JANUARY 11–14, 2018

Winter 2018 Forum Highlights

Welcome

The Winter Senate Presidents’ Forum in Idaho was hosted by Idaho Senate President Brent Hill, who, along with Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, welcomed the Forum participants. Sen. Hill acknowledged that the Senators face significant challenges, but urged the group not to lose sight of the fact that Americans have more freedoms and opportunities than on any other nation on earth. His comments set the stage for sessions that focused on challenging issues such as the current financial situations of the States, the growing opioid crisis, Federal land policy and States’ Rights, and gun violence prevention. The Forum heard reports from experts in these areas and engaged in frank discussions about their States’ approaches to these issues.

Senate President Brent Hill (ID) welcomed the Forum to Sun Valley.

The State of the State Budgets

In her annual presentation to the Senate Presidents’ Forum, Ms. Eckl reported that the States’ finances largely are stable with revenues matching projections, and spending remaining on target. However, she pointed out that growth is slow and modest, and Federal tax reform is adding complications to State fiscal decisions. Drawing on recent published data from each State, Ms. Eckl asked Senators to comment on their State’s outlook.

Costs of the Opioid Crisis

Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids—a rate that nearly doubled in the last decade. In addition to the tragedy of lost lives and devastated families, opioid abuse also exacts an economic cost of $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. These costs fall heavily on the States. The Forum’s session evaluated strategies that have proven effective in addressing the opioid crisis and reviewed funding sources to implement such programs.

Federal Land Policy and States’ Rights

The debate over Federal Land policies begins with the shared recognition that Federal lands are a prized asset. On the other hand, care and management of this asset cost taxpayers more than $5 billion per year, roughly $10 per acre per year. Furthermore, the recreational interests of urban dwellers may differ significantly from others for whom the Federal Lands may be a source of livelihood. Coming to agreement on the management of Federal Lands requires partnership between State and Federal agencies, the expert presenters pointed out. The Forum discussion focused on the issues that require collaboration among all stakeholders to chart a path forward for Federal Lands. .

Gun Violence Prevention

Every day, 96 Americans will die from gun violence. Even on such a divisive issue as gun violence prevention, Forum discussions remain bipartisan and solutions-oriented, while recognizing that State legislators represent constituencies with widely divergent views of gun safety issues. The speakers presented well-documented evidence on effective policies designed to protect Americans from gun violence while respecting the Second Amendment.

Brian Shiozawa, MD

Regional Director
Region 8, US Department of
Health & Human Services

Christine Hahn, MD

Medical Director
 Idaho Division of Public Health

Martin Nie, PhD

Professor of Natural Resources Policy and
Director of the Bolle Center
for People and Forests
University of Montana

Jennifer Fielder

CEO of the American Lands Council
and
State Senator (MT)

Emily Walton

Regional Director of State Affairs
Everytown for Gun Safety

Paul Kemp

Board Member
Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership (GOFRO)

Corina Eckl

Director
Leaders Services
National Conference of
State Legislatures

CONTACT

Senate Presidents’ Forum

579 Broadway

Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706

 

Tel: 914-693-1818

Copyright © 2018 Senate Presidents' Forum. All rights reserved.

 

JANUARY 11–14, 2018

Winter 2018 Forum Highlights

Welcome

The Winter Senate Presidents’ Forum in Idaho was hosted by Idaho Senate President Brent Hill, who, along with Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, welcomed the Forum participants. Sen. Hill acknowledged that the Senators face significant challenges, but urged the group not to lose sight of the fact that Americans have more freedoms and opportunities than on any other nation on earth. His comments set the stage for sessions that focused on challenging issues such as the current financial situations of the States, the growing opioid crisis, Federal land policy and States’ Rights, and gun violence prevention. The Forum heard reports from experts in these areas and engaged in frank discussions about their States’ approaches to these issues.

The State of the State Budgets

In her annual presentation to the Senate Presidents’ Forum, Ms. Eckl reported that the States’ finances largely are stable with revenues matching projections, and spending remaining on target. However, she pointed out that growth is slow and modest, and Federal tax reform is adding complications to State fiscal decisions. Drawing on recent published data from each State, Ms. Eckl asked Senators to comment on their State’s outlook.

Costs of the Opioid Crisis

Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids—a rate that nearly doubled in the last decade. In addition to the tragedy of lost lives and devastated families, opioid abuse also exacts an economic cost of $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. These costs fall heavily on the States. The Forum’s session evaluated strategies that have proven effective in addressing the opioid crisis and reviewed funding sources to implement such programs.

Federal Land Policy and States’ Rights

The debate over Federal Land policies begins with the shared recognition that Federal lands are a prized asset. On the other hand, care and management of this asset cost taxpayers more than $5 billion per year, roughly $10 per acre per year. Furthermore, the recreational interests of urban dwellers may differ significantly from others for whom the Federal Lands may be a source of livelihood. Coming to agreement on the management of Federal Lands requires partnership between State and Federal agencies, the expert presenters pointed out. The Forum discussion focused on the issues that require collaboration among all stakeholders to chart a path forward for Federal Lands. .

Gun Violence Prevention

Every day, 96 Americans will die from gun violence. Even on such a divisive issue as gun violence prevention, Forum discussions remain bipartisan and solutions-oriented, while recognizing that State legislators represent constituencies with widely divergent views of gun safety issues. The speakers presented well-documented evidence on effective policies designed to protect Americans from gun violence while respecting the Second Amendment.

Christine Hahn, MD

Medical Director
 Idaho Division of Public Health

Jennifer Fielder

CEO of the American Lands Council
and
State Senator (MT)

Paul Kemp

Board Member
Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership (GOFRO)

Corina Eckl

Director
Leaders Services
National Conference of
State Legislatures

Brian Shiozawa, MD

Regional Director
Region 8, US Department of
Health & Human Services

Martin Nie, PhD

Professor of Natural Resources Policy and
Director of the Bolle Center
for People and Forests
University of Montana

Emily Walton

Regional Director of State Affairs
Everytown for Gun Safety

JANUARY 11–14, 2018

Winter 2018 Forum Highlights

Welcome

The Winter Senate Presidents’ Forum in Idaho was hosted by Idaho Senate President Brent Hill, who, along with Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, welcomed the Forum participants. Sen. Hill acknowledged that the Senators face significant challenges, but urged the group not to lose sight of the fact that Americans have mo an on any other nation on earth. His comments set the stage for sessions that focused on challenging issues such as the current financial situations of the States, the growing opioid crisis, Federal land policy and States’ Rights, and gun violence prevention. The Forum heard reports from experts in these areas and engaged in frank discussions about their States’ approaches to these issues.

The State of the State Budgets

Corina Eckl

Director
Leaders Services
National Conference of State Legislatures

In her annual presentation to the Senate Presidents’ Forum, Ms. Eckl reported that the States’ finances largely are stable with revenues matching projections, and spending remaining on target. However, she pointed out that growth is slow and modest, and Federal tax reform is adding complications to State fiscal decisions. Drawing on recent published data from each State, Ms. Eckl asked Senators to comment on their State’s outlook.

Costs of the Opioid Crisis

Brian Shiozawa, MD

Regional Director
Region 8, US Department of Health & Human Services

Christine Hahn, MD

Medical Director
 Idaho Division of Public Health

Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids—a rate that nearly doubled in the last decade. In addition to the tragedy of lost lives and devastated families, opioid abuse also exacts an economic cost of $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. These costs fall heavily on the States. The Forum’s session evaluated strategies that have proven effective in addressing the opioid crisis and reviewed funding sources to implement such programs.

Federal Land Policy and States’ Rights

Martin Nie, PhD

Professor of Natural Resources Policy 
Director of the Bolle Center for People and Forests
University of Montana

Jennifer Fielder

CEO of the American Lands Council 
State Senator (MT)

The debate over Federal Land policies begins with the shared recognition that Federal lands are a prized asset. On the other hand, care and management of this asset cost taxpayers more than $5 billion per year, roughly $10 per acre per year. Furthermore, the recreational interests of urban dwellers may differ significantly from others for whom the Federal Lands may be a source of livelihood. Coming to agreement on the management of Federal Lands requires partnership between State and Federal agencies, the expert presenters pointed out. The Forum discussion focused on the issues that require collaboration among all stakeholders to chart a path forward for Federal Lands.

Gun Violence Prevention

Emily Walton

Regional Director of State Affairs
Everytown for Gun Safety

Paul Kemp

Board Member
Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership (GOFRO)

Every day, 96 Americans will die from gun violence. Even on such a divisive issue as gun violence prevention, Forum discussions remain bipartisan and solutions-oriented, while recognizing that State legislators represent constituencies with widely divergent views of gun safety issues. The speakers presented well-documented evidence on effective policies designed to protect Americans from gun violence while respecting the Second Amendment.