St. Louis, Mo. — Lawmakers and policy experts from across the South gathered to discuss numerous policy issues during Sunday morning’s committee sessions. Three committees met to discuss a variety of issues.
The Agriculture and Rural Development Committee discussed the effects of herbicides on numerous crops. In 2017, newly registered Dicamba formulations were approved for application on cotton and soybean crops resistant to herbicides. Of the 22 million acres of soybeans treated with Dicamba, more than 3.4 million acres suffered damage as a result of Dicamba exposure. During their session, committee members discussed the economic challenges posed by affected crops; explored the changes mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and examined ways to improve application safety.
The Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs Committee discussed ways to expand apprenticeship programs in order to promote workforce development. During the session, lawmakers discussed legislative ideas intended to incentivize apprenticeship programs and explored ways to promote economic development and job creation.
The Education Committee discussed the Whole Child Initiative. Developed by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, this approach to education looks at different ways to move away from the traditional focus placed on academic development. The initiative focuses on five essential tenets — keeping a child healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged — to promote long-term student success. During the committee meeting, lawmakers and policy experts discussed the approach and how it can be implemented in their states.
All three committee sessions included a legislative round table were participants from across the region discussed legislative proposals and different ways to move their states forward.