2014 CSG National Conference

Nearly every energy issue federal policymakers address has some impact on state legislatures. The U.S. Senate is looking at a number of key issues that could affect states. This session explored current issues that affect the states and examined arguments on both sides of the issue regarding who should manage federal lands in the West—states or the federal government.

Recent voter initiatives in Colorado and Washington legalizing the use of recreational marijuana have amplified the debate and the uncertain social and legal ramifications. The Future of Western Legislatures Forum featured industry perspectives and insights from officials about how their states are implementing these initiatives. The session also focused on state medical marijuana laws, including state program comparisons and challenges.

This session featured discussion about Alaska’s unique transportation portfolio and how some key state projects and programs are helping the state plan for the future in uncertain times; the future of tolling and public-private partnerships; a new report on how states and communities can incorporate analysis of the life cycle costs of transportation projects into decision-making to maximize infrastructure investments; and government initiatives and partnerships with the private sector to ensure a future for electric and alternative fuel vehicles in the United States.

In today’s knowledge-based global economy, economic development is contingent on innovation that creates jobs and stimulates competition in the global marketplace. Safeguarding intellectual property rights behind this innovation incentivizes the innovators and creators, attracts world-class research and development, and creates and sustains high-quality jobs. This session featured leading trade experts who will discuss the hot topics in global innovation and intellectual property.

States are losing billions of dollars each year from smugglers moving untaxed cigarettes across state lines—and the problem is growing. This roundtable discussion explored how states are cracking down on smugglers and what your state can do to combat the problem of black market tobacco sales.

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