Senator Mark Norris Elected to the Office of Vice Chair for the Southern Legislative Conference

July 15, 2008

Senator Mark Norris Elected to the Office of Vice Chair for the Southern Legislative Conference

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — Delegates to the 62nd Annual Meeting of The Council of State Governments’ Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) have elected Tennessee Senator Mark Norris, R-Collierville, Vice Chair of the Conference.

Delegates from SLC’s 16 member states unanimously elected the Senator Norris to succeed South Carolina Speaker of the House Robert W, Harrell, Jr., who was elected SLC Chair Elect. Senator Jeff Wentworth of Texas was elected Chair of the Conference.

The 62nd Annual Meeting agenda included the Opening Plenary Session, held on Saturday, July 12, which featured former Director of Economic Policy at the White House, Mr. Todd Buchholz, who discussed the threats and opportunities presented by China’s rapidly expanding market economy, During the annual meeting, attending legislators also heard about and discussed human trafficking, the emerging role of the rail industry in the South, methods of public teacher compensation, early childhood education, energy efficiency, national end regional economic trends, and the recent disturbances in commodity markets.  The Closing Plenary Session, held on Monday, July 14, involved a presentation on new frontiers by former NASA astronaut and the first Native American on a space shuttle mission, Commander John B. Herrington.

In addition to more than 20 substantive programs, technical tours offered state legislators and staff a chance to see first-hand innovative approaches to common challenges and a potential solution for their respective home states.

Senator Norris is a member of the National Executive Committee of The Council of State Governments and a past participant of their Henry Toll Fellowship Program, recognizing Senator Norris as one of the top 40 state legislative leaders in the nation. Senator Norris also serves on the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and Executive Committee of the SLC, as well as chair of the Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs Committee.

As vice chair of the SLC, Senator Norris will assist the chairman in executing the general activities of the Conference, guide the Conference in policy deliberations, and serve as liaison to the House and Senate leaders of the member states. On Monday, July 14, Senator Norris presided over a session on the Lower Mississippi River Basin initiative, an enterprise for enhancing cooperation among the five Lower Mississippi River states, The Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) of the Council of State Governments was established in 1947. Composed of the presiding officers and key legislators from 16 southern states, the SLC is a non-partisan, non-profit-organization located in Atlanta, Georgia. Its mission is to foster and encourage intergovernmental cooperation among its 16-member states.

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