The Council of State Governments
CSG East | CSG Midwest | CSG West
Federal Affairs | Justice Center | Affiliates

Sign up for our emails!
MS2017 logo

71st Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference

Biloxi, Mississippi
July 29 - August 2, 2017

2017 Annual Meeting Template Media Releases

These template media releases are intended for the use of members of the standing committees of the Southern Legislative Conference. The templates are to serve as a reference, so that committee members may create their own media releases to share.

Please note: the language in the paragraph “About the Southern Legislative Conference” is not to be modified.

Click the committee name to see the template media release.


AGRICULTURE & RURAL DEVELOPMENT

SOUTHERN STATE LAWMAKERS PARTICIPATED IN MEETINGS ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

As part of its mission to foster intergovernmental cooperation among its 15 member states, the SLC met for its 71st Annual Meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, July 29 – August 2. The meeting brought together more than 1,300 legislators, legislative staff and guests from across the South. Members of the SLC Agriculture & Rural Development Committee, one of six standing committees, convened during the meeting.

On Sunday, July 30, the committee heard presentations on agricultural trade with Cuba by Mike Strain, D.V.M., Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and Collin Laverty, President of Cuba Educational Travel. Attendees also participated in a roundtable discussion on agriculture and rural development issues from the 2017 legislative sessions.

On Monday, July 31, the committee met for its second session, where Clint Leach, Assistant Commissioner of South Carolina’s Department of Agriculture and South Carolina Senator Greg Hembree spoke on floods and farm relief packages. In addition, Joe Reardon, Assistant Commissioner of North Carolina’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Adam Choate, Director of the Consumer Protection Division of Mississippi’s Department of Agriculture and Commerce, briefed attendees on state implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. On Tuesday, August 1, committee members also had the opportunity to attend a technical tour of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center.

About the Southern Legislative Conference: Established in 1947, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is a member-driven organization comprising presiding officers and key legislators from 15 Southern states, and is the largest of the four regional conferences of The Council of State Governments. The Annual Meeting of the SLC, convened as the focal point and apex of its activities, is the premier public policy forum for Southern state legislatures and the largest regional gathering of legislative members and staff. The SLC is a non-partisan organization located in Atlanta.

###  

 


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TRANSPORTATION & CULTURAL AFFAIRS

SOUTHERN STATE LAWMAKERS PARTICIPATED IN MEETINGS ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TRANSPORTATION AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS

As part of its mission to foster intergovernmental cooperation among its 15 member states, the SLC met for its 71st Annual Meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, July 29 – August 2. The meeting brought together more than 1,300 legislators, legislative staff and guests from across the South. Members of the SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee, one of six standing committees, convened during the meeting.

On Sunday, July 30, the committee heard presentations on autonomous and connected vehicles by Scott Shogan, Vice President and Connected/Automated Vehicle Market Leader at WSP USA, and Tennessee Senator Jim Tracy, Speaker Pro Tempore. Attendees also participated in a roundtable discussion on economic development, transportation and cultural affairs issues from the 2017 legislative sessions.

On Monday, July 31, the committee met for its second session, where Mike Krause, Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, spoke on the state’s college and career readiness program. In addition, Joe Max Higgins, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of The Golden Triangle, briefed attendees on the recent economic development and investments in a portion of Mississippi known as The Golden Triangle. Lastly, Lolly Rash, Executive Director of the Mississippi Heritage Trust, addressed the committee on a tax credit in the state for the rehabilitation of historic structures. On Tuesday, August 1, committee members also had the opportunity to attend a technical tour of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

About the Southern Legislative Conference: Established in 1947, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is a member-driven organization comprising presiding officers and key legislators from 15 Southern states, and is the largest of the four regional conferences of The Council of State Governments. The Annual Meeting of the SLC, convened as the focal point and apex of its activities, is the premier public policy forum for Southern state legislatures and the largest regional gathering of legislative members and staff. The SLC is a non-partisan organization located in Atlanta.

###  

 


EDUCATION

SOUTHERN STATE LAWMAKERS PARTICIPATED IN MEETINGS ON EDUCATION

As part of its mission to foster intergovernmental cooperation among its 15 member states, the SLC met for its 71st Annual Meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, July 29 – August 2. The meeting brought together more than 1,300 legislators, legislative staff and guests from across the South. Members of the SLC Education Committee, one of six standing committees, convened during the meeting.

On Sunday, July 30, the committee heard presentations on Mississippi’s 2013 “Education Works” reforms by Education and Workforce Development Policy Advisor in the Office of Governor Phil Bryant, Laurie Smith, Ph.D., and on financial incentives for teacher recruitment and retention by Tim Sass, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor in Georgia State University’s Department of Economics. This session also included a roundtable discussion on education issues from the 2017 legislative sessions.

On Monday, July 31, the committee first was briefed on the advantages of utilizing new and emerging technologies in the classroom by Sharon Leu, Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, and Bobby Cox, Ed.S., Director of Schools in Warren County, Tennessee. Next, they heard presentations on the state of broadband access in rural schools by Eric Saunders, Ed.D., Assistant Commissioner of Research and Technology at the Arkansas Department of Education, and Michael Turzanski, Director of State Engagements at EducationSuperHighway.

About the Southern Legislative Conference: Established in 1947, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is a member-driven organization comprising presiding officers and key legislators from 15 Southern states, and is the largest of the four regional conferences of The Council of State Governments. The Annual Meeting of the SLC, convened as the focal point and apex of its activities, is the premier public policy forum for Southern state legislatures and the largest regional gathering of legislative members and staff. The SLC is a non-partisan organization located in Atlanta.

###

 


ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

SOUTHERN STATE LAWMAKERS PARTICIPATED IN MEETINGS ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

As part of its mission to foster intergovernmental cooperation among its 15 member states, the SLC met for its 71st Annual Meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, July 29 – August 2. The meeting brought together more than 1,300 legislators, legislative staff and guests from across the South. Members of the SLC Energy & Environment Committee, one of six standing committees, convened during the meeting.

On Sunday, July 30, the committee heard presentations on coastal restoration by George Ramseur, Director of the Office of Coastal Restoration and Resilience at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, and Gary Rikard, Executive Director of the state’s Department of Environmental Quality. In addition, attendees were briefed on the sustainable infrastructure innovation of the Ray C. Anderson Memorial Highway on Interstate 85 in Georgia by Allie Kelly, Executive Director of The Ray, and Costas Simoglou, Director of the Center of Innovation for Energy Technology at the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

On Monday, July 31, the committee heard a presentation on the U.S. military’s energy resilience by Ariel Castillo, Ph.D., Senior Energy Resilience Program Manager at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Energy, Installations, and Environment at the U.S. Department of Defense. This session also included a roundtable discussion on energy and environmental issues from the 2017 legislative sessions. On Tuesday, August 1, committee members also had the opportunity to attend a technical tour of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center, where they received a briefing on the connections between wetland conservation and the coastal economy.

About the Southern Legislative Conference: Established in 1947, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is a member-driven organization comprising presiding officers and key legislators from 15 Southern states, and is the largest of the four regional conferences of The Council of State Governments. The Annual Meeting of the SLC, convened as the focal point and apex of its activities, is the premier public policy forum for Southern state legislatures and the largest regional gathering of legislative members and staff. The SLC is a non-partisan organization located in Atlanta.

###

 


FISCAL AFFAIRS & GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

SOUTHERN STATE LAWMAKERS PARTICIPATED IN MEETINGS ON FISCAL AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

As part of its mission to foster intergovernmental cooperation among its 15 member states, the SLC met for its 71st Annual Meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, July 29 – August 2. The meeting brought together more than 1,300 legislators, legislative staff and guests from across the South. Members of the SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee, one of six standing committees, convened during the meeting.

On Sunday, July 30, the committee heard presentations on public pensions by Donald J. Boyd, Ph.D., Director of Fiscal Studies at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, and Herb Frierson, Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Revenue. In addition, John Hicks, Executive Director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, spoke to the committee on recent trends in state budgets.

On Monday, July 31, the committee met for its second session, where Bradley J. Nowak, Partner at Williams Mullen, spoke on the fiscal challenges and opportunities of public-private partnerships, known as P3s. Attendees also participated in a roundtable discussion on fiscal affairs and government operations issues from the 2017 legislative sessions. Lastly, the committee sponsored a presentation of comparative data reports on adult corrections, education and Medicaid. Prepared annually by legislative staff in Louisiana and West Virginia, these reports track a multitude of revenue sources, performance measures, program variances and appropriations levels in the SLC member states.

About the Southern Legislative Conference: Established in 1947, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is a member-driven organization comprising presiding officers and key legislators from 15 Southern states, and is the largest of the four regional conferences of The Council of State Governments. The Annual Meeting of the SLC, convened as the focal point and apex of its activities, is the premier public policy forum for Southern state legislatures and the largest regional gathering of legislative members and staff. The SLC is a non-partisan organization located in Atlanta.

###

 


HUMAN SERVICES & PUBLIC SAFETY

SOUTHERN STATE LAWMAKERS PARTICIPATED IN MEETINGS ON HUMAN SERVICES AND PUBLIC SAFETY

As part of its mission to foster intergovernmental cooperation among its 15 member states, the SLC met for its 71st Annual Meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi, July 29 – August 2. The meeting brought together more than 1,300 legislators, legislative staff and guests from across the South. Members of the SLC Human Services & Public Safety Committee, one of six standing committees, convened during the meeting.

On Sunday, July 30, the committee heard presentations on managing sustainable foster care systems by Michelle Dhunjishah, Director of the University of South Carolina’s Children’s Law Center and on long-term care in the South by Kathleen Ujvari, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute and Anne Tumlinson, Chief Executive Officer of Anne Tumlinson Innovations LLC. This session also included a roundtable discussion on human services and public safety issues from the 2017 legislative sessions.

On Monday, July 31, the committee first was briefed on public health programming as it relates to men’s health by Mike Leventhal, Executive Director of Tennessee Men’s Health Network, and former Tennessee Representative Harry Tindell. Lastly, Jennifer Tolbert, Director of State Health Reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation, addressed the committee on the healthcare reform measures being considered in Congress and their potential impact on the states.

About the Southern Legislative Conference: Established in 1947, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is a member-driven organization comprising presiding officers and key legislators from 15 Southern states, and is the largest of the four regional conferences of The Council of State Governments. The Annual Meeting of the SLC, convened as the focal point and apex of its activities, is the premier public policy forum for Southern state legislatures and the largest regional gathering of legislative members and staff. The SLC is a non-partisan organization located in Atlanta.

###

Southern Legislative Conference and SLC are trademarks registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.