Carrie Abner

Author Articles

At the recently concluded 2016 CSG National Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, the CSG Executive Committee approved 12 policy resolutions and a statement of principles on a variety of policy areas.

It has been 25 years since the passage of the first state law authorizing charter schools in Minnesota. On Saturday, Dec. 10 at the 2016 CSG National Conference, three panelists—state government leaders from Kentucky, Massachusetts and North Carolina—reflected on the history of charter schools and discussed visions for the future.

In Virginia, 1 in 8 people struggles with hunger. Members of The Council of State Governments gathered at the culmination of the 2016 CSG National Conference Dec. 11 in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, to help address this need as part of the CSG Campaign Against Hunger initiative.

2016 CSG National Conference attendees received a blast from the past during the CSG Toll Fellow Graduation and Luncheon on Saturday, Dec. 10--no time machine required. Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson shared their opinions on government and the Constitution in a conversation about America's beginnings.

Health spending in the United States is big business, consuming 17 percent of the gross domestic product. But according to experts at the “Health Care 2017: Rough Seas Ahead” session, sponsored by the CSG Health Public Policy Committee, at the 2016 CSG National Conference, higher health expenditures don’t always translate to better health outcomes.

New York Times bestselling author Jeff Shaara tells the story of our nation’s history through novels about the American Revolution, such as The Glorious Cause, and the Civil War, such as Rise to Rebellion. Shaara was the keynote speaker at the 2016 CSG National Conference opening session on Friday, Dec. 9, in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Though our nation’s founding often seems distant to us today, Shaara told attendees, if you take a closer look at the events that changed our history, you discover some of the very notions and sentiments that exist in today’s political environment.

During the "Water: Trending Issues in the States" session at the 2016 CSG National Conference on Friday, a few attendees sipped the ice water poured from pitchers on the tables. In the U.S., there is not typically concern about whether or not it's safe to drink the water. However, "we do have, in this country, a problem with our drinking water infrastructure on the pipes side of it," said Brian Pallasch of the American Society of Civil Engineers. The problem will only get worse, and costly, if the nation doesn't invest in the aging infrastructure, he said.

Foreign direct investment, or FDI, is a vital component of states’ economies, helping build new industries and supporting nearly 6.4 million jobs nationwide.

But attracting foreign investment is increasingly difficult, said experts during Thursday’s “Best Practices in Attracting Investment” session, presented by the State International Development Organizations, or SIDO, at the 2016 CSG National Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

What do natural disasters, the sharing economy and an aging population have in common? These are all policy topics where a basic knowledge of risk management and insurance can help state leaders make better policy decisions. In collaboration with The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation, The Council of State Governments will address these topics and more throughout a four-part webinar series designed to provide public policymakers with a greater understanding of risk management insurance through the lens of emerging issues. This session, the fourth and final session of the series, examines insurance regulation and the role of National Association of Insurance Commissioners, state government insurance programs, market conduct and solvency regulation, and insurance rate and form regulation.

How can state leaders build the public’s confidence in government if the citizenry doesn’t understand how state government works? Although there has traditionally been a reasonable amount taught in schools about the federal level—checks and balances; how a bill becomes a law; and so on—students learn little about the policies, politics and management of states and localities. Fortunately, there’s a growing civics education movement, at both K-12 and university levels, to expand students' understanding about the entities that most closely touch their lives. This FREE CSG eCademy webcast explores the challenges and benefits of civics education both inside and outside the classroom.

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