NHCSL’s national, regional and task force leadership met this May in Washington, D.C. for our Spring Executive Committee Meeting. Members heard from experts on various topics during the policy sessions and approved an emergency resolution on the border wall and the migrant humanitarian crisis, while discussing others that will be up for ratification at the Annual Meeting in December. The state legislative leaders also held working meetings with many key members of Congress to engage on policy areas that are critical to the constituencies they represent.
U.S. Senator Bob Menéndez from New Jersey participated in a special live interview for our members regarding the Venezuela Presidency, Civil Liberties and Economy, moderated by Eli Lopez, Senior International Editor for the Washington Post.
NHCSL also began a year-long discussion into how to tackle the challenge of drug pricing in America. The goal is to find solutions that increase the affordability of safe medicines. Our leaders heard from diabetes patient advocates, an antitrust attorney and industry experts.
The policy sessions also featured a panel on Electronic Payments, Cash and the Unbanked, to discuss how to get unbanked persons to enjoy the benefits of electronic payments, while keeping cash as a payment option in the process. This issue disproportionally impacts the 1 in 5 Americans who are unbanked or have limited access to financial services, particularly Hispanics, African Americans, and the impoverished. Attendees also heard from the Head of Trade and NAFTA office at the Embassy of Mexico, Guillermo Malpica Soto, on The Future of Trade & U.S. Mexico Relations. Duncan Wood, Director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center, and Lawrence Jones, Vice President at the Edison Electric Institute led a discussion on the Cross-Border Energy Trade and Cooperation. They showcased the San Diego-Mexicali-Yuma-Tijuana economic area in California-Baja California as a case-study on the benefits of international energy transmission, and how international fuel transmission help countries meet climate change emissions goals through use of cleaner energies.
The members of the Executive Committee gave preliminary approval to resolutions on restorative justice, standardized ballots, safeguarded carry-overs to prevent Federal Government shutdowns. It also decided to start an investigation into how to fairly extend traditional employment benefits to workers in the gig economy.
Our program concluded with meetings with various Congressional members including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Earl Blumenauer, Tony Cardenas, Chuy Garcia and Gil Cisneros. NHCSL will continue to work closely with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to strengthen our relationships with Congress and ensure that federal and state Hispanic legislators can engage and share ideas on how to work together to best represent our communities.