SLC Delegations and Technical Tours

In order to better facilitate information shar­ing between and among its member states, the U.S. federal government and foreign nations, the SLC arranges delegations comprising legislative leaders and committee chairs to domestic and international points of innovation to observe a particular program or service first-hand, communicate member states’ positions on federal legislation and regulations, and enhance economic relations with countries of importance to the Southern region.

The SLC also develops opportunities for legislators to gain more in-depth knowledge on critical issues and challenges facing them as policymakers. Occasionally in partnership with other countries, technical tours and fly-ins of small groups of legislators enable delegates to participate in issue-specific dialogues with other members from across the region, hear from policy experts and engage in open discussions.

SLC Oklahoma to Mississippi Delegation: PEER Committee
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October 29-30, 2018 | Jackson, Mississippi

Oklahoma to Mississippi: PEER Committee

Delegation

In October, a delegation of legislators and legislative staff from Oklahoma traveled to Jackson, Mississippi, to learn about the state’s Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER), a standing committee of the Mississippi Legislature. Participants received briefings from PEER Committee staff and met with Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden.

Created by statute in 1973, PEER assists the Legislature in performing its oversight function by providing data and investigation of state government operations. The PEER Committee analyzes state agency programs and operations for the Legislature to use to improve government effectiveness, efficiency and accountability. Work products created by PEER include performance evaluations, investigations and expenditure reviews. The PEER Committee comprises seven members from each chamber and employs 23 staff members.

Briefing topics included the creation and history of the PEER Committee, Performance Budget and Strategic Planning Act of 1994, PEER’s partnership with the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, “Measuring Mississippi” Data Analysis Tool and tips for creating a legislative oversight committee.

Presenters from PEER included James Barber, executive director; Ted Booth, general counsel; and Linda Triplett, director of the Performance Accountability Office.


SLC Higher Education Delegation to Queretaro, Mexico
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October 3-5, 2018 | Querétaro, Mexico

Higher Education Delegation to Querétaro, Mexico

Education Committee Delegation

A delegation of legislators from the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) traveled to Querétaro, Mexico, to gain insight into the first residential, American-style campus in the country. Participants toured and received briefings at Arkansas State University Campus Querétaro (ASUCQ).

At ASUCQ, delegation members toured the campus – completed in August 2017 – and were briefed on the challenges in building and designing a campus from the ground up. Participants also heard from Arkansas State University System officials regarding its establishment, accreditation and goals. Members also were briefed on the vision for the campus and surrounding area, including an industrial park, family housing, K-12 school system and city center, with the campus functioning as the community anchor. The costs of the campus, buildings and infrastructure were underwritten by investors in Mexico, with no outlay from Arkansas or the University System.

Additionally, members had the opportunity to interact with students on the campus to learn about academic and residential life at ASUCQ, and how it compared to traditional higher education opportunities in Mexico. Faculty also shared their experiences regarding their work and teaching courses in a student’s second language, as all coursework is in English.

Corporate and community partners provided briefings on collaborations involving externships, training, laboratories, scholarships, donated equipment and guest lectures. Querétaro is home to over 1,300 multinational corporations and is considered the economic and industrial hub of central Mexico.

Delegation members included legislators from Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky.


SLC Delegation for U.S.-Panama Political and Commercial Relations
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September 26-29, 2018 | Panama Canal, Panama

U.S.-Panama Political and Commercial Relations

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

A delegation of legislative officers from the Southern Legislative Conference traveled to Panama City, Panama, to gain insight into the political and commercial relationships between the United States and Panama. During the three-day policy study tour, participants received briefings from officials at the U.S. Embassy and American Chamber of Commerce & Industry and toured the newly expanded Panama Canal.

At the Panama Canal, participants met with Panamanian officials to learn about the canal’s historical significance to the U.S. economy and how the recent expansion, completed in 2016, has supported commerce across the Southern region. Delegation members were briefed on the types of cargo that typically pass through the canal, as well as the tonnage and most common routes of vessels. Among all global trading routes, the Panama Canal remains the most favored option for companies transporting goods from Asia to the U.S. market, with many eventually passing through Southern state ports. Participants also had an opportunity to visit the Miraflores and Cocoli locks to see, first hand, how the canal handles large vessels while they are in transit.

During briefings at the U.S. Embassy, delegation members spoke at length with government officials about the overall political, economic and security climate inside Panama. Details about the broader challenges and opportunities for U.S. officials driving government policy in the country, as well as the various initiatives being considered to maintain successful political, social and economic relations between the United States and Panama, were provided.

At the American Chamber of Commerce & Industry, participants heard from economic development experts regarding U.S.-Panama commercial ties, focusing on how officials from both nations can facilitate robust bilateral trading in the future. Delegation members shared their thoughts on the perception of Panama within the United States and how Panamanian corporate leaders can increase their exposure to U.S. officials at the state and local level.

Delegation members included legislators from Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.


Past Programs


June 5-6, 2018 | Washington, D.C.

Energy & Environment Committee Delegation

Federal Energy and Environment Policies

November 7-10, 2017

Agriculture & Rural Development Committee Delegation

Agricultural Trade with Cuba

October 25-27, 2017 | Miami, Florida

Human Services & Public Safety Committee Technical Tour

Criminal Mental Health Project

October 3-6, 2017

Agriculture & Rural Development Committee Delegation

Agricultural Trade with Cuba

August 17-18, 2017

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

U.S.-Canada Border Operations

November 14-15, 2016

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

Port of New Orleans and Port of South Louisiana

November 14-15, 2016 | San Antonio, Texas

Human Services & Public Safety Committee Technical Tour

The Center for Health Care Services

October 24-25, 2016

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

Port of Charleston, South Carolina

May 18-20, 2016 | Washington, D.C.

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

CSG Transportation Policy Academy

November 17-18, 2015 | San Antonio, Texas

Human Services & Public Safety Committee Technical Tour

The Center for Health Care Services

November 4-5, 2015 | Washington, D.C.

Education Committee Delegation

Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization

October 28-29, 2015

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

Port of New York and New Jersey

September 23-25, 2015

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

Panama Canal Expansion Project

August 11-13, 2015

Energy & Environment Committee Technical Tour

Shale Oil Development in North Dakota

May 11-13, 2015 | Washington, D.C.

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

CSG Transportation Policy Academy

December 8-10, 2014

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

Multimodal Transportation Strategies

November 17-18, 2014 | San Antonio, Texas

Human Services & Public Safety Committee Technical Tour

The Center for Health Care Services

September 24-26, 2014

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

Panama Canal Expansion Project

June 10-12, 2014 | Alberta, Canada

Energy & Environment Committee Delegation

Alberta Oil Sands

September 11-13, 2013

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

Panama Canal Expansion Project

June 23-24, 2013 | Atlanta, Georgia

Human Services & Public Safety Committee Workshop

Medicaid Program Integrity

June 11-13, 2013 | Alberta, Canada

Energy & Environment Committee Delegation

Alberta Oil Sands

February 28 - March 1, 2013

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

Trade Relations with Canada

November 11-17, 2012

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

Economic Cooperation with Germany

September 12-14, 2012

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

Panama Canal Expansion Project

June 26-28, 2012 | Washington, D.C.

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

CSG Transportation Policy Academy

May 29-31, 2012 | Alberta, Canada

Energy & Environment Committee Delegation

Alberta Oil Sands

November 14-15, 2011 | Washington, D.C.

Human Services & Public Safety Committee Delegation

State Healthcare Exchanges

October 4-6, 2011 | Washington, D.C.

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

CSG Transportation Policy Academy

October 3, 2011 | Atlanta, Georgia

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Workshop

Creative Economy Workshop

September 17-24, 2011

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

U.S.-China Relations

November 11-12, 2010 | Dallas, Texas

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

Americas 2020 Summit

October 29, 2010 | Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Energy & Environment Committee Technical Tour

Mississippi Coast Technical Tour

September 18-25, 2010

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

U.S.-China Relations

September 13, 2010 | Waynesboro, Georgia

Energy & Environment Committee Delegation

Vogtle Electric Generating Plant

December 2, 2009 | Powder Springs, Georgia

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

American Maglev Technology

November 5, 2009 | San Antonio, Texas

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Workshop

Americas 2020 Summit

September 27 - October 4, 2009

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

U.S.-China Relations

June 23-24, 2009 | Washington, D.C.

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation

Federal Transportation Legislation

June 9, 2009 | Powder Springs, Georgia

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

American Maglev Technology

October 11, 2009 | Charlotte, North Carolina

Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Technical Tour

Lynx Light Rail System