2018 Agenda is in Progress
8:00-9:00am - Plenary
Education and Workforce Development
Indiana’s low unemployment may belie a bigger issue: the lack of qualified candidates for high tech and advanced manufacturing and agriculture jobs that will be staples of the Hoosier economy. Our panel will focus on the necessity of offering educational opportunities that provide Hoosiers with relevant skills needed to prepare our workforce for the evolving, dynamic job market. How do vocational schools, adult education, charter school innovation, intervention in low performing schools and post-secondary education all fit into the picture?
9:00-9:30am - Plenary
Governor Holcomb Address
We look forward to welcoming Governor Eric Holcomb to address the Conference and outline legislative and policy priorities for his administration.
9:30-9:45am - Break
9:45-10:45am - Morning Breakout Sessions
I. Economic Development and Quality of Place
“Quality of Place” initiatives are being used as a way to improve quality of life and promote economic development in Indiana’s cities and towns. Food, Beverage, and Innkeepers taxes along with use of alcohol permits are being touted as useful tools for certain areas. This panel will discuss how policy makers and local governments can work together to foster growth around Indiana.
II. Public Policy | Alcohol and Marijuana
Indiana’s alcohol laws – at both the business-to-business and consumer levels – and regulatory and tax schemes have been studied over the summer and will be at the forefront of discussion in the 2018 legislative session. Are Sunday sales inevitable? Our panel will address issues such as this, cold beer sales, the three-tier system, and the tax on spirits. What issues are realistic to tackle in a short session and what will have to wait? Are we nearing a point where a discussion about marijuana – medical or recreational – finds some traction?
III. Ethics Update
Our Ethics Update will include a general, legal ethics presentation focused on attorney interactions and representations involving state agencies. The past year has seen an apparent increase in attorney misconduct on routine client neglect matters. What can be done to discourage such attorney attitudes and conduct? Should there be more peer-to-peer interaction? With a new top staffer overseeing legislative lobbying will there be a change in education and enforcement priorities, and coordination with the legislative ethics program? What should you know about interactions with state executive branch agencies and hiring away state employees?
IV. Health Care
Uncertainty abounds over health insurance and Medicaid coverage. Hoosiers are at the forefront of national debate, and Indiana programs are key to the discussion. At the same time, state and local governments are becoming more aggressive and creative in addressing mental health and opioid issues. What can we expect in 2018?
10:45-11:45am - Plenary
Indiana has a new 20-year plan and self-sustaining funding program to address road and bridge rehabilitation, construction, and maintenance needs. Growth opportunities abound through other infrastructure improvements on the drawing boards as well. The panel will also discuss the potential for transformational transit and commerce related projects around the state, including upgraded commuter and new commercial rail in Northwest Indiana, rapid transit in Indianapolis, and a fourth port for Indiana’s commercial waterways.
11:45am-1:15pm - Luncheon
Presentation of 2017 BGD Legislative Conference Scholarship
IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Keynote Address | David Gergen, Senior Political Analyst for CNN
Eyewitness to Power: Leadership in America
From Nixon to Clinton, Watergate to Whitewater, few Americans have observed the ups and downs of presidential leadership more closely over the past thirty years than David Gergen. A White House adviser to four presidents, both Republican and Democrat, he offers a vivid, behind-the-scenes account of their struggles to exercise power and draws from them key lessons for leaders of the future. As the world's economic and political dynamics continue to evolve, a new age is ahead for America, but its realization will depend heavily upon the success of a new generation at the top. Drawing upon all his many experiences in the White House, he offers seven key lessons for leaders of the future. What they must have, he says, are: inner mastery; a central, compelling purpose rooted in moral values; a capacity to persuade; skills in working within the system; a fast start; a strong, effective team; and a passion that inspires others to keep the flame alive.
1:15-2:15pm - Plenary
The leaders from each caucus in the House and the Senate offer perspectives on their priorities for 2018 and beyond, how they would prefer to see the process unfold, and what surprises may pop up.
2:15-3:30pm - Break
2:30-3:30pm - Afternoon Breakout Sessions
Is gaming in Indiana at a crossroads? The new year will see the first riverboat-to-land casino conversion, and a Native American casino open even as existing properties continue to adjust to market forces and competition. As millennials displace baby boomers in the consumer marketplace, will new technologies like mobile gaming, partial skill games, or cashless wagering soon be available at Hoosier casinos? Can non-gambling attractions like e-sports and fantasy sports be integrated into casino environments? Will Indiana be interested in sports wagering if national laws change thanks to the Supreme Court of the United States?
The rapid growth of the technology industry in Indiana has given rise to public policy issues which differ from some of Indiana’s historically core industries like manufacturing and agribusiness. According to a recent study from commercial real estate firm CBRE, Indianapolis alone has over 35,000 jobs in tech with an average salary of over $77,000. This panel will explore those issues with perspectives from around the state related to talent attraction and retention, software as a service (SaaS) taxation, venture capital, broadband, and more.
III. Utilities and Energy
Indiana faces a broad scope of energy and utility-related challenges and opportunities. The panel will examine issues related to rural broadband access in Indiana (and how that impacts health care, economic development, education, and more); the development of small cell towers for increased access throughout the state; renewable energy; and the role and relationship of government and the private sector.
3:30-4:30pm - Plenary
Press/Social Media Panel: Stick to Sports?
The sporting world has become politicized and athletes and sports media have been chastised for using their respective platforms to weigh in on political issues. Should they just “stick to sports?” Do athletes have an obligation to weigh in on public events and issues? Our panel will provide a forum for some familiar faces from political media, and voices from the world of athletics, to discuss the issues.