Each year, more than 10 million adults are released from jail or prison. One in 31 adults is under correctional supervision on any given day in the U.S.; it is estimated that 70 million adults have a criminal record. Across the political spectrum, people agree that efforts to help these individuals stay out of prison or jail and to succeed in the community must include a strategy focused on assisting them to get and maintain a job. As part of the CSG State Pathways to Prosperity initiative, the CSG Justice Center has been working with local and state governments, as well as leaders in the business community, to test and evaluate approaches that work to reduce recidivism and improve employment outcomes. This session reviewed what has been learned to date and highlight the perspectives of state leaders who are tackling this challenge.

Adjusting to federal government regulations relating to climate change will require meaningful coordination between state legislators, state energy and regulatory agencies, and the regulated community. This session provided an overview of what state legislators need to know about these recent regulatory changes, their anticipated impacts on the states and how state officials can work together to address recent EPA regulations.

No state can ignore the challenge of controlling the cost of health care, estimated to reach one-fifth of GDP by 2020. Medicaid budget growth continues to strain states’ abilities to grow program priorities in other arenas. The uncertainty of federal commitment to current Medicaid matching formulas is exacerbated by the 2016 election. Promising state strategies to control costs of health care generally and Medicaid specifically were explored.

As the United States' economy gains momentum, state leaders are focused on answering a few key questions. How can the U.S. sustain that momentum? Where should we place our bets and invest our resources to create long-term pathways to prosperity? This session brought together experts from government, academia and the private sector to discuss how best to collaborate in developing a long-term strategy to grow the economy and create quality jobs. Attendees also heard a fiscal and economic forecast for 2016 and received a briefing on the status of international trade agreements.

For decades, members of the U.S. military and their dependents experienced problems at every step of the overseas voting process: registering to vote, requesting and receiving absentee ballots, and returning absentee ballots. State and local election administrators face challenges associated with maintaining accurate registration rolls for a highly mobile and transient population, some of whom reside in remote areas of the world. While significant progress has been made, there is still room for states to improve the military and overseas voting process. In this session, key stakeholders shared their experiences and perspectives in working to enhance voting for overseas Americans. They also discussed the need for state-level policy improvements to better enfranchise this important voting population. This session also explained how CSG, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program, is helping to improve the U.S. military and overseas voting process through the CSG Overseas Voting Initiative.