Lawmakers from 16 states attended the opening of the Southern Legislative Conference this past weekend in Charleston, W.Va. Attendees justified the event's meetings as a way to exchange ideas and said the corporate-sponsored parties were social events that won't affect their votes on future legislation. We suspect they're about half right.
We agree with Maryland state Sen. Jennie Forehand, D-Montgomery, who told The Associated Press that lawmakers are very insulated in their state capitals and need to see how legislators in other states have handled similar issues.
For example, the conference includes a group called the Southern Technology Council, which attempts to make sure that public policy keeps up with emerging technology.
If that sounds like a dry topic more of interest to scientists than the average taxpayer, consider this: As technology makes it possible to conduct electronic banking at a variety of locations what fees are appropriate? Should the state consider this a potential revenue source?