November 22, 2016
Continuing with its focus on the tremendous economic impact of Southern ports, the Southern Legislative Conference arranged a delegation of state legislators from several member states to tour the Port of New Orleans and Port of South Louisiana. State senators from Georgia, Missouri and Virginia who are actively engaged on port policy in their respective legislative chambers were briefed about the expansion of cargo facilities, enhancement of intermodal capacities, preparations related to the expansion of the Panama Canal, working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and funding of port operations. At the Port of South Louisiana, the SLC delegation discussed port policy with four Louisiana state legislators. The visits to both ports included water tours hosted by senior port officials.
November 21, 2016
A delegation of legislators from five SLC member states convened at The Center for Health Care Services (CHCS) in San Antonio, Texas, November 14-15, 2016, to learn about the innovative strategies San Antonio’s Bexar County has used to support those struggling with homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse. Delegates were briefed on CHCS’s Restoration Center pre-trial diversion and treatment programs and the 22-acre Haven for Hope campus for homeless and underserved populations. Since its inception in 2003, CHCS’s Jail Diversion Program has successfully redirected more than 100,000 people from jail or emergency rooms and reduced overcrowding in the Bexar County jail system from overcapacity to 800 empty beds. This program has been adopted throughout Texas, saving taxpayers more than $50 million by enabling law enforcement personnel to divert people from the criminal justice system into crisis intervention and mental illness treatment centers.
November 7, 2016
On November 2-3, 2016, legislative staff from the Georgia House Office of Budget & Research met in Austin, at the Texas House of Representatives, for briefings, presentations and discussion on paperless appropriations committee work. In an effort to learn how the Texas Legislature adopted paperless technology in their budget and bill drafting process, staff from a number of Texas legislative agencies presented information at the meetings, including the Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Council, Speaker's Office, House Appropriations Committee and Committee Coordinator's Office. The sessions were organized with the assistance of staff in the House Parliamentarian's Office.