CSG West Webinars


Policy webinars, provided through CSG eCademy, offer online forums as an opportunity to learn and interact with national policy experts on a variety of topics.



State Consultation: Working to Make The Process Better

State & Federal Relations Committee


Jim Ogsbury, executive director of the Western Governors' Association, brought webinar participants up to speed on the creation of the Western Policy Network. The network is an effort by a number of western organizations to improve the state consultation process with the federal government. Pete Obermueller, executive director of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association, will focused how his organization has attempted to improve the state consultation process as it applies directly to the local government level.


Climate Adaptation: How are Western States Addressing It?

Energy and Environment Committee


This webinar highlighted decision-making frameworks that have been developed at the state and community levels to address the potential economic, environmental and social costs of climate change. Speakers discussed some of the climate adaptation plans that states and communities have adopted to interpret climate science and become climate resilient.


Recruiting and Keeping Good Teachers

Education & Workforce Development Committee


Teacher shortages have been a significant topic of policy concern in nearly every state. Join this webinar to hear how policy leaders and innovators across the country have successfully addressed this challenge. From supporting new teachers to retaining accomplished teachers to accurately identifying teacher shortage areas, this webinar will provide research-based examples from across the teacher career continuum to equip policy leaders with new insights, ideas and inspiration to ensure a high-quality teacher workforce for each and every student.


Interstate Groundwater Disputes and the U.S. Supreme Court

Agriculture & Water Committee


More than 30 interstate compacts govern the use of water from shared lakes and rivers in the United States. However, there is not a single legal agreement in place between states to guide the apportionment of groundwater that crosses state lines. In 2013, Nevada and Utah appeared poised to be the first two states to reach such an agreement, but ultimately they failed. Now, with a longstanding groundwater dispute between Mississippi and Tennessee headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, a legal precedent governing the apportionment of interstate groundwater is imminent. This webinar explores the possible outcomes of Mississippi v. Tennessee, implications for interstate groundwater policy and the role of interstate compacts in resolving water disputes between states.


How Permanent Trust Funds Help States Save for the Long Term

Finance Committee


Natural resource extraction is a key component of many Western states’ economies and often generates a sizeable share of state revenue. However, natural resources are finite, the price of energy commodities is increasingly unpredictable, and revenues are volatile and tough for state forecasters to accurately predict. As a result, many states have created severance tax-based sovereign wealth funds to set aside a share of today’s revenue in order to generate investment earnings for state use in the future. In this webinar, Patrick Murray of The Pew Charitable Trusts presents findings and policy recommendations from a new issue brief titled “From Volatile Severance Taxes to Sustained Revenue: Key Recommendations to Improve State Sovereign Wealth Funds,” outlining challenges and opportunities for state policymakers in energy-producing states.


Sexual Assault on College Campuses

Public Safety Committee


In light of recent high-profile incidents and data affirming high rates of sexual assaults on college campuses, elected officials and college administrators across the country are working to identify solutions to this problem. This webinar will provide lawmakers an opportunity to hear from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, or OCR, about national trends and what OCR is doing to enforce Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Participants will also learn about approaches that some colleges and universities have instituted to prevent sexual assaults and enhance support for victims.


Improving Species Conservation in the West: The Western Governors' Association Initiative

Agriculture & Water Committee


Recent conservation efforts to reduce threats facing the greater sage-grouse in its 11-state range and to avoid its listing as a protected species under the Endangered Species Act have garnered attention as a success story for federal and state agencies and private stakeholders. But the greater sage-grouse isn’t alone. As chair of the Western Governors Association, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has initiated a process through facilitated stakeholder meetings, webinars and outreach to a broad audience of stakeholders to build on recent successes and find ways to improve species conservation activities in the West. This FREE CSG eCademy, presented by CSG West, explores the themes highlighted from the effort and the next steps in the process.


Building Student Capacity Through Competency Based Education

Competency-based education—also known as proficiency-based, performance-based and mastery-based education—is a personalized, student-centered approach to learning in which students demonstrate mastery of concepts and skills and move toward graduation at their own pace. This FREE CSG eCademy features experts in competency-based education at the K-12 level, and will explore the role of state policy in supporting the use of competency-based education.

Sponsored by the Education & Workforce Development Committee • 04/29/16

Road Usage Charge: An Update from the West

Transportation & Economic Development Committee


Many believe that taxes paid at the gas pump are what financially support roads, bridges, buses, trains and other public transit. While it is true that gas tax revenues are used to build and maintain transportation infrastructure, this revenue stream is no longer sufficient to pay for public transportation needs. Several states have begun to explore alternatives to the gas tax, such as the road usage charge—also known as the mileage-based user fee and the Vehicle Miles Traveled method. This eCademy session from The Council of State Governments West provided an overview of the road usage charge, as well as an update on how pilot programs are beginning to take shape in a few Western states.


School Accountability Measures for States and Communities

Education & Workforce Develompent Committee


As federal standardized tests fall out of favor, many states are exploring alternative measures on which to base their school accountability systems. In this free CSG eCademy webcast, presenters reviewed alternative measures for school accountability, charter schools, teacher assessments and student assessments. Experts also discussed steps legislators can take, from a policy standpoint, to encourage and support local accountability.





All past CSG Webinars can be found in the Knowledge Center multimedia library.