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Policy Insights, the Budget Center’s annual conference, is the premier event for advocates, policymakers, researchers, and other leaders working to improve the lives of low- and middle-income Californians.

The following is the agenda and schedule for Policy Insights 2015, held on March 4 at the Sacramento Convention Center, along with presentations and handouts from the conference sessions.

View CalChannel’s video page from Policy Insights 2015

8:30-8:50 Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00-9:15 Welcome
Chris Hoene, executive director, California Budget & Policy Center

9:15-10:30 Keynote
California Prospects, Act I: The Intersection of Analysis, New Media, and Public Policy
One of the nation’s leading policy wonks discusses how timely, accessible analysis and commentary can shape and advance public policy.

Ezra Klein, editor-in-chief,
Steven Bliss, director, strategic communications, California Budget & Policy Center

10:45-12:00 Morning Workshops

  • Sentencing Reform in California: Work Left to Do
    Lenore Anderson, executive director, Californians for Safety and Justice
    Handout: CSJ Fact Sheet on Proposition 47
    Hadar Aviram, professor of law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
    Tamisha Walker, founding member, Safe Return Project
    Moderator: Selena Teji, policy analyst, California Budget & Policy Center
  • What’s at Stake? Key Legislative Staffers Discuss the 2015-16 Budget
    Agnes Lee, health policy adviser, Office of Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins
    Seren M. Taylor, staff director, Senate Republican Fiscal Office
    Presentation: Budget Overview
    Nicole Vazquez, deputy chief consultant, Assembly Budget Committee
    Moderator: Scott Graves, director of research, California Budget & Policy Center
  • A New Federal Policy Landscape: What Republican Control of Congress Means for the Federal Budget – and What’s at Stake for California
    Ed Bolen, senior policy analyst, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
    Edwin Park, vice president for Health Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
    Presentation: The 2015 Federal Budget Landscape and the Threat to Key Low-Income Programs
    Moderator: Luke Reidenbach, policy analyst, California Budget & Policy Center
  • Revenue and Tax Policy: Weighing Options and Prospects for Reform
    Tim Gage, principal and co-founder, Blue Sky Consulting Group
    Lenny Goldberg, executive director, California Tax Reform Association
    Jean Ross, program officer, Ford Foundation and former executive director, California Budget & Policy Center
    Moderator: Chris Hoene, executive director, California Budget & Policy Center

12:15-1:45 Luncheon Plenary

Celebrating 20 Years of Analysis and Impact
Paul Rosenstiel, managing director, public finance department, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company and board chair, California Budget & Policy Center
Jean Ross, program officer, Ford Foundation and former executive director, California Budget & Policy Center

California Prospects, Act II: Big Challenges, Big Ideas
Three of our state’s foremost thought leaders and influencers discuss the opportunities and questions
presented by changes in the state’s demographics, economy, and social conditions.
Joe Mathews, California and innovation editor, Zócalo Public Square
Senator Holly J. Mitchell, chair, Senate Budget Subcommittee 3 on Health and Human Services
Manuel Pastor, director, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, University of Southern
Anthony York, president and publisher, Grizzly Bear Media and the Grizzly Bear Project

2:00-3:15 Afternoon Workshops

  • Poverty in California: Key Policymakers Discuss State Strategies to Address Poverty
    Speaker of the Assembly Toni G. Atkins
    Senator Mark Leno, chair, Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review
    Assemblymember Mark Stone, member, Assembly Committee on Human Services
    Erica Williams, assistant director of state fiscal research, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
    Moderator: Chris Hoene, executive director, California Budget & Policy Center
  • Finding the Right Balance: What Role Should the State Play in Improving Education for Disadvantaged Students?
    Brooks Allen, deputy policy Director and assistant legal counsel, State Board of Education
    Carolyn Chu, senior fiscal and policy analyst, Legislative Analyst’s Office
    Presentation: Review of California’s Local Control and Accountability Plans
    Samantha Tran, senior managing director, education policy, Children Now
    Moderator: Jonathan Kaplan, senior policy analyst, California Budget & Policy Center

3:15-4:30 Afternoon Plenary
California Prospects, Act III: Confronting Policy Choices That Will Define Our Future
Three leaders with deep Capitol experience will discuss the policy choices likely to define California’s
future and examine how the state can position itself for economic prosperity that is broadly shared.
Ana J. Matosantos, policy consultant and former director, Department of Finance
John A. Pérez, regent, University of California Board of Regents and Speaker emeritus, Assembly
Darrell Steinberg, chair, California Government Law and Policy Practice, Greenberg Traurig and former Senate President pro Tem
Ben Adler, Capitol bureau chief, Capital Public Radio

4:30-6:00 20th Anniversary Reception

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