February 2021 | Issue 2
Meet the New Legislative Leaders of the West
As 2021 legislative sessions begin there are a number of new faces stepping into leadership roles. We extend our congratulations to these new leaders and look forward to working with them to support the work of their states. Click below to see a roster of the new leaders in our member states.
Regional Policy
The Colorado River Forum
The Colorado River Basin includes seven U.S. states and two Mexico states. With governance of the Colorado River under negotiation through 2026, providing a venue for state legislators to engage in collaborative conversation is essential. To meet this need, CSG West has developed the Colorado River Forum a first of its kind program.

Modeled after the Legislative Council on River Governance (LCRG), the Colorado River Forum will be comprised of members appointed by their respective state leaders and will meet annually for in-person conversation and information sharing. Additional information on the program is coming soon!
U.S. Supreme Court Updates
Can a Private Entity Exercise Eminent Domain on State Land?
In PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a private natural gas company may use the federal government's eminent-domain power to condemn state land. The Natural Gas Act (NGA) authorizes private gas companies to obtain necessary rights of way through eminent domain to build pipelines prompting PennEast to ask a federal district court to condemn 42 properties belonging to New Jersey in order to build a pipeline. New Jersey argued that the federal government cannot delegate its exemption to a private company and the Third Circuit agreed. To read a recap of the case and the court's opinions, click below.
California Church Restrictions Overruled

As states continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19, restrictions related to businesses and gatherings continue to draw heated debate. California's restrictions on indoor gatherings for church services was recently brought before the U.S. Supreme Court leading to divided opinions among the Justices and a decision likely to raise more questions moving forward. To learn more about the case and the court's opinion, click below.
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.
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