The Council of State Governments - WEST


March 5, 2013

Annual Meeting
Now Open
Annual Meeting Logo

July 30 - August 2, 2013

Las Vegas, Nevada

Quick Links

Upcoming Webinars
After Sequester: The Road Ahead for States 
Thursday, March 7th
2 p.m. EST

State Efforts to 
Enhance Medicaid 
Program Integrity
Friday, March 15th 
2 p.m. EDT 
Report Card 
for America's Infrastructure


Thursday, April 4, 

2 p.m. EDT

Contact Us
1107 Ninth St. 
Suite 730
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.553.4423
Fax: 916.446-5760
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Sequestration and the States
States Will Feel the Pinch of Sequestration, 
but a Bigger Budget Bite is Coming
By Jennifer Ginn


"For states, I would say the hit (from sequestration) is significant, but it's not catastrophic," said Chris Whatley, director of CSG's Washington, D.C., office. When Congress passed the Budget Control Act in 2011, it put into place mandatory budget cuts for both domestic and defense spending if Congress could not agree on a way to reduce the national deficit. Originally set to take effect Jan. 2, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended that deadline to March 1.


Whatley said things aren't as bad financially as they could be for the states, with defense spending facing a 7.3 percent across the board cut and domestic spending facing a 5.9 percent cut.


"If this was a matter of a single pipeline feeding money to the states and squeezing it by 6 percent, that would be felt," Whatley said. "These (cuts) are spread out over 28 accounts. It's like a highway and one of the lanes is huge and it's Medicaid, and you've got a bunch of narrow lanes beside it. The big lane, Medicaid, isn't affected at all. The total effect is spread out over those 28 lanes."


Access the full article here.


Webinar: After Sequester: The Road Ahead for States

Thursday, March 7, 2 p.m. EDT  


Click here for a summary of cuts or view a profile on how sequestration will effect your state:


Western Legislative Academy Accepting Applications
WLA Logo

November 13 - 16, 2013

Colorado Springs, CO


Application Deadline is April 26th


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.




Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds

Employers in states with outstanding long-term debt will see a tax hike in 2013


States that have been borrowing from the federal fund since 2010 or before were required to pay off the outstanding balances on those loans by September 2012. Employers in states that did not make this payment or did not qualify for exemption faced an increase in their 2013 federal unemployment tax rate. 


The federal component of unemployment is funded by a 6 percent tax rate on the first $7,000 paid annually by employers to each employee. Employers in states that have unemployment programs approved by the Labor Department and no outstanding loan balances may credit 5.4 percentage points against the 6 percent tax rate, so that the net effective federal tax rate becomes 0.6 percent. For each year that states fail to pay off their loans on time, that credit gets reduced by 0.3 percent. 


In 2012, 18 states plus the Virgin Islands were unable to pay off their 2010 balances by the deadline.5 Employers in three states-Arizona, Delaware and Vermont-will see an effective 0.3 percentage point increase in their federal unemployment tax rate in 2013. Fourteen states-Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Wisconsin-will see an effective 0.6 percentage point increase in their rates, while Indiana will see a hike of 0.9 percentage points and the Virgin Islands a 1.5 percentage point jump. 


To read more about unemployment insurance trust funds, click here.

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.