2013 CSG National Conference

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon sees education’s role in economic development as plain and simple.

“Education is, quite simply, the best economic development tool there is,” he said during Friday’s opening session, “Postsecondary Education for the 21st Century.” “As we look to a future in which two-thirds of occupations will require a college degree, we must intensify our efforts to ensure that students have access to higher education.”

It’s not difficult to find success from medical innovation over the past 50 years.

The federal government invests $31 billion and the private sector—including the biopharmaceutical industry, academic medical centers and patient advocacy organizations—invests nearly $65 billion a year, said Richard Bagger.

Kansas City has made a big investment in the smart grid and legislators got the chance Friday to see just what that investment has created during a tour of the Green Impact Zone Smart Grid Demonstration Project.

There still are a lot of obese Americans, but there also are a lot of options for states trying to help them get healthier.

Janet Collins, director of the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told attendees at Thursday’s “State Approaches to Obesity Reduction” session that obesity rates for children have tripled since 1980. But for low-income preschool children, the rate is finally dropping.

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut brought renewed attention to the issue of school safety.

The Connecticut legislature entered the 2013 session just three weeks after 20 students and six adults were killed at the Newtown, Conn., school.

“Here we are trying to respond to public demand without having the best of information,” said Connecticut Deputy Speaker Bob Godfrey at Friday’s session, “Policies to Achieve Safer Schools.”

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