INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis has hosted Final Fours, concerts and a Super Bowl. Now it can add another meeting of the top lawmakers in the country to the list.
In 2020, the Circle City will host the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit. This four-day event – scheduled for Aug. 10-13, 2020 – will bring together lawmakers from every state to talk about issues, discuss strategies for different scenarios and even have a little fun that doesn’t involve party lines.
But it’s also a chance to highlight the state.
“We want to showcase all of Indianapolis and all of Indiana,” Diane Powers, staff director for the host committee planning the event with the assistance of Visit Indiana, said after a committee meeting Thursday.
One of the marquee venues for the summit will be the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Powers said the main social event for the lawmakers will be held at the famed Brickyard, “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Indiana legislators, including the host committee for the 2020 summit, plan to attend this year’s event, being held Aug. 5-8 in Nashville, Tennessee, to get ideas about what they like and what they can improve upon.
House Minority Leader Philip GiaQuinta, a Fort Wayne Democrat who is on the bipartisan host committee of representatives, senators and others, said he’s excited for the legislative summit to return to Indianapolis for the first time in 20 years.
“It’s an opportunity for Indiana to shine,” GiaQuinta said, “and to particularly show the development that has occurred in the last 10-15 years. It’s a great opportunity for the city to show off what it has and, of course, for legislators and others to not only enjoy the city but the legislative sessions and the learning opportunities as well.”
The summit – described on the NCSL website as a chance for state lawmakers to “reach across the aisle, negotiate, compromise and collaborate to get things done” — includes meetings and task forces about different issues affecting the nation. In Nashville, climate change and cybersecurity are among the topics. GiaQuinta said the list of topics for the Indianapolis summit has yet to be determined.
“Those (issues) actually will reflect the time that we are in, so they can vary. It just depends on what the hot topic of the day is,” he said.
The committee needs to raise about $1.2 million from sponsors to help with the cost of the event. So far, they have raised about $30,000.