March 2021 | Issue 1
Regional Policy
Energy & Environment Leadership
At the start of each biennium CSG West officers identify policy areas important to the region and establish committees tasked with facilitating information exchange, disseminating research, and providing opportunities for members to develop shared solutions. Each committee is lead by co-chairs who provide bipartisan perspective to issues facing the region. As these leaders begin their efforts, we invite you to learn a little more about them and the perspective they bring to their work. 
Legislative Oversight
Addressing State Emergency and Disaster Authorities
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic saw governors taking unprecedented actions in the interest of public health and safety. In turn, the role of legislative oversight has been of growing interest and has resulted in the introduction of legislation in more than 30 states aimed at limiting a governor’s emergency authority. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), an affiliate of CSG, has released an informational paper offering points of consideration for state legislation addressing emergency and disaster authorities. Click below to read more.
Levin Center Podcast - Oversight Matters
The Levin Center at Wayne State Law School, a collaborator of CSG West’s Legislative Oversight Working Group, recently launched the “Oversight Matters” podcast offering a behind the scenes look at the importance of oversight and the policymakers involved in this work. Listeners will hear personal stories about uncovering concerns, investigating issues, and efforts to implement reform. Conversations will also highlight how bipartisanship can strengthen oversight and contribute to constructive debate. Click below to learn more. 
U.S. Supreme Court Updates
What Constitutes Public Charge?
In Department of Homeland Security v. New York the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the Trump administration’s “public charge” definition violates the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) or is arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). A factor relevant to whether a non-citizen may become a lawful permanent resident is whether they are likely to become a “public charge” - a term not defined in the INA. Since 1999, federal rules considered four “cash” public benefits with a 2019 final rule adding the criteria of “non-cash” benefits used for more than 12 months in any 36-month period. Three states, New York City, and a number of nonprofits sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) arguing the definition violates the INA and is arbitrary and capricious under the APA. The Second Circuit affirmed the federal district court’s preliminary ruling against DHS. It is now before the Supreme Court. To read a recap of the case, click below.
Supreme Court Midterm Webinar

The Supreme Court’s 2021 docket is set for the 2020-2021 term. Many new cases of interest to states and local governments have been added, ranging from a takings case to a case involving college athlete pay. Join us on March 18 for a discussion of the most interesting cases for states and local governments to be decided this term. Click below for more information and registration.
Member Resources
Western Legislative Academy Applications Open
Offering an intensive multi-day training to legislators in their first four years, the Western Legislative Academy (WLA) invites interested members to submit an application by the April 23 deadline! Click below to learn more about the program, past participants, and the application process.
COVID-19 State Resources
Be sure to check out the CSG COVID-19 resource site for updated information on initiatives and resources related to state responses to the pandemic.
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.