The Council of State Governments - WEST


September 26, 2013

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Measuring Poverty in the States
Oct. 1, 2013
 3-4 p.m. EDT

Wind Pool Insurance: Strategies from the SLC States
Oct. 18, 2013 
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Oct. 22, 2013
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Columbia River Treaty Review

By: Hans Poschman, CSG-WEST 

 The Legislative Council on River Governance (LCRG) comprised of legislators from the Columbia River Basin states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington will be meeting October 3-4 to discuss the Columbia River Treaty. Basin legislators are very familiar with the Treaty that has governed the operations of the river system for nearly 50 years. The Treaty has no official end date, but 2014 is the first year that either side can unilaterally choose to give the 10-year notice required to change or end the Treaty.


In 1944, the Canadian and U.S. governments agreed to begin studying the potential for joint development of dams in the Columbia River basin. Massive flooding in 1948 that killed more than 30 people and destroyed the community of Vanport, Oregon (the second largest city in Oregon at the time) led to increased interest in a coordinated approach to river management. The original Treaty was finalized in 1964 and has been responsible for governing hydroelectric power generation and flood control since then.


The Treaty required the creation of a number of dams along the Columbia River with the largest of those in Canada. Under the agreement, the dams are operated with two main objectives: prevent flooding and maximize energy production. The U.S. in return provides Canada with half of the estimated increase in downstream power; this is known as the Canadian Entitlement.  As the cost of energy has increased over the years the value of the Canadian Entitlement has grown. The Canadian Entitlement varies from year to year, but is generally in the range of 4,400 GWh per year and about 1,250 MW of capacity.


During the treaty review process, review teams from both countries are looking at the operational structure of the Treaty and possibly recommending changes to the Canadian Entitlement, how flood control is handled, and adding a third component to the Treaty related to the environment. Last week the U.S. Entity released its final Draft Regional Recommendation regarding the Treaty.  When the LCRG meets in Boardman, OR next week the members will get to hear from both the U.S. Entity and British Columbia on how each side sees the Treaty. For more information about the LCRG, please contact Hans Poschman at



More Information:


U.S. Entity's Website


British Columbia's Treaty Review Website

2013 CSG Tolls Fellows Graduate


Congratulations to the 2013 CSG Tolls Fellows Graduates. This year we had 12 graduates from the Western states. The graduating class was a diverse mix of Senators, Representatives, legislative staff and a Circuit Court Judge. 





House Majority Leader Lance Pruitt




Brian Ebbert, Assistant Chief Clerk/Parliamentarian, State Assembly




Sen. Linda Newell




Rep. Isaac Choy




Senate President Pro Tempore H. Brent Hill


Rep. Jeffrey Thompson




Senate Majority Floor Leader Mo Denis


Sen. Tick Segerblom


New Mexico: 


Rep. Georgene Louis




Presiding Judge Nan Waller, Multnomah County Circuit Court




Rep. Sharon Wylie




House Minority Floor Leader Mary Throne



The Toll Fellowship Program, named for CSG founder Henry Wolcott Toll, is one of the nation's premier leadership development programs for state government officials. Each year, the program brings 48 of the nation's top officials from all three branches of state government to Lexington, Ky., for an intensive six-day, five-night "intellectual boot camp."  
Who's Poor? Measuring Poverty in the States


Register Now!


Few changes have been made to the official federal poverty measure since it was adopted in 1969 despite growing concern over its accuracy and usefulness. To address these concerns, both governmental and nongovernmental organizations have developed alternative ways of measuring poverty. Learn about a few of those alternatives and how they differ from more traditional poverty measures during this webinar. 




Timothy M. Smeeding

Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty and Arts and Sciences and distinguished professor of public affairs and economics at the Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin in Madison 


Kathleen Short
Ph.D.Senior Research Economist, Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau

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.