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72nd Annual Meeting of the
Southern Legislative Conference

St. Louis, Missouri
July 21-25, 2018

2018 SLC Annual Meeting

Preliminary Program Agenda

Saturday, July 21

7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Registration

Prefunction Area, Fourth Floor, Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Staff Workshop

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Executive Committee Session

7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Opening Reception at Ballpark Village

Sunday, July 22

7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Registration

Prefunction Area, Fourth Floor, Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch

8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Committee Sessions CLE

The Economics of Herbicides: The Dicamba Dilemma

Though weeds have plagued agriculture since the dawn of time, modern herbicides have been in use for a little more than a century.  In modern agriculture, herbicides are necessary to ensure healthy crops and sufficient food to feed growing populations.  As new crops are introduced into the marketplace, new herbicide formulas often are needed.  In 2017, newly registered dicamba formulations offered by Monsanto, BASF and DuPont were approved for application on cotton and soybean seed traits resistant to the herbicides.  Of an estimated 89.5 million acres of soybeans planted nationwide, an estimated 22 million acres were planted with dicamba-tolerant G.M.O seeds and treated with the “over the top” approach in 2017.  Of the 22 million acres treated, an estimated 3.4 million acres of soybeans were reported to have suffered damage related to dicamba exposure. In response, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the producers of dicamba, made changes to the herbicides’ labels for the 2018 growing season.  This session reviews the economic challenges posed by damaged crops, explores the changes mandated by the EPA and examines steps taken by Monsanto to improve application safety.

Ty Witten, Ph.D., Crop Protection Lead, North America Technology Development & Agronomy, Monsanto, Missouri

Michael Goodis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

Legislative Roundtable

The Legislative Roundtable highlights important agricultural legislation taken up in SLC states during recent legislative sessions. Members from each state brief the Committee on new measures undertaken in their respective states.  This provides policymakers with the opportunity to share their experiences with others facing similar challenges and opportunities, exchange ideas, and serves as a foundation for substantive policy discussions.

Expanding Apprenticeship Programs for Workforce Development

There is a growing consensus that too many prospective employees do not have the necessary training and skills to meet employer demands in today’s workforce. At the end of 2017, approximately 6.6 million people across the nation remained unemployed despite the fact there were 5.9 million job openings. To address the skills gap, many states and companies are turning to apprenticeship programs to expand at-work training and classroom instruction for those seeking stable, long-term positions across a wide range of occupations. The growth in apprenticeships is apparent, growing from approximately 360,000 apprentices in 2011, to more than 500,000 in 2017, while the range of programs available has increased to include jobs in industries such as banking, cybersecurity, healthcare and advanced manufacturing. This session reviews actions taken by states to incentivize apprenticeship programs and explores how these can be successfully expanded in the years ahead.

Kimberly Hauge, Senior Policy Analyst, National Governor’s Association, Washington, D.C.

Brad Neese, Associate Vice President and Director, Apprenticeship Carolina, South Carolina

Legislative Roundtable

The Legislative Roundtable highlights important economic development, transportation and cultural affairs legislation taken up in SLC states during recent legislative sessions. Members from each state brief the Committee on new measures undertaken in their respective states.  This provides policymakers with the opportunity to share their experiences with others facing similar challenges and opportunities, exchange ideas, and serves as a foundation for substantive policy discussions.

The Whole Child Initiative: A Collaborative Approach to Education

In 2007, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) launched the Whole Child Initiative as part of an innovative approach to move away from the traditional focus on academic achievement. This initiative promotes the long-term development and success of students by focusing on five essential tenets; specifically, keeping a child healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. Since launching the Whole Child Initiative a decade ago, the ASCD approach has been endorsed by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, American School Health Association, National Education Association, National School Boards Association and the National Parent Teacher Association among others. This session will explore this collaborative approach and demonstrate how SLC policymakers can implement the Whole Child model in their states.

David Griffith, Senior Director of Public Policy, ASCD, Virginia

Legislative Roundtable

The Legislative Roundtable highlights important education legislation taken up in SLC states during recent legislative sessions. Members from each state brief the Committee on new measures undertaken in their respective states.  This provides policymakers with the opportunity to share their experiences with others facing similar challenges and opportunities, exchange ideas, and serves as a foundation for substantive policy discussions.

10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

SLC/Mark Norris Campaign Against Hunger

noon - 1:30 p.m.

Women in Leadership Forum

2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Committee Sessions CLE

Brownfield Restoration: Leveraging Resources to Revitalize Communities

A brownfield is a property for which the expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by a presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 brownfields in the United States. Mitigation and reinvestment in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, lessens development pressure, and both improves and protects the environment.  This session highlights federal funding opportunities and success stories in the Southern region.

Maggie Egbarts, TAB Coordinator for EPA Regions 5 and 7, Kansas State University

Camilla Warren, Brownfields Revitalization Project Manager, Region 4, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Georgia

Offshore Drilling Leases: State Perspectives

In January 2018, Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke unveiled a new five-year plan that would allow more oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans.  The Draft Proposed Program (DPP) would schedule 47 lease sales from 2019 to 2024, the largest number of lease sales ever proposed for the National Outer Continental Shelf Program’s five-year lease schedule.  Release of the DPP is an early step in a multi-year planning and development process.  This session features a range of state perspectives on the DPP from Florida, Louisiana and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Timothy Williams, Deputy Director, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

National and Regional Economic Trends

The Southern U.S. has benefited greatly from the past year’s strong global growth. Its manufacturing sector has seen a strong rise, while output, shipments and employment are all solidly up. However, recent changes to fiscal policy may lead to an increase in upside risk across the South. This session will address the outlook for the national and regional economies of the Southern states. It also will explore specific measures state policymakers may consider in expanding and diversifying their economic composition to enhance growth and revenue flows.

Mark Vitner, Managing Director and Senior Economist, Wells Fargo, North Carolina

Examining the Federal Budget’s Effect on Southern States

The $1.3 trillion fiscal year 2018 omnibus signed on March 23, featured generous spending increases in state grant programs across the country along with the creation of several new grant programs directed towards prominent congressional issues. In the South, the enacted FY 2018 federal budget resulted in a modest funding increase for several SLC member states. Southern states also will see increases in both discretionary and mandatory grant programs, as compared to FY 2017. This session will analyze the effects of the FY 2018 Federal budget on SLC member states.

Matthew Reese, Senior Budget and Policy Analyst, Federal Funds Information for States (FFIS), Washington D.C.

How States Use Data to Inform Decisions

As states across the country look at ways to increase efficiency and reduce cost, many are looking at the data they collect as a strategic asset to be harnessed. States are now using data analysis to inform policy, budgeting, operational decision-making, increase efficiency and reduce errors. As states are facing common challenges, researching successful initiatives across the country will provided valuable insight in how to best invest the resources to make use of the data they compile. This session will look at how states across the country are using the data they collect to lower the costs of governance.

Amber Ivey, Officer, Government Performance, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, D.C.

School Safety: Solutions from States

Maintaining safe and secure environments at our nation’s schools has become a critical and pressing issue for state and local leaders across the region. Issues involving medical emergencies, acute mental health episodes and active shooter situations all are receiving heightened scrutiny as leaders consider investing more heavily in early intervention and prevention programs. This session features a presentation from a leading law enforcement official in South Carolina discussing various measures considered in the state to bolster school safety and highlights a statewide rollout of an emergency notification system in Arkansas public schools, the first of its kind in the nation.       

Mark Keel, Chief, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

Ted Mullenix, Former State Representative, Arkansas

Representative Scott Baltz, Arkansas

Mental Health Services for Teenagers and Young Adults

Mental health issues are a common concern for millions of teenagers and young adults across the United States. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 20 percent of this demographic live with a mental health condition, half of which develop by age 14, and three-quarters by age 24. Left untreated, mental health illnesses can lead to other serious issues in later years, including lower education and employment opportunities, drug and alcohol dependency, violence and suicide. This session reviews steps that states and community leaders can take to expand mental health services for this important demographic, including free or low-cost counseling, rehabilitation centers and statewide, school-based mental health counseling.

Kimberly L. Nelson, Regional Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Missouri

5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills (CALS) Reception

6:00 – 9:30 p.m.

Family Night at the Saint Louis Zoo

Monday, July 23

7:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Registration

Prefunction Area, Fourth Floor, Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch

8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Committee Sessions CLE

The Future of Electricity Storage and the U.S. Grid

The electric grid was built to transmit, not store, electricity. However, recent technological and regulatory advancements could change the way electricity is produced and delivered.  As the cost of lithium-ion battery modules declines and a new wave of supportive policies emerges, grid battery storage development is targeting value streams beyond frequency regulation. Analysts estimate that energy storage technologies will grow fivefold between now and 2020, from about $400 million to about $2 billion.  This session explores the power sector's continuing evolution as companies, advocates and regulators probe how and where energy storage and grid integration make sense, especially given the interest in intermittent renewable energy. 

George Crabtree, Ph.D., Director, Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois

Michael Herbert, Energy Industry Analyst, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C.

Legislative Roundtable

The Legislative Roundtable highlights important energy and environmental legislation taken up in SLC states during recent legislative sessions. Members from each state brief the Committee on new measures undertaken in their respective states.  This provides policymakers with the opportunity to share their experiences with others facing similar challenges and opportunities, exchange ideas, and serves as a foundation for substantive policy discussions.

Supreme Court Update

In what was a busy judicial calendar, the Supreme Court heard several high-profile cases with far-reaching implications for SLC member states this past term. The cases addressed a broad spectrum of issues from the longstanding sales tax collection dispute between online retailers and governments in S.D. v. Wayfair, the legalization of professional and amateur sports’ gambling in Murphy v. NCAA, and multiple cases regarding district gerrymandering in Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone. This session will update members on the status of these, and other Supreme Court cases, and discuss the implications of the court’s rulings on states.

Legislative Roundtable

The Legislative Roundtable highlights important fiscal policy and governance legislation legislation taken up in SLC states during recent legislative sessions. Members from each state brief the Committee on new measures undertaken in their respective states.  This provides policymakers with the opportunity to share their experiences with others facing similar challenges and opportunities, exchange ideas, and serves as a foundation for substantive policy discussions.

Aging Inmate Populations

As inmate populations continue to grow older in prison systems across the nation, states often struggle to find the resources necessary to care for elderly inmates. Compared to the overall population, those incarcerated experience higher rates of costly medical conditions such as cardiac disease, high blood pressure, hepatitis and diabetes, resulting in high healthcare costs when they are older. On average, older inmates cost four to eight times more than younger inmates, forcing states to identify scarce funds to ensure adequate care is maintained. To address this issue, various initiatives have been considered or implemented by many states, including releasing nonviolent inmates if they are deemed safe to the public, diverting them to rehabilitation programs instead of incarceration, and allowing “compassionate release” for the sickest individuals in the prison population. This session reviews these initiatives and discusses how states can stem the growing costs of prison healthcare in the years ahead.

Dr. William Sabol, Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

Anne L. Precythe, Director, Department of Corrections, Missouri

Matt Sturm, Deputy Director, Department of Corrections, Missouri

Legislative Roundtable

The Legislative Roundtable highlights important human services and public safety legislation taken up in SLC states during recent legislative sessions. Members from each state brief the Committee on new measures undertaken in their respective states.  This provides policymakers with the opportunity to share their experiences with others facing similar challenges and opportunities, exchange ideas, and serves as a foundation for substantive policy discussions.

10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

John O’Leary, National Bestselling Author & Speaker
John O’Leary, National Bestselling Author and Speaker

In 1987, John O’Leary was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, John created a massive explosion in his home and experienced burns covering his entire body. He was given a one percent chance to live.

This epic story of survival was first showcased in his parents’ book, Overwhelming Odds, in 2006. Originally printing 200 copies for friends and family, his parents have sold 60,000+ copies, most in back-of-room sales at John’s speaking events.

It was this book that first invited John to embrace his miraculous recovery and share it with the world. Today, John is an inspirational speaker teaching more than 50,000 people around the world each year how to live inspired. Consistently described as “the best speaker we’ve ever had,” John’s emotional storytelling, unexpected humor and authenticity make each of his presentations truly inspirational.

noon - 1:30 p.m.

Comparative Data Reports CLE

2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Committee Sessions CLE

2018 Farm Bill: What Might Be Expected

Approved in 2014, the current U.S. Farm Bill is the centerpiece of the federal government’s food and agricultural policies and will expire in September.   The 2018 Farm Bill is a key legislative priority, providing comprehensive policies on conservation, trade, nutrition, jobs and infrastructure, agricultural research, forestry, and energy.  This session highlights some of the most notable provisions of the legislation and seeks to answer questions regarding the changes expected to have the largest impact on the SLC states.

Eric Bohl, Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs, Missouri Farm Bureau

Scott Brown, Ph.D., Director of Strategic Partnerships, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri

Recommitting to Rural America: Policies and Initiatives in Southern States

Faced with population declines, hospital closures and job losses, rural communities across the South continue to struggle for a piece of the prosperity found in booming urban and suburban counties.   To address this, states across the region are adopting legislation aimed at solving unique challenges confronting rural areas: access to healthcare, broadband expansion, economic development, infrastructure improvements, and workforce readiness.   This session examines recent legislative and executive actions taken in Georgia and Kentucky to revitalize the states’ rural communities.

Representative Terry England, Georgia

Jared Arnett, Executive Director, Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Kentucky

The Importance of Site Selection for Promoting Growth

When companies consider establishing or expanding their operations in new areas, what are the driving factors that impact their decisions? Aside from the financial incentives that state and local governments often provide, such as lower tax rates and reduced regulatory barriers, companies frequently take into account the quality of life and cultural characteristics that make a location an attractive place to live, just as they require robust infrastructure to ensure their products and personnel can move freely. The availability of skilled labor, a hospitable business climate and affordability likewise play important roles in the site selection process. This session reviews the ways in which both urban and rural areas can maximize their strengths to ensure they are positioned to attract economic development projects that can create long-term growth in the years ahead.

Adam Bruns, Managing Editor, Site Selection Magazine, Georgia

Christopher Chung, CEO, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

Effective Economic Development Strategies in Missouri

State and local governments often must be proactive to remain competitive in today’s evolving economic climate. By bringing together leading economic development agencies, private sector partners and institutes of learning, innovative policies can ensure education and workforce training align with long-term economic development goals. In this way, states can strengthen their competitiveness and facilitate business growth that supports robust job creation. This session features presentations from leaders at the Department of Economic Development and Department of Higher Education and their ongoing efforts to promote economic growth and maintain a strong workforce that can compete for today’s jobs.

Rob Dixon, Director, Department of Economic Development, Missouri

Zora Mulligan, Commissioner, Department of Higher Education, Missouri

World Class Education Systems Panel

As national and state educational rankings continue to stagnate, education leaders across the U.S. have turned outward to seek inspiration and reforms based on high performing educational systems abroad. Experts have shown that states can learn many lessons and approaches from these countries to achieve “world class” education systems of their own. Often these countries, with diverse populations of their own, have had to overcome segregation, teacher shortages and decades of neglect to turnaround their education systems. This session will highlight the policies that make for a successful world class education system and will feature a four-member panel. Speakers will address the policies common among these model systems and how to empower educators to achieve a world class education system. The panel also will feature legislators who have studied these systems, allowing them to speak on what they have learned and believe their own states can take as inspiration from these systems.

Marc Tucker, President and CEO, National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE), Washington D.C.

Dion Burns, Senior Researcher, Learning Policy Institute (LPI), California

Senator Joyce Elliott, SLC Education Committee Chair, Arkansas

6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Program Interval

9:00 - 11:30 p.m.

2019 Host State Reception: Louisiana

Tuesday, July 24

7:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Registration

Prefunction Area, Fourth Floor, Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch

8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Closing Plenary & Business Breakfast Session

Executive Committee

Meets upon conclusion of the Closing Plenary

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR) Award Judges Panel CLE

11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Committee Technical Tours

Boeing St. Louis

Boeing is Missouri’s largest manufacturer and fourth largest employer. With approximately 14,000 employees working at three facilities across the St. Louis region, Boeing produces sophisticated military aircraft and weapons systems for the U.S. Department of Defense and international aircraft programs, including the F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, F-15 Eagle and Joint Direct Attack Munition. Core business operations in St. Louis include modernizing and modifying aircraft; developing key defense and space programs; and identifying new opportunities to expand the company’s global presence. Committee members participating in this technical tour will receive briefings from Boeing officials about the company’s operations in the St. Louis region and participate in tours of the 777X commercial aircraft, F/A-18 Super Hornet production line, and onsite flight ramp.

6:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Reception & State Dinner

Attending substantive committee sessions may qualify for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits for state government officials in SLC member states. Substantive committee sessions are identified with a superscript CLE following the session title. Forms and further instructions will be available on-site at meeting registration.