Lawmakers to gather in Georgia for Conference

8/12/2013, 12:11 p.m.
State lawmakers and staff from around the country will gather in Atlanta this week for a conference on a wide ...

ATLANTA (AP) - State lawmakers and staff from around the country will gather in Atlanta this week for a conference on a wide variety of issues facing state legislatures.

The National Conference of State Legislatures will host its 39th annual legislative summit at the Georgia World Congress Center from Monday to Thursday.

The conference is billed as the largest convention of its kind, where lawmakers and staff gather to discuss topics to discuss topics such as jobs for veterans and drone regulations.

The conference features a health summit in which U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is expected to offer an update on the response to the federal health care law.

Other speakers include retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

O'Connor is scheduled to speak at a Monday afternoon session about her views on representative democracy, civic education and fair courts.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx will keynote an invitation-only session Monday morning with state lawmaker discussing ways to fund and maintain local transportation systems.

Roger Ferguson, CEO of financial services and consulting company TIAA-CREF, is scheduled to speak during a forum Tuesday morning about the steps he thinks the country should take to better ensure that aging Americans are financially prepared for retirement.

Several Georgia lawmakers and other state officials also are slated to speak during forums at the conference.

Ron Shipman, vice president of environmental affairs for the Georgia Power Co., is expected to speak Monday afternoon during a session on concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, and risks associated with policies that impact the decisions made by public utilities.

Charles Owens, of the Georgia Department of Community Health, is scheduled to speak during a session on rural communities recruiting and retaining health care workers in the face of an aging health care workforce and an increased demand for services.