2020 SLC News and Updates

February 18, 2020

Registration and housing now open for the 74th SLC Annual Meeting

The 74th Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference will convene in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, August 1 – 5.

Convened as the focal point and culmination of its yearly activities, the Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference is the nation's largest regional gathering of state legislators, legislative staff and government officials, and the premier public policy forum for Southern state legislatures.

Focusing on both existing and emerging state government innovations and solutions, the SLC Annual Meeting provides policymakers unparalleled opportunities to engage regional and national policy experts about the issues that matter most to them and their constituents.

Of equal benefit, numerous informal discussions allow state government officials to share their knowledge and experiences with colleagues facing similar challenges and opportunities. This hallmark of the SLC Annual Meeting gives policymakers an opportunity to meet and collaborate on a broad spectrum of state government issues.

Click here to learn more or register now.

February 26, 2020

State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR)

The CSG Southern Office is now accepting applications for its 2020 State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR) award for innovative state government programs and services. The deadline for submitting your program for consideration is May 17, 2020.

Submissions are accepted from a wide array of state agencies, departments and institutions operating within the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

Following the first of a two-stage review process, five finalists are invited to present their program to the STAR judges panel — comprising state legislators, legislative staff and policy experts — convening August 4, at the 74th Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There, through the second review process, two exceptional programs will be selected as models of innovation and efficiency in state governments in the Southern region.

Apply now to compete for recognition as one of the South’s most exceptional state government programs!

March 31, 2020 | Winston-Salem, North Carolina

SLC Annual Meeting Guest and Youth Tour Sign-ups Now Available

How to participate:
1. Register for the SLC Annual Meeting

This year, your SLC registration confirmation email includes a special link you can use to sign up for guest and youth activities. First, register yourself, guests and youth for the meeting, then refer to your confirmation email for your unique link!

If you are already registered for the meeting, simply click the link in your confirmation email!

2. Use your special link to sign up for guest and youth activities

Click the special link in your registration confirmation email or visit https://slc2020.org/SignUp to sign up your guests and youth for Host State activities!

3. Reserve your hotel room

Also included in your confirmation email are links to book your hotel room at discounted rates at the Winston-Salem Marriott and the Embassy Suites Winston-Salem.

4. Join us at the meeting to connect with colleagues, engage with policy experts and enjoy North Carolina!

A note on COVID-19: The safety and wellbeing of our attendees is our top priority. We are monitoring this situation closely and working with the meeting facilities to ensure appropriate sanitation measures will be in place. Check our website for updates pertaining to any changes associated with the convening of the 74th Annual Meeting.

April 1, 2020

Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills

Now in its fourteenth year, the Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills helps new and mid-career government officials from 15 states hone their leadership skills.

Over the four-day program, selected CALS scholars reinforce and refine their abilities in communication, conflict resolution, consensus building and critical decision making in a small-group, nonpartisan environment. Participants have a unique opportunity to foster connections, engage in conversations and take part in sessions designed to explore individual boundaries and perceptions.

The CALS Class of 2020 will convene October 3-7 in Little Rock, Arkansas, and at the nearby Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. Full scholarships are provided to those selected, covering the cost of tuition, travel, lodging and meals.

Click here to learn more or apply now.

April 2, 2020

New Leadership Program for Staff in State Government Now Accepting Applications

The Southern Office of The Council of State Governments (CSG) is excited to announce the Staff Academy for Governmental Excellence (SAGE), a new professional leadership development program for the legislative, judicial, executive and agency staff serving Southern state governments.

The inaugural program will convene November 11-14, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Full scholarships will be provided to those selected, covering the cost of tuition, travel, lodging and meals.

About SAGE

Government staff work daily and diligently, often behind the scenes, to fulfill their duties to support the myriad functions of state government. While elected and appointed officials may leave their post at the end of a term, many staff work in service of their states for the duration of their career. By shaping staff leaders, SAGE ultimately aims to provide the public with more effective state governments.

Click here to learn more or apply now.

May 1, 2020

SLC 2020 Annual Meeting Cancelled

A Message from

Speaker Tim Moore, North Carolina/SLC Chair,

and Ms. Colleen Cousineau, Director, SLC

The 74th Annual Meeting of the SLC will not convene in Winston-Salem, August 1-5, as previously scheduled. While we are saddened to share this news, especially in light of last year’s cancellation due to Hurricane Barry, we are committed to providing a safe environment in which to convene, and the health and safety of our members is of the upmost importance. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges associated with creating a safe place to convene, coupled with the inability to guarantee uniform enforcement of the federal and CDC guidelines, we have determined that cancelling the event is in the best interest of the SLC.


All Annual Meeting registrations will be automatically cancelled and refunded. Refunds will be processed in the coming weeks. If you paid via credit card, you will receive an updated receipt from our credit card processor, Stripe.com, when your refund is processed.

Hotel Cancellation Policy

Due to hotel policy, registrants are responsible for cancelling their own hotel reservations. To cancel your hotel reservation online, please follow the modification/cancellation link provided in your hotel confirmation email. To cancel your reservation by phone, please contact the hotel directly. Hotel contact information is provided below.

Winston-Salem Marriott

(336) 725-3500

Embassy Suites Winston-Salem

(336) 724-2300

Thank you for understanding

While we are saddened to share this news, we feel the health and safety of our members is of the upmost importance. We appreciate your patience as our staff work diligently on processing refunds.

You may contact slcreginfo@csg.org with any questions, and our team will respond as promptly as possible.

Speaker Tim Moore
North Carolina
SLC Chair, 2019 – 2020

Colleen Cousineau
Director, Southern Legislative Conference
Director, Southern Office of The Council of State Governments

August 7, 2020

CANCELLED: CSG 2020 National Conference

Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 CSG National Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Dec. 2-5 has been cancelled.

If you have already registered to attend the 2020 CSG National Conference or have made reservations in the CSG room block, your registration will be refunded and your hotel room canceled. Please note that if you made hotel reservations outside of the CSG room block, you will need to contact the hotel directly to cancel your reservation. CSG staff will be in touch over the coming days to confirm your registration cancellation and answer any questions you may have.

Please do not hesitate to contact CSG at registration@csg.org with any questions.

August 14, 2020

2020-2021 SLC Leadership Elections

Tennessee Speaker Cameron Sexton and Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat were unanimously elected to serve as the 2020-2021 chair and chair elect of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), respectively, by the members of SLC's Executive Committee.

As chair, Speaker Sexton will preside over the Conference through the coming year, assisted by Senator Treat. A 2015 alumnus of SLC's Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills, Speaker Sexton also will assist in shaping the program for the 75th SLC Anniversary Annual Meeting, to be held in Nashville in July 2021, and Senator Treat is anticipated to serve as chair of the 76th SLC Annual Meeting, to be held in Oklahoma City in the summer of 2022.

Tennessee's leadership role within the SLC is a long-established one. The state has the distinction of hosting the inaugural meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference in 1947; adopting the SLC's organizational rules at its ninth annual meeting in Gatlinburg in 1955; serving as host to the 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting in 1996 and, most recently, the 65th Annual Meeting in 2011 in Memphis.

Speaker Cameron Sexton

"Being elected to serve as the chair of the Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments by my peers is a tremendous honor. I can't think of a more important time than now to lead this incredible regional organization that strives to find innovative and sustainable solutions to address the many challenges we are currently facing – whether it is the health and fiscal impacts brought on by the pandemic or charting a course of prosperity and hope beyond Covid-19. The SLC has served as a valuable resource to elected and appointed state officials across Tennessee and throughout our region for many years. It will remain impactful in the years ahead, and I look forward to, once again, hosting this prestigious event in Nashville in 2021 because it will have a positive economic effect on our entire state." – Speaker Cameron Sexton, Tennessee

Oklahoma previously hosted the meeting four times, most recently in 2008. An invitation from Senator Treat and Speaker Charles McCall on behalf of the Oklahoma Legislature to serve as host for the 76th Annual Meeting of the SLC in in Oklahoma City was accepted by the Executive Committee in 2019. Both Senator Treat and Speaker McCall will serve as co-chairs of the Host Committee, which will be established in the coming months to begin preparation for the event. The meeting, which is expected to draw more than 1,000 attendees from its member states, will highlight successful programs and policy initiatives unique to Oklahoma and bring together experts to highlight opportunities and solutions to challenges facing policymakers across the Southern region.

Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat

"Hosting the 76th Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference provides us the opportunity to showcase Oklahoma City, in particular – a city that has rediscovered its strengths, and redefined itself for the future – as well as many other areas of our state. As a member-driven organization of state elected and appointed officials, we are particularly pleased that the event will coincide with the completion of both the interior and exterior renovations of our beautiful Capitol building. We look forward to showcasing the world-famous brand of Oklahoma hospitality for all of our guests." – Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, Oklahoma

September 16, 2020

2020 CSG National Conference Reimagined
In place of the annual CSG National Conference, from Monday, October 26 through Friday, December 18, CSG will host daily virtual programming that is free-of-charge to all state government officials and staff, CSG associates and CSG partners. Visit the national conference website on Monday, October 5, for a full agenda listing, registration links and more information.

September 23, 2020

SLLC Supreme Court Preview
The State & Local Legal Center will host a webinar on October 27 previewing the next term of the U.S. Supreme Court. While the Court has agreed to hear lots of interesting cases relevant to states and local governments in its new term beginning on October 5, 2020, many are holdovers from last term! The Court has also accepted numerous new cases of interest including another challenge to the Affordable Care Act and a challenge to Philadelphia's refusal to work with Catholic Social Service regarding placing foster children because it won't place them with same-sex couples. Join Deepak Gupta of Gupta Wessler (who is counsel for Philadelphia, and who will also argue a pair of major personal-jurisdiction cases from Montana and Minnesota), Andrew Pinson, Georgia's Solicitor General (who will argue a case about whether plaintiffs can prevent a case from being dismissed as moot by seeking "nominal damages" after a government changes the challenged policy), and Kevin Daley of the Washington Free Beacon, in a discussion of the cases most interesting to states and local governments that the Court has agreed to hear so far. Click here to learn more or register.

December 9, 2020

CSG Releases Report on Multi-Year Occupational Licensing Project
Over the last 60 years, the number of jobs requiring an occupational license, or government approval to practice a profession, has grown from about one in 20 to nearly one in four. CSG, in partnership with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, recently released the final report from the partner organizations' multi-year, Department of Labor-funded project, "Occupational Licensing: Assessing State Policy and Practice." Click here to learn more.