Please forward this newsletter to anyone who may be interested.                               January 25, 2017
Economist Christopher Thornberg Discusses the Intersection of Politics and Economy 
As we dive headlong into a new year and new Presidential administration, questions continue to circulate about the state of the American economy and where it might be headed. Economist Dr. Christopher Thornberg, CASA's 2017 Winter Conference keynote speaker, tackled this subject and much more in his Thursday presentation.
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CASA Delegates Hear Expert Views on the 2016 Election 
CASA members enjoyed getting an insider's perspective on the November election from veteran political analysts Matt Rexroad and Paul Mitchell.  Matt, a veteran campaigner, provided a "boots on the ground" outlook from his experience running Republican campaigns in California.  Paul discussed the macro-level insight generated from the election polling data collected by his business, Political Data.  The bipartisan panel gave an interesting analysis of why President Trump's atypical campaign was so successful in appealing to his voters, and discussed the "down-ticket" impacts (or lack thereof) of his candidacy to other Republican races across the country.
Additionally, CASA members got a preview of several changes to California's election process that will impact local and statewide elections beginning in 2018.  The changes include moving to district based elections and requiring some local elections to coincide with statewide elections. The group also heard about how existing California election laws, such as the top-two primary system and new 12 year term limits, will continue re-shaping California politics for years to come.

Mike Dillon Honored for Over 40 Years of Service to CASA
The highlight of Thursday's conference luncheon was presentation of a lifetime service award to long time CASA lobbyist and former Executive Director Mike Dillon.  Following a video tribute to Mike from several of his CASA friends and colleagues, President Jeff Moorhouse praised Mike's lasting contributions to the association and the members showed their appreciation with a standing ovation.  Mike assured the membership that he will still be working for CASA in Sacramento in his new role as senior advocate and strategist.
As part of our succession planning, CASA recently hired our first Manager of Legislative Affairs, Jessica Gauger. She has assumed the lead role with the State Legislative Committee and will be providing regular updates to the membership at conferences and in the CASA Connects. Mike is continuing in the lobbying business in Sacramento, and that's good news for CASA, as we will continue to rely on him as a senior advisor and strategist to work with Jessica and the rest of the team.

Renewable Resources in the Spotlight
Conference participants heard the latest developments on key issues such as climate
 change and biosolids beneficial use. The Thursday afternoon session featured remarks from Jimmy Slaughter, an attorney who led the successful challenge to
the Kern County biosolids ban on behalf of CASA and its fellow plaintiffs. Mr. Slaughter shared the highlights of the two-week trial, which led to the court ruling the ordinance both exceeded the county's police power authority and violated the state's Integrated Waste Management Act. Mr. Slaughter credited the quality of the expert and fact witnesses, including CASA's Greg Kester, as a key factor in the victory.

Associates Reception Raises Over $6,000 for CASA Education Foundation
Thursday evening's Associates Reception was an opportunity to sip, savor and support the CASA Education Foundation.  While networking with colleagues and friends, members contributed generously through the silent auction and raffle to support the foundation's mission to mentor college students whose education path has taken a water focus. The Associates Committee and the Foundation's Board of Directors extend a heartfelt thank you to all who help support our mission to develop the next generation of clean water professionals.
Please consider a contribution to the scholarship fund.  You can find the pledge form on CASA's website.

POLITICO Correspondent to Open 2017 DC Forum
Shane Goldmacher, senior political reporter at POLITICO, will open this year's Washington D.C. Policy Forum, set for February 27 through March 1 at the St. Regis Hotel. Mr. Goldmacher is an award-winning journalist who closely covered the Republican primary that saw the rise of President Donald Trump. Mr. Goldmacher has appeared regularly on radio and television to offer reporting and commentary, including on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN and NPR.
If you haven't made your plans to join your colleagues for this important event, register today! The hotel is already sold out but CASA staff can help you with alternate lodging and place you on the waiting list for rooms at the conference hotel as they become available.
President Orders Regulatory Freeze
In one of his first official acts, President Donald Trump issued an immediate regulatory freeze on all rules and regulations that have not yet been finalized or published in the Federal Register. Previous administrations have imposed similar freezes when taking office.
A memo from White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus orders all federal agencies to delay finalizing any regulations until the new administration can review them, and to pull back any final regulations that have not yet been published in the Federal Register.
Rules of most interest to CASA members that are impacted by this memo are the Dental Amalgam Rule and the Methods Update Rule, both of which were finalized by the Obama EPA, but have not yet been published in the Federal Register.  CASA will be tracking these issues in the coming weeks, and discussing regulatory reform with key congressional staff, administration officials and stakeholders at next month's Washington D.C. Policy Forum. 
Member News
Congratulations to Delta Diablo for receiving the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, California's highest environmental honor. The program recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California's precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state's economy.

Mixed Bag
  • The Water Research Foundation has released the Blueprint for One Water, a practical guide for agencies seeking to manage water resources holistically and sustainably. Associate member Brown and Caldwell developed the blueprint for WRF with input from over 800 water professionals who participated in an international survey, more than 10 one-on-one interviews, and a two-day international workshop with 35 water professionals. 
  • USEPA has announced the availability of approximately $1.0 billion in credit assistance for water infrastructure projects under the new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. This financing will help support approximately $2 billion in total infrastructure investment. Letters of interest from prospective borrowers seeking credit assistance will be accepted from January 10, 2017 until midnight on April 10, 2017.
    The WIFIA program will host two webinars for prospective borrowers that will provide a short overview of the program and explain the process for submitting and evaluating letters of interest. These webinars will be held on Thursday, February 9 at 2:00-3:30 pm ET and Tuesday, March 7, 2016 at 1:00-2:30 pm ET. To access the webinars, register in advance for either the February 9 or March 7 webinar.


Now Hiring!
CASA members have numerous opportunities  available. Visit our  Job Board  for details. 

2017 Dates
Feb. 27 - March 1 CASA Washington, D.C.
April 19 CASA/WateReuse  Sacramento