Recently I attended the National Conference of State Legislature’s 2009 Legislative Summit in Philadelphia, where I had the unique opportunity to exchange innovative ideas with legislators from all across the country. Through a series of seminars, workshops, and meetings, we talked about different strategies that the states are using to create better public policy. Together each of us left with a greater understanding of the issues impacting America than when we first came.
I attended workshops where we discussed everything ranging from the environment to healthcare and pension reform. I listened to how other states are pioneering new efforts to reduce green house gas emissions through carbon capture and storage programs. We discussed how state and local communities are improving their transportation systems to meet the needs of the twenty-first century. Finally, we brainstormed ideas on how to better serve Americans through new ideas on pension and healthcare reform.
However, the one topic that seemed to be on everyone’s mind was the economy. All across the nation, states are feeling the stress from the recession, and are looking for ways to revitalize their communities. We passed a resolution supporting free trade, and talked about ways of reducing unemployment through the retraining of laid-off workers. Everywhere I went, and with everyone I spoke to, I continually heard the same message to buy American. I believe this message is the key to restoring stability for our families throughout Utah and America. In the end, learning about the challenges that other states face has refocused my efforts to continue formulating solutions and tackling the challenges in our state.