– Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, college football legend Lou Holtz confirmed for keynote addresses – Republican candidates for U.S. Senate to debate Thursday night – Economists Dr. Arthur Laffer and Jared Bernstein to debate “The Texas Model” – Nationally syndicated radio host Dr. William Bennett to open conference

AUSTIN – Media registration opened today for the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 10th Annual Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature. The event will be held on Thursday, January 12 and Friday, January 13 at the Hilton Austin Hotel.

The Foundation’s Policy Orientation brings together lawmakers, policy experts, and interested citizens from across the political spectrum to discuss the most critical issues facing the state. As of Tuesday, 55 Texas legislators from both parties and staff from 85 legislative offices had already registered to attend this year’s event.

The keynote addresses will be delivered by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (Thursday 12:30 p.m.) and ESPN college football analyst Lou Holtz (Friday 12:15 p.m.). The conference will begin on Thursday morning with a live radio broadcast by nationally syndicated radio host Dr. William Bennett, followed by conference opening remarks by Bennett and a debate on “The Texas Model” between two of America’s leading economic minds – Dr. Arthur Laffer, former economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan; and Jared Bernstein, former chief economist and economic policy advisor to Vice President Joseph Biden.

At 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Empower Texans will host the first Republican debate of 2012 for Texas’ U.S. Senate seat. Candidates who have confirmed their participation include Glenn Addison, Ted Cruz, David Dewhurst, Craig James, and Tom Leppert. The debate will be moderated by Jason Embry, Capitol bureau chief for the Austin American-Statesman.

The 10th Annual Policy Orientation also includes 14 panel discussions on key issues confronting the Texas Legislature – including public and higher education, energy, health care, economic development, and other topics – plus a plenary session on criminal justice reform. Speakers include state and national policy experts representing a variety of viewpoints, as well as 14 members of the Texas Legislature, five Texas state commissioners, and two members of the Texas congressional delegation.

Credentialed media organizations are welcome to attend and cover all of the Policy Orientation’s public events – including both keynote luncheons, both debates, and all of the panel discussions.

Due to heightened security requirements, all persons attending the conference (including reporters) must wear a TPPF-issued name badge to access any Policy Orientation events. To prevent unnecessary delays at the conference registration desk, we encourage all reporters planning to attend the conference to register in advance by e-mailing Kristen Indriago at Kristen@texaspolicy.com.

Additionally, reporters covering the Gov. Walker luncheon or the U.S. Senate debate should be positioned in the ballroom 30 minutes prior to the listed start time.

The current program and list of speakers is available here.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.

Primary website: www.TexasPolicy.com Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/TexasPublicPolicyFoundation Twitter feed: www.Twitter.com/TPPF

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