Aug 5, 2014


8:30 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast
Salon J Foyer - 6th Floor


9:00 am

Welcome Remarks
Salon J

Cathilea Robinett, Executive Vice President, Governing

9:05 am  

A Bright Future for the Lone Star State: Building Capacity Today for A Strong and Prosperous Tomorrow

Texas is growing. And growing. And growing some more.  The state is now experiencing the fastest population expansion in the country, with more than 1,000 people added each day. What’s more, the state's biennial revenue estimate in 2013 projected $101.4 billion available for general spending in 2014-15, as well as an $8.8 billion surplus.
Growth is a good thing. But it also poses policy, service delivery, and other significant challenges for the state and its local jurisdictions; it puts acute pressure on the state’s capacity to accommodate and maintain that growth. This will take a high-level view of Texas’s strengths and challenges, as well as the crucial role that long-range planning must have in times of rapid change.
Moderator: Mark Funkhouser, Ph.D., Publisher, Governing
John Sharp, Chancellor, Texas A&M University

10:05 am

The Legislative Perspective: Empowering Reform in Service Delivery

With the staggering growth rates experienced by Texas in recent years, it seemed inevitable that the state would have to find new ways to maintain or improve service delivery without seeing costs skyrocket. Challenges have emerged for a number of issues, among the most prominent concerns are transportation, water and education. With service demands growing, the legislature has also been considering tax reform for a system that’s been referred to as “calcified.”
This panel will provide a solid grounding in the major efforts Texas has been making in these areas, how well they’ve worked and what the future may hold.
Moderator:  Mark Funkhouser, Ph.D., Publisher, Governing
The Honorable Larry Gonzales, Texas State Representative, District 52
The Honorable John Otto, Texas State Representative, District 18
The Honorable John Whitmire, Texas State Senator, District 15


11:00 am



11:20 am



Changing Terrain: Private Public Partnerships and Transportation

The notion of private public partnerships is an appealing one. Bring the financial resources of the private sector together with the needs of the public sector and the potential profits available from major projects and – presto – there’s an opportunity for a marriage made in heaven

P3s can be wildly successful and offer a promising, alternative funding strategy for much-needed infrastructure projects. Texas, in fact, is developing an $834 million PPP to address issues with its SH 183 in the Dallas area. However, P3s are no silver bullet; and there is no one-size-fits-all formula to these highly complex arrangements. Officials require more critical analysis and more sophisticated investment projections to help them evaluate and negotiate those partnerships. This session will address the possibilities - as well as the potential potholes - of P3s and discuss strategies to build the road ahead.
Moderator: Dan Vock, Staff Writer, Governing
Terri A. G. Adkisson, President & Chief Catalyst, Strategic Sustainable Growth for People, Companies & Communities
Mike Heiligenstein, Executive Director, Central Texas Mobility Authority
Gary C. Thomas, President/Executive Director, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

Investing in Talent: Developing the Workforce to Sustain and Grow Texas’s Economy

The “number one thing that will separate the wheat from the chaff is ensuring a skilled workforce for employers,” said Jonathan Taylor, executive director of the department of economic development and tourism for the Texas governor’s office. A skilled workforce is one of the top-factors companies consider when making relocating decisions. And the ability to prepare today’s workforce for the skills and the jobs of tomorrow will define a state’s ability to compete in the future economy. How can Texas most effectively invest in education and training to help deliver the necessary human capital to its employers? One route is to look at states that have been spearheading creative and effective workforce development initiatives. This panel will bring in examples from around the country as well as from Texas, to help to educate and inform Texans about promising practices in this field.
Moderator: Mark Funkhouser, Ph.D. Publisher, Governing
Betty Harvey, Manager, Texas Workforce Development, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Alan D. Miller, Executive Director, Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board
The Honorable Bill Purcell, Attorney at Law, Jones Hawkins & Farmer, PLC and former Mayor, City of Nashville

Smart Government: Deploying Data and Performance Metrics to Achieve Results

Texas, like many other states, is awash in data. New information is being churned out in     unfathomable quantities from the state, its counties and its cities. Unfortunately, too much of that information tends to be kept in data silos, not easily available to facilitate better decisions.
This panel will discuss the possibilities offered by “open data,” which enables a variety of different constituencies – consistent with concerns about privacy – to share quantities of data across a multitude of fields. Participants will learn about ways to deploy data more effectively. We will also discuss an attendant and serious concern raised by data transparency: the need for improved cybersecurity.
Moderator: Dustin Haisler, Chief Innovation Officer, e.Republic
Brian J. Anderson, Information Security Officer; Associate Director of Infrastructure, Texas A&M University - San Antonio
Bill Bott, Consulting Partner, Change and Innovation Agency
The Honorable Jerry Madden, former Texas State Representative

12:15 pm
Salon J



1:00 pm
Salon J

The Local Perspective: Harnessing Partnerships and Innovation to Build Strong Communities

Cities and counties in Texas have increasingly focused on ways to deliver services to their citizens through a variety of routes: modernizing delivery with technology tools; improving access and promoting citizen engagement; partnering with the business community and attempting to curb sprawl while providing access to appropriate forms of housing and transit.
Each of these issues would be sufficiently complex in and of themselves. But though the so called “new economy” may have many definitions, it’s clear that the nation’s cities are entering a new era of unpredictability. This panel will address itself to successful routes taken to build strong communities in uncertain times.
Moderator: Mark Funkhouser, Ph.D., Publisher, Governing
The Honorable Jungus Jordan, Councilmember, District 6, City of Fort Worth
The Honorable Harry LaRosiliere, Mayor, City of Plano
The Honorable Annise D. Parker, Mayor, City of Houston
The Honorable Bill Spelman, Councilmember, City of Austin

View the recently released Governing Guide to Financial Literacy: Connecting Money, Policy and Priorities >>> HERE

2:00 pm

Networking Break


2:20 pm



Changing Tides: Curbing Health Care Costs

As in other states, the rising costs of healthcare are a burden on Texas’s budget. The panel will discuss a variety of techniques available for keeping a potential avalanche of expenses under control, including preventive care, managed care and evidence based medicine.

It will also look at how these topics intersect with one of the most dramatic health care reforms in the country, the Five-Year Medicaid 1115 Demonstration Waiver, which allows expansion of managed care, incentivizes delivery system improvements, access and coordination, and establishes regional Healthcare Partnerships.
Moderator: Dan Vock, Staff Writer, Governing
Ardas Khalsa, Director, Healthcare Transformation Waiver Operations, Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Ken Shine, MD, Senior Advisor, Code Red Texas; former Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, University of Texas; current Special Advisor to the Chancellor
Kevin Warren, President/CEO, Texas Heatlh Care Association

Investing in Talent: Workforce and Management Strategies for The Best and Brightest in Texas Government

It’s something of a cliché’ but one that has merit: “Government’s most important assets are the ones who go home at the end of a work day.” Without the ability to recruit and retain the best and the brightest, Texas and its localities confront any new challenges at a disadvantage.
That’s why it’s so critical for the state’s HR department to use innovative approaches and management styles in order to optimize the value of its workforce. As the economy recovers, this becomes an increasingly difficult task, as private sector positions become increasingly remunerative and available. What are some of the techniques the public sector can use to better attract, train, and retain its talent?
Moderator:  Dustin Haisler, Chief Innovation Officer, e.Republic
John Keel, CPA, Texas State Auditor
Bob Lavigna, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Office of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin
Joyce Wilson, Interim CEO, Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande

Smart Government Workshop: Results-Based Accountability Models to Achieve Desired Outcomes

Texas is unusual among the states in that many of its efforts to budget and manage based on performance have emanated from the legislature. In such a decentralized state this isn’t the easiest of processes, but Texas requires that its 200 agencies each prepare a strategic plan, the most recent of which covers the period 2011 to 2015. Over the course of years, the state has approached this field in fits and starts; at times regarded as a national leader. Today more than ever, it is important for jurisdictions to promote accountability and efficient spending by tying policy and budgets to results in the real world.
In this special workshop, Mark Friedman, author of Trying Hard is not Good Enough and internationally renowned pioneer of the Results-Based Accountability (RBA) model, will discuss best practices for turning data into action and prioritizing outcomes in budgeting. This session will be essential for officials who wish to gain a better understanding of the RBA framework and learn the steps to successfully create desired outcomes for their communities.
Mark Funkhouser, Ph.D., Publisher, Governing
Mark Friedman, Director, Fiscal Policy Studies Institute (FPSI)

3:20 pm

Closing Keynote

A Bright Future for the Lone Star State: Leadership and Vision for a Prosperous Tomorrow

Sheriff Adrian Garcia took command of the largest sheriff’s office in Texas, in a county with over 4.2 million residents, in 2009.  After defeating an incumbent, Garcia inherited an organization wrought with financial mismanagement, an overpopulated jail system, and a void in the public’s trust.  Steadfast in his belief that the Harris County Sheriff’s Office would be best served by modernization and sound fiscal management, Sheriff Garcia went to work restoring the integrity and operations of the agency.  Well into his second term as Harris County’s leading law man, Sheriff Garcia has brought the Office’s budget under control, alleviated the overburdened jail, maintained a handle on crime in the community and restored the public’s faith in law enforcement.  Sheriff Garcia’s governance principles apply directly to the demands of the state’s future population growth, economic expansion and long term viability. In his talk, Sheriff Garcia will share his insights and outline innovative strategies and best practices to help Texas officials govern more effectively at the state and local level.

Adrian Garcia, Sheriff, Harris County

4:00 pm