Lawmakers from around the country gathering in Georgia for meeting

Lawmakers from around the country gathering in Georgia for meeting

August 12th, 2013 by Associated Press in Local Regional News

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, center, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator David Strickland, left, arrive for a news conference outside the Transportation Department in Washington in this Aug. 5, 2013, file photo.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

ATLANTA - 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 today through Thursday.

The conference is billed as the largest convention of its kind, where lawmakers and staff gather 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 session this afternoon about her views on representative democracy, civic education and fair courts.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx will keynote an invitation-only session this morning with state lawmakers 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 this afternoon during a session on concerns about greenhouse gas emissions.

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.