The Council of State Governments - WEST


February 19, 2013

Annual Meeting
Now Open
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July 30 - August 2, 2013

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Upcoming Webinars
The Clean Water Act and Waters of the U.S. 
Thursday, Feb. 21st
2 p.m. EST

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1107 Ninth St. 
Suite 730
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.553.4423
Fax: 916.446-5760
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The Clean Water Act & Waters of the U.S.

This webinar will help state policymakers understand the complex regulatory history over determining the jurisdiction of the federal government under the Clean Water Act. In 2011, CSG-WEST passed a resolution stating concerns that the Draft Guidance on Identifying Waters protected by the Clean Water Act issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corp of Engineers "would potentially increase the number and extent of waters over which the federal government asserts jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act."


In light of the Obama administration's indication that regulations may be coming in 2013, this webinar will feature Stacey Jensen with the Headquarters Office of the Army Corps of Engineers, who will share her insights and expertise regarding the existing regulatory guidance and what may be coming in the near future.  


 Thursday, February 21st at 2 p.m. EST

Click here to sign up for this webinar.

Beloved WLA Trainer Arch Lustberg Passes Away

Arch LustbergLast week was a sad time at CSG-WEST as we mourned the February 8 death of beloved Western Legislative Academy trainer Arch Lustberg.  From the inaugural WLA Class of 2000 to the Class of 2011, Lustberg trained more than 450 newer Western lawmakers.  He also trained for many years at Toll Fellows and other CSG workshops throughout the nation. 


No CSG trainer was more highly acclaimed than Arch. He advised lawmakers to open their faces and make intellectual love to audiences rather than reciting endless facts and figures.  He taught legislators how to handle hostile media interviews (Answer questions as if a perfectly nice person had asked them!) And he showed us the powerful art of storytelling.


From the Speech and Drama Department at Catholic University to Broadway and TV to Arch Lustberg Communications, Arch was a legend. 


Just as he taught countless others to be, Arch will be long remembered. May he rest in peace.  

Federal Budget 101

In January Congress averted the fiscal cliff, for the time being (Click here to read more). However, March 1st is the deadline for congress to pass a budget to avert sequestration from happening. The Sequester is $85.3 billion in cuts this year and $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. While the Sequestration cuts may be to the Federal Budget they will have big effects on the states.
 Cuts in millions of dollars.
In the bar graph above, the blue line represents specific reductions in grant funding to states based on 28 separate grant accounts covering everything from special education funding (called IDEA funds) to the State Energy Program which helps states make energy efficiency improvements to buildings.  The line in red is the economic impact of reduced defense spending (including impacts on reduced defense procurement and payroll reductions for DOD civilian employees).  It does not represent direct money lost from state budgets, but it will ultimately have a budgetary impact as reduced economic activity will impact tax revenue.   
All 50 states will be affected, but out of the 8 states facing the largest share of the cuts 3 of them are in the west. Wyoming is scheduled to take the largest non-defense cut (more than twice as large as any other state) and will loose over $200 million in grant funds. Congress will return on February 25th to hopefully find a solution to prevent sequestration. Federal Budget 101 is a chance to brush up on the size and scope of the Federal Budget before the Sequestration deadline.

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.