The Council of State Governments - WEST


January 23, 2013

Annual Meeting
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July 30 - August 2, 2013

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Upcoming Webinars
States to Watch 
 in 2013: Transportation Funding 
Tuesday, Feb. 5
2 p.m. EST

Contact Us
1107 Ninth St. 
Suite 730
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.553.4423
Fax: 916.446-5760
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STEP up Your State's Trade
The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Grant Program is a three-year, $90 million initiative aimed to increase the number of small businesses exporting products to other countries. CSG, along with its affiliate SIDO (State International Development Organizations), was instrumental in working with congressional staffers in the house and senate to get language for the STEP program included and passed as part of the 2010 Small Business Jobs Act.). Once the legislation was passed, CSG and SIDO worked directly with the Small Business Administration, offering advice and suggestions for the grant guidelines and reporting parameters. CSG and SIDO continue to be the sole intermediaries between SBA and individual states when challenges and questions arise. 
Exports accounted for roughly one half of U.S. economic growth in 2011 and overseas markets are increasingly important for small businesses as well as large corporations. Helping small businesses grow or start their export business helps create new jobs and increase state revenues. All 13 western states have received STEP funding. CSG and SIDO are working on the re-authorization of the program past 2013 and, if this happens, it will mean the continuation of a pilot program that has unquestionably led to an increase in the number of small and medium sized businesses exporting.  
Click on your state below to see what your state did with STEP funds:

WESTRAIN brings training to Legislatures

In 2012 the Officers of CSG-WEST approved the establishment of WESTRAIN, a pilot program that serves as a speakers' bureau to provide capacity training in state capitols.  During its pilot phase, CSG-WEST is offering trainers in the areas of communications, ethics, time management and stress management. To date, the legislatures of Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Nevada have benefited from this program. 


A legislator orientation in Idaho, which included a WESTRAIN speaker on ethics, was covered by the Associated Press which noted that the " lawmakers were reminded by speakers including a former Iowa Legislature ethics committee chairman to actively cultivate a culture of integrity as they go about their business during the 2013 session." Later this year the CSG-
WEST Officers will be reviewing the pilot program for effectiveness and possible expansion.


If you would like more information about WESTRAIN or would like to know about the speakers available through the WESTRAIN speakers' bureau, please contact Mary Lou Cooper at

Western Legislative Academy
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November 13 - 16, 2013

Colorado Springs, CO


Each year CSG-WEST brings together a distinguished national faculty to offer the West's premier training experience for Western state legislators in their first four years of service. The goals of the Western Legislative Academy (WLA) are to help newer legislators become more effective and to build stronger state legislative institutions. To that end a faculty of outstanding academics, corporate, military and public trainers work with a small class of lawmakers who come from each of our 13 Western states.


Members of the Academy are selected on the basis of their dedication to public service, desire to improve personal legislative effectiveness and commitment to the institution of the legislature. Many WLA graduates go on to leadership positions from caucuses and committees to chamber leadership offices. Four of our 451 WLA alumni are now serving in the U.S. Congress.


The mission of CSG-WEST is to facilitate regional, nonpartisan cooperation and exchange of information, and to strengthen legislative institutions among our 13 member states. These services are achieved through a variety of programs and services offered to legislators and their staff, including the convening of policy forums, professional development training, international relations opportunities, publications and institutional links with other political entities in the West.

CSG-WEST serves the Western legislatures of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Associate members include the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia and the Pacific islands of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.