Events
Border Legislative Conference Convenes Next Week
The Border Legislative Conference (BLC) is the premier facilitator for ongoing dialogue among legislators of the ten U.S. – Mexico border states. State legislators come together with key stakeholders and topic experts to share information, learn from one another, and discuss unique, regional policy concerns while striving to find shared, binational solutions.
 
This year’s conference convenes April 28 – April 30 at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside, California. Members will discuss a variety of topics, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the binational relationship, environmental challenges and opportunities to improve the environment along the border region, and post pandemic economic recovery and growth. Please join us for a robust and productive conversation on these topics and more.
 
For more information about the conference please visit our website by clicking here. If you have any questions, please contact Martha Castañeda at mcastaneda@csg.org.
Register for the CSG West Annual Meeting
Join us this summer for the 75th CSG West Annual Meeting, July 19-22, in Boise, Idaho. This is CSG West’s largest gathering of Western legislators and registration is now open.

Click on the video below and Discover What’s Possible at the upcoming meeting. See you in Boise!
Regional Policy
Western states enhance efforts to locate missing indigenous women and persons
The Washington State Legislature recently passed House Bill 1725, establishing a statewide alert system to locate and identify missing indigenous women and persons. Attorney General Bob Ferguson first requested the legislation to address disproportionate rates of violence against indigenous persons in Washington, as well as unique challenges that indigenous communities face in disseminating timely information to the media or public. 

The issue of enhancing the ability of locating and identifying missing indigenous women and persons has drawn increased interest from Western lawmakers. To learn more about regional efforts and state legislation related to this topic, click below.
Agriculture & Water
Utah passes historic change to water law, protecting water rights holders and encouraging water conservation
In Utah, water rights are granted under state law pursuant to their “beneficial use.” Utah water law required anyone who holds water rights to use up their allocation. If they do not, the water allotted to them could go to a junior water right holder for use.

Across the western United States, water right holders face similar barriers – use the water or lose it. As water management strategies align with conservation efforts, instream flow and water temperature stabilization, changes to allow water right holders to opt into such strategies and efforts without penalizing them are being considered.

H.B. 33 amends the law to allow farmers to leave some of their water in streams without losing their allotted amount. It also changes the definition of “beneficial use.”  A printer-friendly version of H.B. 33 is available below.
Supreme Court News
Supreme Court Allows Clean Water Act Rule to Stay in Effect
In Louisiana v. American Rivers, the U.S. Supreme Court has prevented a California district court decision from going into effect that vacated (set aside) a rule implementing Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.
 
Per Section 401, a federal agency may not issue a permit to an applicant seeking to conduct any activity that may result in a discharge into the navigable waters unless a state or authorized tribe issues a water quality certification or waives the requirement.

Click below to read more about this case.
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