Southern Legislative Conference
Deputy Executive Director
The Council of State Govenrments
During my tenure with the Southern Office of The Council of State Governments, the Southern Legislative Conference, I am reminded often of the resiliency of our region. The steady improvement in the South’s economy is, in large measure, a result of the visionary leadership and work of our state’s elected and appointed officials. Addressing issues such as workforce development, developing innovative strategies for improving transportation and infrastructure, providing affordable rural housing, attaining reading competencies in elementary education and managing our natural resources, while specific to Alabama as highlighted at our most recent SLC annual meeting, are target areas throughout our SLC member states.
As examples, the region’s steady and long-term approach to preparing a 21st century workforce, a partnership among its two-year and community college systems, commerce and economic development departments and business entities, has fostered a re-birth of manufacturing in the South, while the region’s commitment to developing existing and emerging energy resources and technologies is providing fertile ground for job creation and growing energy independence. In addition, state governments’ innovative approaches to addressing federal mandates, alongside balancing state budgets in a time of continued fiscal austerity, demonstrate that the state houses are committed to working together to find solutions that fit their state’s needs.
The Southern Office of The Council of State Governments, the Southern Legislative Conference, serves its members in a number of capacities, all of which are tailored to the specific needs of its member states. Additionally, the SLC standing committees continue to devote a significant amount of time to the careful selection and deliberation of issues, and the Executive Committee, the governing body of the organization, continues to demonstrate its commitment to shaping and guiding the SLC. Through this partnership, the SLC has become the forum for the South.
I encourage our members to utilize the many resources available to you through the SLC, and we look forward to working with you in the years ahead.