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SLC Standing Committee Structure

The SLC’s mission is to foster and encourage intergovernmental cooperation among its 15 member states. In large measure this is achieved through the meetings, publications and policy positions of the Conference’s six standing committees. Committee members are appointed by their chamber’s legislative leadership and each committee elects its own officers. Through the deliberations of Committee members, the issues facing all Southern state legislatures are considered.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee serves as SLC’s governing board and consists of each state’s presiding and appointing authority, their respective House and Senate appointees, and all past chairs of the Conference still serving in the legislature. The Executive Committee reviews, periodically, the work of the standing committees to determine the usefulness and function of each. It also serves in an oversight capacity of the resources and assets of the organization.

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Agriculture & Rural Development Committee

The oldest of the standing committees, the Agriculture & Rural Development Committee’s agenda focuses on issues critical to the future of farming and farm communities. As the "engine of the economy," agriculture constitutes a vital sector of the economies of most Southern states. A principal focus of the Committee's work centers onrural development and rural communities, convening a series of sessions that investigates the differences (and surprising similarities) between rural and urban America and how to begin to bridge the divides between these communities.

Recent Committee initiatives include rural housing, ag education, updates on international trade and agriculture, consolidation in the farm sector, state actions on animal welfare, and conservation and farm land preservation. Other issues in which the Committee has long-standing interest include the status of the rural South, and food safety and security. The Committee has focused on the changing face of agriculture across America and conditions in the rural South. Additionally, the Committee works annually with public and private agencies, local and federal officials, and the land grant university system to assure the continued vitality of the region’s farm and rural communities.

ACTing Chair

SLC Agriculture & Rural Development Committee
2017

Immediate Past Chair

SLC Agriculture & Rural Development Committee

Committee Liaison


Senator Danny Verdin
South Carolina

Representative Andy Anders
Louisiana
Anne Roberts Brody
Anne Roberts Brody
Policy Analyst
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Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee

The topics explored by the Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee include a number of critical issues relevant to the progress and advancement of the Southern region. As the Southern states continue to diversify their economies, the Committee has studied a number of issues to further its understanding of this diversification process. In addition, the Committee has focused on exploring the role of the arts as a catalyst for economic growth and the fact that a thriving cultural scenario is an important consideration in the relocation and expansion plans of corporations. Such issues as federal transportation plans and their implications for Southern states; competition among states to attract economic investment; attracting and retaining high-tech investment; promoting Southern state exports; high speed rail in the South; promoting biotechnology are recurring topics.

ACTING Chair

SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee
2017

Immediate Past Chair

SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee

Committee
Liaison

Representative Jeanie Lauer
Representative Jeanie Lauer
Missouri

Senator Jeff Mullis
Georgia

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Education Committee

In most states, education is the single largest expenditure and often the top priority for lawmakers and their constituents. The Education Committee focuses on educational systems at all levels and investigates ways in which states are ensuring that Southern students receive the best possible education. Recent issues examined by the Committee include student achievement, workforce development, college and career-readiness, educational technology, and implications of neuroscience on education policy.

Other issues in which the Committee has long-standing interest include early childhood education; reinventing high schools; school accountability; educational assessment; recruiting, training and retaining teachers; and school safety. The Committee also has addressed ways states can slow the increase in administrative spending for education programs without sacrificing quality. The international implications for building a world-class education system in the United States to assure the nation’s competitiveness with a quality, well-equipped workforce for the future routinely has been addressed.

Chair

SLC Education Committee
2016-17

Immediate Past Chair

SLC Education Committee

Committee
Liaison


Senator Dolores Gresham
Tennessee

Senator John Unger II
West Virginia
Roger Moore
Roger Moore
Policy Analyst
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Energy & Environment Committee

Southern states have abundant natural resources which have been instrumental in the recent growth and development throughout the region. In sustaining economic development, meeting growing energy needs, and maintaining the South’s high quality of life, states are increasingly recognizing the need to forge Energy & Environmental policies that ensure sound stewardship of the region’s resources and the economy of the region as a whole. Through panel discussions and presentations, the Committee routinely examines clean water programs and water permitting; alternative energy; state compliance with federal clean air and water standards; the future for nuclear power; growth and sprawl; and hydraulic fracking.

Chair

SLC Energy & Environment Committee
2016-17

Vice Chair

SLC Energy & Environment Committee
2016-17

Immediate Past Chair

SLC Energy & Environment Committee

Committee
Liaison


Representative Lynn Smith
Georgia

Senator Ed Emery
Missouri

William E. "Bill" Sandifer III
South Carolina
Anne Roberts Brody
Anne Roberts Brody
Policy Analyst
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Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee

Since its creation, members of the Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations (FAGO) Committee have focused on the myriad fiscal issues impacting state budgets and finances. In the current era of depleted budgets and dwindling revenues, members of the FAGO Committee have explored the experiences of their Southern state counterparts in devising strategies in their own states. The Committee’s membership includes many of the finance and appropriations chairs from across the South along with other prominent fiscal players, both legislators and legislative staff, in the different state legislatures. The Committee routinely examines the impact of the federal budget on state finances; revenue forecasting in the 15 member states; healthcare reform; state fiscal trends; performance-based budgeting; e-commerce and taxation; and public pension plans. In an effort to bolster ties between the South and the Federal Reserve Bank, the Committee has featured presentation on national and regional economic trends from the presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Dallas and St. Louis.

Chair

SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee
2016-17

Vice Chair

SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee
2016-17

Immediate Past Chair

SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee

Committee
Liaison

Representative Eric Johnson
Representative Eric Johnson
Texas
Representative Penny Houston
Representative Penny Houston
Georgia

Senator Roman Prezioso
West Virginia

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Human Services & Public Safety Committee

Among states’ most pressing concerns are ensuring the public’s general welfare and protection, with both areas constituting increasing shares of state budgets. States have been taking the lead in health policy, welfare reform and child care, and have maintained their predominant role in the areas of public safety, corrections and sentencing. The Human Services & Public Safety Committee has a broad agenda which most typically addresses the challenges states face in the areas of human services and corrections, and policies and programs utilized to meet them. The Committee has undertaken assessments of Medicaid and reform; nursing shortages; long-term healthcare; and such corrections issues as criminal justice DNA statutes; the aging inmate population; female offenders; mental health parity in prisons, and prison staffing patterns in Southern states.

Chair

SLC Human Services & Public Safety Committee
2016-17

Vice Chair

SLC Human Services & Public Safety Committee
2016-17

Immediate Past Chair

SLC Human Services & Public Safety Committeee

Committee
Liaison


Senator Doug Overbey
Tennessee

Senator Katrina Shealy
South Carolina

Representative Joni Jenkins
Kentucky
Roger Moore
Roger Moore
Policy Analyst
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Legislative Service Agency (LSA) Directors Group

Throughout its nearly seven decades, the SLC has encouraged regional cooperation and networking among key legislative staff members in the South. The Conference’s LSA Directors Group comprises the staff executives charged with the full range of administrative and programmatic services for the legislative bodies in the 15 Southern states. Meetings of the LSA Directors’ Group include presentations on, and analysis of, the disparate bill drafting and information management systems employed by the legislatures in their respective states; open meeting and open records provisions; state legislative committee structures and staffing patterns; state redistricting initiatives; legislative personnel policies; and Freedom of Information in a legislative agency.

Each year the LSA Directors present the Carter/Hellard Staff Excellence Award to a legislative staff member in the South who has demonstrated distinguished service to their state’s legislature.

Chair

SLC Legislative Service Agency (LSA) Directors Group
2016-17

Vice Chair

SLC Legislative Service Agency (LSA) Directors Group
2016-17

Committee
Liaison


Marty Garrity
Director
Bureau of Legislative Research
Arkansas

Marcia Goff
Research Director
House Committee Services
Oklahoma
Nick Bowman
Nick Bowman
Research & Publications Associate