21st Annual State Directors Conference & 11th Biennial First Term Legislators Conference

Event Date(s): 
January 9 -11, 2015
St. Pete Beach, FL
Event category: 

Women In Government hosted its 21st Annual State Directors Conference & 11th Biennial First Term Legislators Conference Friday January 9th through Sunday January 11th in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The meeting discussed cutting-edge public policy issues and featured a fantastic exchange of ideas from legislators across the United States. The conference was held at: 

The Loews Don Cesar Hotel
400 Gulf Blvd
St Pete Beach, FL 33706
Friday January 9th - Sunday January 11th

Access the meeting materials below:

View the information below to learn more information about the topics discussed.

  • Ethics Workshop – Optional Activity 
    Nola Werren, Esq., Client Specialist, State and Federal Communications, Inc. gave a presentation on navigating complex ethics laws and provided her expertise to help legislators ensure they are within the means of their state’s ethics laws. To view her power point click here.
  • Work-Life Balance – Optional Activity
    Frieda Edgette, MSc, ACC, Principal at Novos Consulting, LLC, spoke about balancing work and life. As she detailed, a major challenge for all professionals is to balance work and life in a way that ensures both success at work and happiness at home. This session provided tactics to meet that challenge and begin the conversation that will carry throughout the conference. To view her worksheet click here. To view the white paper entitled, "Leading for Political Effectiveness: accounts of the political leader's experience" click here. 
  • Breakfast Bill Share
    In a open session, legislators shared what bills they are working on.
    • Rep resentative Melissa Sergeant (WI) shared legislation she is working on making upskirt photos illegal. In a bi-partisan effort, she is closing a loophole to ensure that women are safe and can expect a reasonable level of privacy. Learn more about the progress of the legislation here
    • Representative Mary Lou Marzian (KY) expects a bi-partnership effort behind a bill she is working on that has passed in 30 states already with information from the national center for STDs.
    • Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt (NJ) spoke about her legislation for earned sick leave, A-2354. The legislation allows employees to stay at home when they are sick rather than go to work, and lets them take time off to care for a sick child rather than send the child to school because the parent has to get to work.
    • Representative Carrie Rudd (MN) is introducing language on DNA saves that 29 states already have. The legislation requires that DNA be taken at felony arrests and put into the system. KY recently passed legislation, and it will be running again in OK. Learn more at www.DNAsaves.org.
    • Representative Marcia Hovey-Wright (MN) pulled from her experience as a social worker and spoke about legislation that she worked on to give foster children rights to have contact with their siblings and parents and a counting of their belongings.
    • Representative Barbara Bollier (KS) spoke about legislation that she and Stacey Newman (MO) are working on together that proposes removing weapons from people who have a restraining order against them.
    • Representative Kim Norton (MN) spoke about legislation on how she is working to increase drivers license requirements to 50 driving hours, and include a parent component.
  • Prescription Drug Abuse
    In a conversation session facilitated by Massachusetts State Senator Jen Flanagan, Incoming Member at Large, Women In Government Board of Directors, The Honorable Mary Bono, Senior Vice President, FaegreBD Consulting and Former Representative, California 45th Congressional District spoke about drug abuse prevention and treatment related to Prescription Drug Abuse. 
  • Binge Eating & Nutrition
    Chevese Turner, the Founder of the Binge Eating Disorder Association, gave a presentation that provided background information on the issue of binge eating and strategies to support those struggling with this disorder. To learn more about this topic, visit http://bedaonline.com/. To view her presentation click here. 
  • The Role of Nutrition in Healthy Aging and Long Term Services and Supports
    Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging,  Robert Blancato, MPA, lead this session focused on malnutrition. Malnutrition is a prevalent, serious, and often unrecognized health concern, especially for older Americans.  This session explored the relationship of nutrition to healthy aging and long-term services and supports—two of the four focus areas for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging.  The session also identified opportunities for state engagement and policy development.  Learn more about malnutrition policy by accessing the legislation discussed in the session below.
  • Higher Education in the States‚Äč
    Women In Government is looking forward to moving the higher education needle and increasing nationwide attainment. This session featured Julie Bell, PhD from National Conference of State Legislatures and Pam Goins, MA, from Council of State Governments and reviewed the current status of higher education in the states and potential programs legislators can promote to increase higher education attainment in their districts. To view their presentations click here.
  • Creating Opportunities for Families 
    This session focused on the KIDS COUNT Data Book which ranks states using 16 key child well-being measures and data snapshots focused on informing the public about issues impacting child well-being. The session also highlighted the KIDS COUNT policy report, which lays the foundation for a two-generation plan to help low income families gain financial stability. To view the presentation click here. 
  • Continuing the Conversation… Balancing Work & Life
    Taking time to appreciate a balance of work and life, this luncheon session gave legislators tools on how to achieve work-life balance.
  • Developing Energy Diversity
    In this session, state legislators learned more about their important role in knowing and understanding the energy resources available in their regions and evaluating how they can best incorporate clean energy portfolio standards. The speakers, Alex Glenn from Duke Energy and Kevin Doyle from the Consumer Energy Alliance spoke about the multiple resources legislators can use to evalute their energy related policy decisions.To view the presentation click here.
  • Biosimilars Panel: Cutting Through the Complexities
    In a session facilitated by Delaware Representative Deborah Hudson, a multi-stakeholder approach to biosimilars was presented. Candie Phipps, the Director of State Government Affairs of Sandoz, Thomas Felix, MD the R&D Policy Director for Amgen, Inc., Mark Guimond, the Director of State Legislative Affairs of the Arthritis Foundation, and Sandra Guckian, MS, RPh the Vice President, State Government Affairs of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores all spoke about their differing views of the many nuanced issues among biologics, biosimiliars, and other new medical innovations. To view the panel presentations click the links below:
  • Regional Breakout Sessions
    At these break out sessions legislators from each of WIG's four regions discussed top policy issues and honed in on priorities for 2015. Below is a list of each region's target policy areas. To add more policiy issues to the current list please contact: lmckown@womeningovernment.org
         Eastern Region
              1. Healthcare Cost Containment
              2. Veterans
                   As discussed in the group, MA has very interesting legislation- the VALOR ACT I, which passed in 2012 is accessable here, and VALOR  ACT II, which builds on that, and is accessible here, as well as the committee report and bill history available here
              3. Transportation
              4. Jobs, Economic Development, and Workforce Development
          Southern Region 
       1. Healthcare
               2. Education
               3. Economic Development 
          Midwestern Region
     1. Education
               2. Transportation
               3. Energy and Enviroment 
           Western Region 
       1. Societal Implications of Marijuana
               2. Impact of Fluctuating Oil Prices on Western States
               3. Adjusting Subsidies - Subsidies for electrical cars, and perspective of consumers
  • Developing Social Media Strategies
  • This program lead by Brittany Brown, provided practical solutions for taking on a social media strategy. Some tips included focusing on just one or two media outlets, understanding and utilizing your unique insight and expertise for posts, and posting plenty of imagery. To view her presentation click here
  • Status of Women In the Legislature
    The 2014 election resulted in a changed landscape for women. This session provided legislators with the facts and gave them a forecast for 2015 and beyond.  Dr. Kelly Dittmar of the Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University reported that in 2015 women make up 24% of the of all state legislators. Women in the west of the US comprise 28% of state legislators and in the South women comprise only 18% of state legislators. To view her complete presentation click here.

For Legislator or Registration information, please contact:
Johnathan Lozier, Manager, Legislative Outreach
202.333.0825 ext. 214

For Sponsor information, please contact:
Sumeira Kashim, Associate Director of Development
202.333.0825 ext. 210

For Policy information, please contact:
Brenna Kehew Sculley, Associate Director of  Policy & Programs 
202.333.0825 ext. 211