National Conference of State Legislatures - The Forum for America's Ideas

2014 Legislative Summit

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014


7:30 AM to 1:00 PM

Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs

Minneapolis Convention Center Lower Level-L100H
  • NCSL Task Force On Military & Veterans Affairs

7:30 AM -- 8:30 AM
Full breakfast is served.

8:00 AM -- 8:30 AM
NCSL Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs Convenes

Opening Remarks: 

  • Representative Dan Flynn, Texas, Task Force Co-Chair 
  • Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Texas, Task Force Co-Chair

Pledge of Allegiance

8:30 AM -- 9:00 AM 
Task Force Member Discussion Concerning Key Legislative Issues

9:00 AM -- 10:15 AM 
State Services for Veterans
Learn about Minnesota programs to assist veterans struggling with homelessness and mental health issues, as well as community initiatives to support service members and their families during and after deployment.


  • Representative Tim Cosgrove, Utah


  • Eric Grumdahl, Special Advisor on Ending Veteran Homelessness, Minnesota
  • Judge Kerry Meyer, Hennepin County Veterans Court, Minnesota
  • Annette Kuyper, Director of Military Outreach, Minnesota Department of Military Affairs
10:15 AM -- 10:45 AM

10:45 AM -- Noon
Innovative Land Use Strategies to Protect Military Bases -- Case Study of Camp Ripley, Minnesota
(Joint with the Task Force on Agriculture)
Uncoordinated and incompatible development and urban sprawl are a growing threat to the nation's military installations and local economies.  In many states, the military is among the largest industries and employers and is directly responsible for the economic health of neighboring communities by generating a steady stream of revenue and jobs.  Preventing incompatible land uses and protecting an installation's ability to realistically train Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines is a way of avoiding putting the viability of that "mission" at risk.

Learn about how innovative land use strategies and cost-sharing partnerships such as Sentinel Landscapes can protect the local economy, agricultural working lands, critical habitat and at the same time sustain military readiness.


  • Representative Dan Flynn, Texas


  • Senator Paul Gazelka, Minnesota
  • Senator Carrie Ruud, Minnesota


  • Kristin Thomasgard, Program Director for Policy, Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment)
  • Major General Richard C. Nash, Adjutant General, Minnesota National Guard
  • Tom Landwehr, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • John Jaschke, Executive Director, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
  • Dave Frederickson, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • Representative John Ward, Minnesota
  • Representative Ron Kresha, Minnesota

Noon -- 12:15 PM

12:15 PM -- 12:45 PM 
Q & A with Minnesota's Adjutant General
Join in the opportunity to ask questions of the Minnesota Adjutant General and discuss important topics related to the National Guard. 


  • Representative Tom Sloan, Kansas


  • Major General Richard C. Nash

12:45 PM -- 1:15 PM
Empowering Agency Response -- Beating Backlogs and Helping Healthcare 
Texas leaders have called upon the Texas Veterans Commission to help address crises that have arisen at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the last several years.  Whether working to address an influx of claims related to Agent Orange exposure in 2009, helping to beat the VA backlog in Texas with the State Strike Force and Fully Developed Claims Teams since 2012, or now working on behalf of veterans encountering challenges accessing VA healthcare, the state of Texas has demonstrated a continuing commitment to advocating for veterans and their families. 


  • Representative Dan Flynn, Texas


  • Kyle Mitchell, Deputy Executive Director, Texas Veterans Commission

1:15 PM
Task Force Wrap-Up and Adjournment


3:00 PM to 4:45 PM

Military & Veterans Affairs Economic Outlook

Minneapolis Convention Center LEVEL 2-205ABCD
  • NCSL Budgets & Revenue Committee
  • NCSL Labor and Economic Development Committee
  • NCSL Task Force On Military & Veterans Affairs
Discuss potential federal defense spending cuts and the impact it will have on states.

  • Panelist:
  • Tim Ford, Association of Defense Communities Washington D.C.
  • Michael Gilroy, Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment, Virginia