Advanced technology, economic growth, agricultural development, opioid addiction among topics of discussion at conference of US and Canadian leaders

ONEONTA – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref-Oneonta) this week joined lawmakers from the northeastern United States and eastern Canadian provinces for the annual meeting of The Council of State Governments/Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC).  The three-day conference, held in Rye Brook, New York focused on strategies for economic growth amid a fast-changing technological and political landscape.

Senator Seward serves as co-chair of the CSG/ERC, along with Assemblyman Michael Benedetto from the Bronx, and hosted a panel discussion with experts from the energy and transportation industries, government, and academia.

“Silicon Valley may spring to mind when people mention technology, but the fact is, the northeast is making major advances, particularly in the areas of transportation and energy.  We need to be geared up to take full advantage of new technology and ensure our communities and businesses are prepared for the transformation on the horizon,” said Senator Seward. “This conference, with other regional leaders, allowed us to showcase the innovative things we’re doing in New York, while learning about successful strategies we can adopt and implement here at home.”

Additional panel discussions included topics ranging from health and justice issues surrounding the opioid crisis to regional agricultural concerns and the future of transportation.

“As a member of the New York State Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction and the Senate Agriculture Committee, I was particularly interested in learning about original ideas our neighbors are employing in these areas.  There are some novel policies that have shown promise in other states and I will be working with my colleagues in Albany to implement these concepts here in New York,” added Seward.

The Council of State Governments is a national, nonpartisan, public nonprofit that provides research, analysis, and training for officials from all three branches of state government. Its eastern office, based in New York City, serves officials from eleven northeastern states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and five eastern Canadian provinces who are international associate members.

“Serving as co-chair of the CSG/ERC is a terrific learning opportunity, allowing me to pick the brains of other government leaders, innovative business officials, and trailblazing educators.  This is another way I can better serve the families and businesses I represent in the 51st senate district,” Seward concluded.

For more information about CSG-ERC’s 2018 annual meeting, and to access information on its policy areas, please visit www.csg-erc.org