AUSTIN – For more than fifteen years, TPPF's Policy Orientation has been one of the nation's top policy conferences, bringing together lawmakers, policy experts, and engaged citizens to discuss the most significant issues facing the Lone Star State and America. 
If you are unable to attend Policy Orientation in person, we welcome you to join the #TXPO2018 experience via live stream. The live stream may be found on the policy orientation website here, on the Texas Public Policy Foundation website here and via Facebook Live on the Texas Public Policy Foundation Facebook page. 

The live stream schedule for Policy Orientation is as follows: 

Day I Wednesday February 7, 2018
Opening Keynote Luncheon with former Senator Jim DeMint (12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.)

How Should Legislators Set Priorities in the Texas Budget? (1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.)
This panel will address the fundamental reasons to maintain conservative budgets and the process for setting funding priorities. A conservative Texas budget fulfills the obligations of the state and supports economic prosperity by helping keep taxes low. 

         Stephen Moore, The Heritage Foundation
         Bob Williams, State Budget Solutions
         Rep. Drew Springer
         Moderator: The Hon. Talmadge Heflin, TPPF

21st Century Policing in Texas (3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.)
Police officers are often unfairly considered equal parts crime fighter and social worker. Despite this impossible mandate, officers are working within the current legal framework to pioneer innovative solutions to long-standing problems. This panel will discuss what is working, what is not, and what can be improved to benefit both officers on the beat and the communities they serve. 

         Dr. Currie Myers, TPPF
         Vikrant P. Reddy, Charles Koch Institute
         Rep. Phil King
         Rep. John Wray
         Moderator: Randy Petersen, TPPF   

Day II Thursday February 8, 2018
Keynote Breakfast with Sen. Phil Gramm and Rep. Kent Hance
 (8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.)

Is it Time to Eliminate the Business Franchise Tax? (9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.)
The 85th Texas Legislature had much discussion and bills filed regarding eliminating the business franchise tax but came up short at the end of the session. Join the Center for Fiscal Policy's session on what the chances are that the franchise tax will be eliminated in the 2019 Legislative Session.

         Sen. Craig Estes
         Will Newton, NFIB
         Rep. Jim Murphy
         Moderator: Dr. Vance Ginn, TPPF

Freedom to Learn and Learning to be Free: Free Speech and Civic Education (11:00 a.m. –  12:15 p.m.)
In light of the ongoing assaults on campus free speech nationwide, this panel will focus on the mutual dependence of democracy and education. Can democracy and education survive without free speech and debate? Can democratic citizens maintain and defend America without a civic education that teaches them the basis for our declaring ourselves "created equal"?

            Stanley Kurtz, Ethics and Public Policy Center
            Dr. Kevin Roberts, TPPF
            Janine Turner, Constituting America
            Dr. Daniel Bonevac, University of Texas at Austin
            Moderator: Dr. Tom Lindsay, TPPF

Keynote Luncheon with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.)

Pulling the Reins: Slowing Government Growth with a Conservative Spending Limit(2:00 p.m. –  3:15 p.m.)
Limiting the growth of government spending is essential to keeping the burden of taxation on Texans minimal so they can achieve greater prosperity. Join the Center for Economic Prosperity and the Center for Fiscal Policy's session as the panelists discuss how spending limit reform could hold government spending growth within the means of taxpayers. State government spending has increased faster than population growth puls inflation since 2004. This primer will address this issue and ways to strengthen the current spending limit. 

          Sen. Kelly Hancock
          Jonathan Williams, Center for State Fiscal Reform, American Legislative Exchange
          Rep. Mike Schofield
          Moderator: Dr. Vance Ginn, TPPF

There Ought to be a Law: Overcriminalization (3:30 p.m. –  4:45 p.m.)
Increasingly, local, state, and federal governments have been using the criminal justice system to enforce laws that criminalize common behavior and routine economic activity. This panel will discuss the many areas of overreach, how the laws are being enforced against non-criminals, and potential remedies. 

           Ronald J. Lampard, American Legislative Exchange Council
           Arif Panju, Institute for Justice
           Rep. Matt Rinaldi
           Shannon Edmonds, Texas District & County Attorneys Association
           Moderator: Marc Levin, TPPF

Day III Friday February 9, 2018
Keynote Breakfast with Attorney General Ken Paxton and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush (8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.)

Lone Star Justice 2.0: How Texas Can Continue Lowering Crime and Costs (9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.)
This panel takes a system-wide perspective on smartly managing correctional populations while maximizing public safety and efficiency. This discussion will encompass the entirety of the criminal justice process – through arrest, pretrial, sentencing, corrections, and reentry. 

          Douglass Smith, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
          Jenny Kim, Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC
          Rep. Joe Moody
          Kim Ogg, Harris County District Attorney
          Moderator: Adam Gelb, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Lessons Learned: Public Pension Reform in the 85th (11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.)
In response to pension crises unfolding in Dallas and Houston, the 85th Texas Legislature made sweeping changes to public retirement systems in these cities. While it may take some time to see if these changes help, the experience is something that we can all learn from now. Hear from our panel of experts about the reforms that passed, the ideas that didn't quite make it, and what reformers in other cities can learn from it all. 

           Leonard Gilroy, Reason Foundation
           The Hon. William E. King
           Rep. Dan Flynn
           Sen. Royce West
           Max Patterson, Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems
           Moderator: James Quintero, TPPF

Closing Keynote Luncheon with Sen. Ted Cruz (12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.)

For more information about Policy Orientation, please visit

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin that aims to foster human flourishing by protecting and promoting liberty, opportunity, and personal responsibility.

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