Crumbling bridges, pothole filled streets, work and insurance benefits complicated by AIDS, child care, education and the environment are just some of the issues faced by the nation's legislators.
Some will be addressed by the National Conference of State Legislatures, which opens its six-day annual conference here Sunday."Some of the things that will be discussed will see easy agreement, others will be controversial and you won't get anyone to vote the same way," said Susan Seladones, the group's director of public affairs.
"It's going to be very interesting to see what comes out of the meeting. Our policies that we adopt do not tell the states what to do but it shows where we stand on state and federal issues."
The lawmakers will meet throughout the week in standing committees ranging from health and human services and agriculture to economic development and education.
Concerns include gun control, workers compensation in light of the fatal disease AIDS, medical malpractice, conflict of interest in government, pay equity, welfare reform and the homeless.
The committees' final resolutions will go before the entire meeting in a sort of legislative floor session Thursday. Those approved by three-fourths of the lawmakers attending the general session will be forwarded to Congress as recommendations, Seladones said.
"We've been working for the past eight or nine months to come up with something on reducing the federal deficit, which we think will lead to a pretty interesting debate on the floor."