Arkansas Lawmakers Head To Annual Legislative Summit

Aug 4, 2017

A group of Arkansas lawmakers are headed to Boston for an annual legislative summit.

Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville)
Credit Twitter

The event, held by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), brings together more than 6,000 lawmakers, legislative staff, and federal officials from around the nation to discuss policy issues. Those issues will range from laws on autonomous vehicles to election technology.

Democratic Representative Greg Leding of Arkansas, who is on the executive committee for NCSL, says one topic of particular interest to him this year is redistricting.

"That's going to happen before we know it in the next couple of years. In most states it's a partisan task and whichever party happens to control the state controls the process, which lends itself to all kinds of consequences," notes Leding.

Early childhood education and veteran's affairs are two other topics he will be focusing on.

Leding says the summit allows lawmakers to learn what they need to know to craft well-informated legislation.

"Particularly in a state like Arkansas that has been subjected to very strict term limits. You show up as a legislator, you typically have a very short window to get something done, and you're almost certainly not an expert on everything you need to be an expert in," explains Leding.

He says 56 state lawmakers - 48 House members and 8 senators - will be attending the conference, which begins Sunday.

Leding notes it was a panel on human trafficking a few years ago that made him realize Arkansas had few laws to prevent and prosecute the practice.

Live web streaming will be available during nine sessions of the summit.