p.m.

Mezzanine-Wilson ABC

Legislative Staff General Session Luncheon


  • Linda Cureton, CEO and Founder of Muse Technologies, Inc., Maryland
1 - 5 p.m.

Legislative Staff Briefing: Library of Congress Tour and U.S. Supreme Court Briefing

Enjoy a tour of the Library of Congress and a briefing on cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

1 - 5 p.m.

Legislative Staff Briefing: Amtrak

Hear the latest on Amtrak's infrastructure needs to service not only the Northeast Corridor, but the cross-country routes. After the briefing take a tour of Union Station and then board the train for a ride to and briefing in Baltimore, Md.
1 - 5 p.m.

Legislative Staff Briefing: Arts, Education and Economic Development

Join this discussion on the importance of investing in the arts and its connection to economic development. Receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kennedy Center.
5:30 - 7 p.m.
The National Press Club
thursDay, Dec. 11

7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mezzanine-Registration A

7:30-9 a.m.

Women's Legislative Network Board Meeting

Join the Women's Legislative Network of NCSL for our board meeting to discuss the year's events and plan for the Network's 30th anniversary in 2015.

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Mezzanine-Wilson ABC

Can Financial Services and Pot Work Together?

Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia recently passed initiatives allowing for the recreational use of marijuana. Twenty three states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana. These businesses are struggling to find banks and credit unions willing and able to work with them despite recent federal guidance for financial institutions. Hear about efforts to help the industry move beyond the cash only model.


  • Heather Fennell, Research Division, North Carolina


  • Michael Elliott, Marijuana Industry Group, Colorado
  • Megan Michiels, American Bankers Association, Washington, D.C.

9:30-10:30 a.m.

Mezzanine-Wilson ABC 

Communications Act Rewrite

In December 2013, Congress launched a multi-year effort to examine and update the Communications Act. Given the growing interstate—and even international—nature of communications policy, it is important for state lawmakers to stay informed and engaged in this process. Hear about the current landscape of communications policy from experts and thought leaders on Capitol Hill who are driving the rewrite.


  • Representative Joe Atkins, Minnesota

10:30-11:30 a.m.

Mezzanine-Wilson ABC

CFI Committee Business Meeting

Committee members will discuss and vote on committee business and consider, review and vote on any new policy resolutions submitted for consideration.


  • Senator Thomas Alexander, South Carolina
  • Representative Joe Atkins, Minnesota
  • Heather Fennell, Research Division, North Carolina

Proposed policy resolution to be considered:

11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.

Mezzanine-Thurgood Ballroom

General Session: A Conversation with Secretary Foxx—The Future of Federal Transportation Funding

As states and communities continue to face challenges maintaining and building their infrastructure, the path to future funding appears foggy. Hear U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx discuss the current state of transportation funding and learn how the Obama Administration is working to expand federal investment in transportation—and how they're enlisting the private sector in the effort to build a transportation system for the next generation.

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Mezzanine-Wilson ABC

State-Federal Insurance Update

Get updates on the bipartisan National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Act of 2013 (NARAB II), designed to streamline the insurance agent licensing process. Discuss the pending renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (TRIPRA), and what this legislation means for states.


  • Representative Brian Patrick Kennedy, Rhode Island
  • Garth Shipman, House Insurance Committee, Pennsylvania


  • Wes Bissett, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Virginia
  • Sara Dubsky, Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission, Washington, D.C.
  • Ethan Sonnichsen, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Washington, D.C.
2:30-2:45 p.m. Break

2:45-3:45 p.m.

Mezzanine-Wilson ABC

State Alcohol Regulation Shifts

While privatization efforts have been brewing in Oregon and Pennsylvania, in several states there have been court challenges to state licensing statutes and regulations and prohibitions on powdered alcohol. Come hear about the current state of alcohol regulation.


  • Representative Martha Jane King, Kentucky
  • Russell Humphrey, Chief Clerk of the Senate, Tennessee


  • Steven Schmidt, National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, Virginia
  • Robert Tobiassen, Federal Regulatory and Compliance Consultant, Virginia

3:45-4:45 p.m.

Mezzanine-Wilson ABC

E-Rate/Connected Classrooms
Joint with Education Committee

New technologies allow student learning to take place anywhere and anytime and can allow teachers to accomplish their jobs more effectively. But new methods require high speed broadband in the classroom and at home. Explore issues related to better connecting the nation’s schools to high-speed broadband, the current debate to expand E-Rate, and state policy options to enhance learning by providing better access to technology.


  • Richard Corbett, Office of Legislative Services, New Jersey


  • Chas Eberle, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C.
  • Patrick Halley, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C.
  • Thomas Murray, Alliance For Excellent Education, Washington, D.C.
  • Representative Mimi Stewart, New Mexico

5-6 p.m.

Exhibition Hall C-Lincoln 6

Steering Committee

The steering committee will review the policies reported from the standing committees at the Summit and determine the calendar for the NCSL Business Meeting on Friday, Dec. 12, at 11:15 am.
5 – 6 p.m.

Women's Network Roundtable

Join the Women's Legislative Network for a roundtable discussion about women, business and the economy.

6-7 p.m.

Marriott Foyer

friDay, Dec. 12

7:30 a.m.-Noon

Mezzanine-Registration A

7:45 – 9:15 a.m.
Mezzanine-Wilson ABC

The Broad Implications: Rural Internet in Rural Communities
Joint with Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee

In an increasingly connected world, many rural areas of the United States are still being left out. Access to broadband internet service is a vital tool for economic growth, better access to health care and education, increase competitiveness and reduce costs. This session will discuss current efforts to bring high-speed broadband to rural areas and the economic implications broadband has on rural communities. A hot breakfast will be served.


  • Senator Thomas Alexander, South Carolina


  • Senator John R. McCoy, Washington
  • Jasper Schneider, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
  • Tom Simmons, Midcontinent Communications, South Dakota

9-11:30 a.m.

Exhibition Hall C-Lincoln 2,3 & 4

Issue Forum - Cannabis Conundrum

Medical marijuana is allowed under law in 23 states and Washington, D.C. Voter-approved adult use of recreational marijuana is underway in Colorado and Washington and before voters this fall in two other states and Washington, D.C. Explore the role of state legislatures in complex matters of marijuana regulation, revenue, substance abuse, and issues of federal law and enforcement.


  • Senator Bruce Starr, Oregon


  • John Hudak, Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • Senator Jeanne E. Kohl-Welles, Washington
  • Robert Morrison, National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Washington, D.C.
  • Pat Oglesby, The Center For New Revenue, North Carolina

9-11:30 a.m.

Exhibition Hall C-Lincoln 6

Issue Forum - Crude Oil by Rail: Exploring the Safety Effects and Economic Impacts

The increasing transportation of crude oil by rail raises concerns about the safety of rail cars and competition among other important commodities transported by rail. Examine efforts to improve the safety of rail cars and explore how the growth in transporting crude oil by rail is displacing other commodities.


  • Timothy Butters, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Washington, D.C.

9-11:30 a.m.

Exhibition Hall C-Lincoln 5

Issue Forum - A Dysfunctional Chamber: The Future of the U.S. Senate

While members of Congress have recently found few areas of consensus, they all agree that the Senate is broken. But why it is broken and how to fix is a hot area of debate. Marty Gold, one of the foremost experts on Senate procedure, will lead a discussion on what is wrong with the Senate and what its future is in the next Congress.


  • Martin Gold, Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, New York

11:15-11:30 a.m.

Mezzanine-Thurgood Ballroom

NCSL Business Meeting

The business meeting features consideration of policy directives and resolutions adopted in the standing committees on Thursday.

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Mezzanine-Thurgood Ballroom

General Session Luncheon: U.S. Economic Outlook

NCSL gratefully acknowledges AT&T for sponsoring this luncheon session.

As the national economy continues its slow recovery what lies in store for 2015? Will falling energy prices and a European economic malaise threaten the gains of late in the U.S.? Noted national economist Beth Ann Bovino provides insights into the most important economic issues of the day as the new year approaches.


  • Beth Ann Bovino, Standard & Poor's, New York
1-5 p.m. Post Conference Workshops and Seminars
saturDay, Dec. 13
  Post Conference Workshops and Seminars