(The Center Square) – U.S. states are vital in providing “specific, provable experiments” that can be used to help meet the challenges of the entire country, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in the closing session of the American Legislative Executive Council’s annual meeting.

“We’re at the cusp at either moving forward to relaunch America in one of the most amazing cycles of creativity and opportunity and energy in American history at which point we will pull away from the rest of the planet,” Gingrich told the group of state legislators. “We will once again be the most dynamic, exciting and prosperous country in the world, or we are going to continue to decay under control of unions and bureaucrats and left-wing crazies in which case the whole fabric of the American system will be shattered.”

Lawmakers gathered in Atlanta this week for the 49th annual meeting of the organization. The group focused the conference on the three “E’s;” education, energy and the economy.

Thirty-three possible policies were discussed including a hospital price transparency bill and legislation that would outline considerations for states who accept federal funding.

Based on some of the trends we are witnessing, it is likely that there will be a significant shift in November with more state legislatures moving toward the ALEC values of limited government, free markets, and federalism,” said ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson in a news release. “Americans vote on these issues and are paying much closer attention to who is making those decisions and how it impacts their lives. ”

Other speakers included former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and Steve Forbes.

ALEC awarded Indiana Congresswoman Victoria Spartz with the Iron Lady award. Spartz is a Ukrainian native who warned Congress about threats from Russia.

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