Mar 21, 2019
Regional Roundup
JOIN US FOR THE 72ND ANNUAL MEETING
Hosted in Big Sky, Montana the 2019 Annual Meeting will offer a forum for collaborative conversations on a range of topics. For a preview of the program agenda, along information on housing and travel, be sure to visit our website!
 
Committee Update
WATER & ENVIRONMENT KEY TOPICS
Despite record-breaking amounts of rain and snow in the West, water remains a critical concern for farmers, communities, utilities and water districts across our region. Some of the top concerns and interests include proposed definition revisions of the  Waters of the United States (WOTUS), groundwater management, Drought Contingency Plans (DCP) to protect the Colorado River, and Access to clean drinking water for rural communities.

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OPEN NOTICE FOR COMMENTS ON CLEAN WATER ACT REVISIONS
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army (the agencies) proposed a revised definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule  published in the Federal Register (FR)  on February 14, 2019 and will be open for a 60-day public comment periodThe public comment period will close on April 15, 2019

Border Region
THE U.S. - MEXICO BORDER REGION
PRESE NTS: NUEVO LEON

Recognized for its outdoor activities, Nuevo Leon's natural landscape includes the Garcia Caves, canyons, and mountains which attract visitors for climbing, bungee jumping, and hiking.  In 2017, Nuevo Leon's population reached over 4 million, accounting for 4.2% of Mexico's total population. The capital, Monterrey, is one of the wealthiest cities in Mexico with and is home to over 90% of the state's population. The city is also h ost to a concentration of the state's industrial, financial, and business activities. 


Regional Updates
CSG WEST STAFF VISIT WESTERN STATE LEGISLATURES
CSG West Director, Edgar Ruiz, and accompanying staff visit each of our member states during their legislative sessions each year. State visits are coordinated to share information about programs and services for policy-makers, as well as to learn more about the issues that legislatures are addressing to assist in the facilitation of regional dialogue.

Below is a listing of upcoming state visits. Be sure to keep an eye out for your state!

Washington  - March 25-27       Nevada  - April  1-2        

ALASKA STATE VISIT
The week of February 19, CSG West director, Edgar Ruiz, and accompanying staff arrived in Juneau amid a busy legislative session. The state visit coincided with the end of a historic 31-day process to elect leadership of the House of Representatives. A key focus of the legislature is the budget with additional focus given to criminal justice reform, public safety, and education.

During the visit, members of the Senate and House received in-person updates from U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski  and U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan who  offered personal perspectives on congressional actions and the impact on Alaska. The Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court, Joel Bolger, also addressed the legislature providing a "State of the Judiciary" in which he identified enhanced cybersecurity for the Courts as a priority item.

ARIZONA STATE VISIT
The 54th Arizona Legislative session convened on January 14 and is scheduled to last 100 days. Session activities have kept the Capitol occupied until late hours of the day, especially in the House  where legislators have reviewed over 500 bills.  Lawmakers face many issues this session including: expanding vaccine exemptions , death penalty eligibility , an increase in teacher's salary,  tax conformity, Tribal Affairs, and water.

COLORADO STATE VISIT
Scheduled to adjourn May 3, the Colorado legislative members found themselves evaluating a number of bills drawing significant attention. One bill being reviewed would change the mission of the commission that regulates the oil and gas industry placing more emphasis on health and safety concerns and increasing the authority of local officials to negotiate where future drilling operations could occur.  Health care also drew attention with two bills meant to decrease health care costs, particularly in rural areas, that would create a state-backed reinsurance program.  Another bill referred to as the "red flag bill" drew much debate over the ability of law enforcement to remove firearms from individual determined by a judge to be at high risk of harming themselves or others.

Other significant bills involve the repeal of the death penalty; improving teacher preparation; full funding for kindergarten and preschool; and simplification of the marijuana laws to combine medical and retail codes.  


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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.