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NCSL’s Legislative Summit Is Set for Louisville

The largest bipartisan gathering of state lawmakers and staff is coming to the nation’s horse racing capital.

By Mark Wolf  |  April 1, 2024

The ponies are at the post and registration is off to the races for the 2024 NCSL Legislative Summit, Aug. 5-7, in Louisville, Ky., the nation’s horse racing capital.

The Summit the nation’s largest bipartisan gathering of state lawmakers and legislative staff. Thousands of lawmakers and staff will convene in the Bluegrass State to network with colleagues from across the nation, learn what’s working in the states and dive into the hottest policy topics and trends.

Artificial intelligence and its ramifications for the states will play a featured role in policy sessions, including a right-out-of-the-starting-gate opening session. Jennifer Pahlka, a senior fellow at the Niskanen Center and the Federation of American Scientists, will tackle how states can harness technology and attract tech talent to reimagine the way government benefits its citizens.

Other general sessions include:

  • Political strategists Donna Brazile and Kellyanne Conway on the home stretch of the 2024 races.
  • Brain scientist John Medina on sharpening our critical thinking skills to evaluate data and differentiate between fact and falsehood.
  • Communications consultant Eric Bailey on “The Cure for Stupidity: Understanding Why They Don’t Understand You.”

A wide-ranging lineup of policy sessions will cover, among other topics, the Supreme Court’s term, crypto miners, juvenile justice, handling the heat, “forever chemicals,” balancing power among the branches of government, true crime, storytelling, women’s unique roles, the next iteration of surface transportation, rural economic development, the declining gas tax, nuclear energy, paid leave and more.

Come for the policy and professional development, but stay for the social events:

  • Kick off the Summit with an opening celebration at the Kentucky Performing Arts Center, a meet-and-mingle night with your colleagues featuring views of the Ohio River, bourbon tasting from the finest distillers and live music in the heart of Louisville’s Museum Row. 
  • Finish the Summit at farewell festivities at Churchill Downs, the country’s most famous racetrack, and celebrate the 150th anniversary of the fastest two minutes in sports. Tour the new paddock and connect with your colleagues under the twin spires while enjoying delicious Southern cuisine. 

Mark Wolf is a senior editor at NCSL.

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