This 90-minute session will be a helpful tool for state leaders to learn about state ESSA plans and the innovative education practices and policies each state proposed. Speakers from the U.S. Department of Education and the Education Commission of the States will lead a discussion on the shared challenges and possible policy solutions that are addressed through ESSA. This session will also cover the projected top five issues in education and workforce for 2018.

Water issues are some of the most important policy questions facing state officials across the nation. Hurricane Harvey unleashed more than 9 trillion gallons of water and dumped more than an average year’s worth of rainfall in some places—leaving underwater as much as 30 percent of Harris County, home to Houston, our nation’s fourth largest city. Science tells us that flooding is becoming more common and severe, meaning that hurricanes like Harvey and Irma are likely harbingers of disasters to come. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, resulted in an estimated $385 billion in social costs, stemming from toxic levels of lead in the city’s drinking water. Other water issues, including water quality improvements, droughts, water resource management, integrated water planning and the impacts of new federal regulations, raise a host of policy concerns for state leaders now and in the future. This one-day policy academy will explore a variety of these topics and highlight innovative policies being adopted across the country.

State-action immunity provides states and, in some instances, local governments immunity from federal antitrust liability. In Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District v. SolarCity the Supreme Court will decide whether a lower court’s refusal to rule state-action immunity applies to a particular entity may be appealed immediately or only after the case is fully litigated.

Water consumption, quality, and water supply have become hot button issues in the past few years with hundreds of cities and towns at risk of significant shortages either because available water is not safe to drink or because there simply isn’t enough of it. Recent events, such as drought in California and the Flint water crisis, have focused attention on competing demands for this limited resource.

According to a report from the U.S. Government...

The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) recently released research introducing the “UOCAVA Gap,” a new and more effective metric that examines the effect of voting obstacles faced by Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) active duty military (ADM) members. Trends in the UOCAVA Gap suggest that, despite fluctuations in the ADM participation rate, overall UOCAVA obstacles to voting have been relatively stable from 2010 to 2016.

Technology is constantly changing and evolving. In tandem, cybersecurity threats are evolving and becoming more sophisticated—and states are under attack. This session will explore several proven ways that your state can be more prepared to face the cybersecurity threat from both an offensive and a defensive position.

This year The Council of State Governments will again convene its Summit of the States on Interstate Cooperation, to be held in conjunction with CSG’s national conference in Las Vegas. This one of a kind event, hosted by CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts, is a singular forum dedicated exclusively to the interstate compact mechanism. The Summit brings together compact professionals, scholars, and officials from all three branches of state government to discuss issues surrounding interstate compacts. The Summit will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about the history and utility of interstate compacts, best practices for administering interstate compacts, legislative and judicial developments for compacts, federalism issues impacting compacts and will conclude with a panel that examines occupational licensure compacts.

Three speakers addressed ways states are both reacting to federal efforts and leading the charge to create sound health policy in the areas of Medicaid and health insurance as well as opioid treatment. The Committee approved two policy resolutions and released CSG's 50-state survey diabetes spending.

As a busy year for autonomous vehicle (AV) policy winds down, federal legislation appears to have hit a snag in the U.S. Senate. I also have a look at state AV policy activities in 2017, links to a variety of recent reports and a preview of an AV policy discussion at next week’s CSG National Conference in Las Vegas.

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