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Three speakers provided a look at major health policy issues, with emphasis on state policy options available in 2017. Michael Williams discussed health equity and disparities and how they drive health care costs. Dania Palanker reviewed health insurance exchanges and provided data for the 2016 open enrollment period. She also looked at the major policy proposals being considered by the incoming Trump administration. Ameet Sarpatwari analyzed pharmaceutical drug pricing and state policy recommendations recently developed by a work...

 

As states are battling heroin and opioid epidemics, they are doing so in the remnants of an economic recession that saw an estimated $5 billion cut from state mental health budgets. With less than two cents of every state and federal dollar allocated toward substance abuse and addiction spent on prevention and treatment, government at all levels, as well as private

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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.

With President-elect Donald Trump set to take office in January, all eyes are on the administration’s transition process, a sweeping and intensive effort that requires the participation of public servants from all levels of the federal government. While the transition looks different from president-elect to president-elect, there are a few key components that are universal to all successful transitions, Edmund Moy, the former director of the United States Mint who worked on George W. Bush’s transition team, told attendees at the “The Next Presidential Administration & Relations with the States” session Dec. 10 at the 2016 CSG National Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. 

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.

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