May 23, 2016
Representative Armando "Mando" Martinez, vice chair of the Texas House of Representatives' Transportation Committee and Representative Mac McCutcheon, chair of the Alabama House of Representatives' Rules Committee and chair of the Alabama Legislature's Permanent Joint Transportation Committee attended The Council of State Governments’ (CSG) 2016 Transportation Policy Academy in Washington, D.C., May 18- 20, 2016. This was CSG’s sixth Transportation Policy Academy that brought together transportation legislative leaders from all four CSG regions to the nation’s Capital for a series of high-level policy discussions and briefings by transportation experts, meetings with members of Congress and U.S. Department of Transportation officials, and a tour of the Capital Riverfront Business Improvement District, one of Washington, D.C.'s fastest growing areas. This year's CSG Transportation Policy Academy coincided with Infrastructure Week, an event that brought infrastructure experts and advocates to our nation's capital from around the country.
May 9, 2016
The Zika epidemic has garnered extensive international attention since the current outbreak was first confirmed in Brazil in May 2015. Since then, active Zika transmissions have been documented in more than 30 countries across the Americas region — including South, Central and North America and the Caribbean — with more cases in new areas expected to follow in the coming weeks and months. In response to the sudden outbreak of the Zika virus and the health complications associated with it, the World Health Organization declared, on February 1, 2016, that the virus constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. By some estimates, up to 4 million people in the Americas may contract the virus by the end of 2016.
In the United States, the only reported cases of the Zika virus have been associated with those who recently traveled to countries with known outbreaks. However, health experts have warned that localized transmissions in the United States are probable in the coming months as temperatures rise and mosquitoes carrying the virus expand into new territories. As a result of relatively favorable climate conditions for the disease-carrying Aedes mosquitoes, many SLC member states are particularly vulnerable to limited outbreaks over the next several months.
May 5, 2016
The Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments will be hosting two webinars focusing on current state issues in June 2016. The first, examining SLC States and REAL ID Requirements, will provide an overview of the latest trends associated with the REAL ID requirements from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a status report from two SLC states. A second webinar, The Zika Epidemic: Implications for SLC States, will look at the elevated risks of outbreaks in impoverished areas and feature a presentation from the CDC. More information on both webinars is available at the SLC Online Programs page.