AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 13th Annual Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature begins TOMORROW, Wednesday, January 7, 2015 and runs through Friday, January 9, 2015. This year’s sold-out Policy Orientation takes place at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol, and will feature an array of prominent speakers on the major issues affecting the future of Texas. 
Panel discussions and debates will follow three topical tracks pertaining to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Keynote speakers include publisher and best-selling author Steve Forbes, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor-Elect Dan Patrick, Attorney General-Elect Ken Paxton, Comptroller-Elect Glenn Hegar, Agriculture Commissioner-Elect Sid Miller, former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm, former U.S. Congressman Kent Hance, and more.     
To view the complete agenda, visit: 
For thirteen years, the Foundation’s Policy Orientation has been one of the nation’s top policy conferences, selling out each year while bringing together lawmakers, policy experts, and engaged citizens from across the political spectrum to discuss critical issues facing the Lone Star State and America. Last year’s Policy Orientation attracted approximately 1,100 attendees including nearly 100 state legislators and hundreds of legislative staff from both sides of the aisle.
The non-media registration fee for Policy Orientation is $385 and includes the opening lunch on Wednesday, the keynote breakfast and luncheon on Thursday and Friday as well as all panels. There is no charge for registered media to attend. Members of the public and media who wish to attend may register and view the agenda here:

WHO:            Texas Public Policy Foundation
WHAT:   13th Annual Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature
WHEN:   January 7-9, 2015
WHERE:   Sherton Austin Hotel at the Capitol
    701 East 11th Street Austin, Texas 78701 
The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 13th Annual Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature


Day 1: Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Opening Luncheon Keynote and Book Signing: Steve Forbes

College Affordability vs. Administrative Bloat
Dr. Thomas Lindsay • Sen. Brian Birdwell • Com. Raymund Paredes • Dr. Richard Vedder
Rethinking Mental Health: Are We Throwing the Right Life Lines to People with Mental Illness
Kate Murphy • Leon Evans • Colleen Horton • Tom Luce
Fossil Fuels are the Moral Choice for the Planet and for the Poor
Hon. Chuck DeVore • Dr. Cal Beisner • Com. Ryan Sitton • Hon. Kathleen Hartnett White

The Texas Budget: Reining in the Growth of Government
Hon. Talmadge Heflin • Sen. Kelly Hancock • Rep. Jeff Leach • Sen. Kirk Watson
21st Century Juvenile Justice: A Texas-sized Problem
Derek Cohen • Chelsea Buchholtz • Dr. Tony Fabelo • Sen. Jose Rodriguez • Rep. James White
School Choice and the Texas Economy
Hon. Bill Hammond • Sen. Donna Campbell • Kevin P Chavous • Dr. Arthur Laffer • Com. Mike Moses

Plenary Session – A Conversation on the Economics of Education Opportunity
Dr. Arthur Laffer • Lt. Governor Dan Patrick

Day 2: Thursday, January 8, 2015

Breakfast Keynote – Governor Greg Abbott

The ACA in Texas: Do Hospitals Need Medicaid Expansion?
John Davidson • Dr. Byron Schlomach • Ted Shaw • Frederic Warner
Texas' Brewing Property Tax Revolt
James Quintero • Sen. Paul Bettencourt • Dick Lavine • Hon. Robert Rivera • Sen. Kirk Watson
Demoralized Zone: Has Grade Inflation Undermined America’s Workforce Competitiveness?
Dr. Thomas Lindsay • Hon. Bill Hammond • Dr. Robert Koons

Up to the Challenge? How the Market Can Keep the Lights on in Texas
Bill Peacock • H.B. “Trip” Doggett • Rep. Helen Giddings • Eric Groten • Chairman Donna Nelson
Liberty Cities on Display
Jess Fields • Hon. Ernest Gay • Bob Grafe • Rep. David Simpson • Hon. Art Martinez de Vara
TELs Matter for Opportunity in Texas
Dr. Vance Ginn • Rep. Donna Howard • Dr. John Merrifield • Sen. Charles Perry

Lunch Keynote – The Reagan Tax Cuts and the Texas Miracle
Hon. Phil Gramm • Hon. Kent Hance

Constitutional Firewalls: How An Article V Convention of States May Put The Brakes on Runaway Feds
Karen Lugo • Prof. Randy Barnett • Roman Buhler • Mark Meckler • Rep. Paul Workman
Protecting Property Rights Amidst the Texas Miracle
Kathleen Hunker • Luke Ellis • Sen. Lois Kolkhorst • Christopher Mosley • Randal O'Toole
Markets and Teacher Compensation
Sen. Larry Taylor • Dr. Vance Ginn • Louis Malfaro • Dr. Herb Walberg

Texas Prison Reform 2.0: Building on Recent Public Safety Successes
Marc Levin • Adam Gelb • Bill Montgomery • Rep. Tan Parker • Sen. John Whitmire
Texas and Immigration: State Solutions for a National Challenge
John Fund • Sen. Craig Estes • JoAnn Fleming • Alex Nowrasteh • Rep. Matt Schaefer • Rep. Paul Workman
Transportation Alternatives in the 21st Century: What is the Role of Government?
Jess Fields • Hon. Dave Martin • Randal O'Toole • John Ramsey • Hon. Chris Riley

Evening Plenary Session – The Future of Texas
Comptroller Glenn Hegar • Com. Sid Miller • Lt. Governor Dan Patrick • Attorney General Ken Paxton

Day 3: Friday, January 9, 2015

Are Texans Taxed Too Much?
Dr. Vance Ginn • Scott Drenkard • Sen. Craig Estes • John Fund • Rep. Sylvester Turner
Halting The Feds at The State Line: States Learn to Command Respect
Karen Lugo • Hon. Susan Combs • Rep. Ken Ivory • Hon. Greg Walcher
The Economic Impact of Economic Freedom on Poverty and Prosperity
Hon. Chuck DeVore • Dr. Frances Deviney • Fred McMahon • Rep. James White

School Finance Litigation Update
Hon. Kent Grusendorf • Hon. Rob Eissler • Hon. Craig T. Enoch • David Thompson
Protecting Property Rights in Texas Water Law
Hon. Kathleen Hartnett White • Molly Cagle • Bob Harden • Hon. Bennett Raley
Curtailing the Criminalization of Capitalism: Overcoming Overcriminalization in Texas
Vikrant Reddy • Shannon Edmonds • Rep. Jeff Leach • John Malcolm • Rep. Joe Moody

Closing Luncheon Keynote – The Resurgence of American Leadership
Stephen Moore • Hon. Newt Gingrich • Governor Rick Perry

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

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