January 2022 | Issue 1

Regional Roundup Header.png

Agriculture & Water

Proposed changes for agricultural water requirements in the Food Modernization and Safety Act (FSMA)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced a proposed rule change to the Food Modernization and Safety Act pre-harvest provisions relating to produce grown for human consumption, excluding sprouts.

The proposed change is in response to stakeholder concerns regarding FSMA requirements regarding pre-harvest microbial quality criteria and testing requirements.

System-based pre-harvest agriculture assessments would identify conditions that are reasonably likely to introduce known or foreseeable hazards into or onto produce or food contact surfaces.

Two virtual meetings to solicit public comment will be held in February. For details about the proposed rule, how to submit comments for consideration and other information relating to FSMA, please use the links below.

FSMA Proposed Rule Change
Info for Public Hearing

DOI and Colorado River Basin States

to invest up to $200 million to preserve Lake Mead water levels

An MOU was signed in December between the U.S. Department of Interior and Arizona, California and Nevada, which commits the lower Colorado River Basin states and DOI to investing up to $200 million over the next two years to save 500,000 acre feet of water (above the amount currently required in the Drought Contingency Plans) to preserve Lake Mead water levels.

In addition, Interior officials also signed agreements with Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) and the Gila River Indian Community to stabilize the water elevation of Lake Mead.

More information about these agreements can be found on the link below.

Read More

Update on proposed rule to re-establish pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS)

In November the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced a proposed rule to re-establish the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). In December, the proposed rule was published in the Federal Register. The public comment period is open until February 7.

For more information about WOTUS and how to provide comment on the proposed rule, please click below.

More Info


2022 CSG West Officers

We are excited to introduce the 2022 CSG West Officers who, in coordination with the Executive Committee and CSG West Director, will lead the organization's efforts this year.  

Idaho Representative Clark Kauffman will continue his service as CSG West Chair, which will include hosting the 2022 CSG West Annual Meeting in Boise. California Assemblymember Mike Gipson has rotated into the position of chair-elect after having served as vice chair in 2021. We extend a warm welcome to the new vice chair, Oregon Senator Bill Hansell, who currently chairs the Legislative Council on River Governance and who has had significant involvement with the organization in recent years. 

To learn more about the 2022 CSG West Officers, we invite you to scroll through their respective bios below.


Clark Kauffman

CSG West Chair


Mike Gipson

CSG West Chair Elect


Bill Hansell

CSG West Vice Chair

Member Resources


CSG West Director Participates in “Out West” Podcast to Discuss State & Federal Relations

CSG West Director Edgar Ruiz participated in the latest episode of the Out West podcast, hosted by the Western Governors’ Association (WGA). Edgar was joined by staff from the WGA, National Association of Counties, and the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region for a conversation about ongoing work to strengthen the states’ relationship with the federal government.

Click below to listen to the full episode of “Strengthening the State-Federal Relationship.”

Listen to Full Episode
treasury bldg 2_from treasury site.jpg

U.S. Treasury issues Final Rule for State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Program

On January 6, the U.S. Department of Treasury issued the Final Rule for State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), enacted to support state, local, and Tribal governments with their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Taking effect April 1, 2022, the final rule increases flexibility to pursue a wider range of uses and aims to simplify the program for small localities. Examples include making services such as childcare, early education, and affordable housing development available to communities impacted by the pandemic. Other notable areas addressed in the rule include expanded support for public sector hiring, streamlined payment options for essential workers, and broadened eligibility for water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure projects.  

Please access the resources below to learn more about the SLFRF and how it may impact states.

Treasury Press Release
Final Rule Text
Overview of Major Provisions
treasury bldg 2_from treasury site.jpg

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Requires Insurance Companies and Group Health Plans to Cover the Cost of At-Home COVID-19 Tests

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that insurance companies and group health plans will be required to cover the cost of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests, so people with private health coverage can get them for free starting January 15th. 

The new requirement means that most consumers with private health coverage can go online or to a pharmacy or store, buy a test, and either get it paid for up front by their health plan, or get reimbursed for the cost by submitting a claim to their plan. For additional details, please click below.  

HHS Press Release
Additional Details



CSG West is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization serving western state legislatures. All active legislators are considered members of our organization and included in organizational correspondence regarding news and events. While we hope you find this information of use, we also understand the need for a tidy inbox. If you do not wish to receive email updates from us, please unsubscribe below to be removed from our email list.

Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn