Annual Meeting Photo Book


CSG West Annual Meeting Report 2019


Tuesday, July 16

Matthew Mitchell Presentation






Occupational Licensure

Over the last 60 years, the number of jobs requiring an occupational license, or government approval to practice a profession, has grown from about one in twenty to nearly one in four. When implemented properly, occupational licensing can help protect the health and safety of consumers by requiring practitioners to undergo a designated amount of field specific training and education.


The differences and disparities in occupational licensing laws across states, however, can create barriers to entering a labor market and inhibiting the ability of workers to relocate across state lines. Certain populations are affected especially hard by the requirements and variances of occupational licensing. These include military spouses and families, immigrants with work authorization, people with criminal records, and dislocated or unemployed workers.


This seminar focused on topics such as disproportionately affected populations, interstate compacts, a sunrise-sunset review, and western state involvement in the Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium.



Foster Care Handout - State Resouces


Casey Family Programs (Breakout 1)


DeCerchio Presentation


Christine Calpin

Foster Care Breakout 2


Christine Calpin Presentation


Dr. Idzerda Presentation


Charles Sallee Presentation




Chair’s Forum – Foster Care

Passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 implemented groundbreaking changes in federal child welfare funding and reimbursement. These changes provided states significant opportunities to improve the lives of at-risk families and children. Organized with the support of Casey Family Programs, this session invited participants to engage with topic experts for a review of successes to date, promising new practices, and addressed the remaining challenges to better support strong families and foster care prevention.


Session Speakers:

Susan Robison – Director of State Relations, Casey Family Programs

China Darrington - Director of State Relations, St. John's Recovery Outreach Center

Ken DeCerchio - Program Director, National Center for Substance Abuse and Child Welfare/Child and Family Futures

Christine Calpin - Managing Director on Public Policy, Casey Family Programs

Dr. Sheila Idzerda, MD BCP, Billings Clinic Bozeman, Acorn Pediatrics

Charles Sallee – Deputy Director, New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee

Wednesday, July 17



Rep. Raymond Ward Presentation

Daylight Savings Forum

Changing our clocks forward and back every year is an issue that has received increased attention with several western states considered legislation this session. Achieving consensus on this issue is complicated due to multiple pathways and required federal action. Enhancing awareness among lawmakers about the benefits and concerns of permanently changing to Daylight Savings Time is important. Interested participants were invited to join this engaging roundtable discussion.



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Handout 3



CSG Justice Center Presentation


Tracy Velazquez Presentation

Public Safety Committee

A national movement to improve the lives of young people in contact with law enforcement is driving conversation on best practices related to juvenile justice reform. With the jail and prison population increasing over the decades, states have experienced unprecedented prison overcrowding adding a strain on budgets and causing states to review criminal justice reform. Reentry programs have also been a topic of great interest as a number of institutions and organizations work with lawmakers to identify and limit barriers most commonly encountered post incarceration. During this session, legislators, topic experts and attendees engaged in discussion focused on these topics and how they impact the changing landscape of public safety and strengthening communities.


Session Speakers:

Susanne DiPietro – Executive Director, Alaska Judicial Council

Tarra Simmons – Project Director, Public Defender Association

Tracey Velaquez – Manager, Criminal Justice Research at Pew Charitable Trusts

Sarah Wurzburg – Deputy Program Director of Behavioral Health, The Council of State Governments Justice Center



Social Media Handout


Gayle Alberda Presentation

Women in Politics

All attendees were invited to participate in a conversation probing the dynamic challenges of modern campaigning and how women can use their “seat at the table” to cultivate a guiding voice. Dr. Gayle Alberda of Fairfield University shared her expertise from academic research and experience at state, local, and national levels, including races for state legislatures, governorship, president, and U.S. Senate in multiple states.


Session Speaker:

Gayle Alberda – Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Administration, Fairfield University

Senator Randi Becker, Washington Senate Republican Caucus Chair

Representative Joy San Buenaventura, Hawai'i House Majority Whip

Representative Cathy Connolly, Wyoming House Minority Floor Leader


Nominating Committee

During this session, Nominating Committee members hosted interviews of applicants for the 2020 CSG West Vice Chair position. Due to the nature of the session content, attendance was strictly limited to members of the Nominating Committee and interviewing candidates only.


Health Committee

During this session, robust roundtable discussions examined links between corrections and substance abuse and treatment, as well as how predicted technological and scientific advancements in health care will impact state policy. Committee members lent regional context by sharing relevant policy and program innovations from their states.


Session Speakers:

Wil Carroll – Principal of Government & Public Services, Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Sarah Wurzburg – Deputy Program Director of Behavioral Health, The Council of State Governments Justice Center



Jennifer Brody Presentation


Dr. Rainer Wessely


International Program

After years of discussion, debate and preparation, the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented in May 2018 to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches common in today’s data driven world. The new regulation provided key changes to a previous data protection directive, the largest of which is scope. It applies to all businesses that possess or process personal data of subjects residing in the EU regardless of where the business is located. Attendees learned about why proponents call the GDPR the “gold standard” of personal data and privacy laws and shared what their states are doing on this front.


Session Speakers:

Jennifer Brody – Legislative Manager, Access Now

Dr. Rainer Wessely - First Secretary - Trade and Agriculture Section / Competition and Justice, Delegation of the European Union to the United States



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Aren Sparck Presentation

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

In Canada and the U.S., the voices of indigenous people have united to create awareness while indigenous families are still searching for answers. According to a comprehensive report published in 2018 from the Urban Indian Health Institute, the top ten states with the highest number of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) are New Mexico, Washington, Arizona, Alaska, Montana, California, Nebraska, Utah, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. Session attendees heard from subject-matter experts, tribal leaders, and legislators who are introducing MMIWG legislation, and engaged in a discussion on the challenges and hope of this hard reality.


Forum Speaker:

Aren Sparck, MUP - Government Affairs Officer, Seattle Indian Health Board


Forum Facilitator:

Representative Sharon Stewart-Peregoy, M.Ed. – Montana House of Representatives


Forum Panelists:

Representative Jennifer Jermaine – Arizona House of Representatives

Hollie Mackey, Ph.D., MLS - Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma

Representative Gina Mosbrucker – Washington House of Representatives

Representative Rae Peppers – Montana House of Representatives


Video Presenters:

Ivan & Ivy MacDonald – Blackfeet Filmmakers, “When They Were Here”



Doug Howe Presentation

Energy Committee

During the Energy Committee meeting, members and attendees engaged in roundtable discussions with resource experts to facilitate conversation on two key topics. Initial conversation focused on the feasibility of integrating the western electric grid like other regions in the US. Equal time was given to discussion of how Section (401) of the Clean Water Act works and what impacts it can have on potential energy projects and resource exports.


Session Speakers:

Darrell Early – Deputy Attorney General, Chief, Natural Resources Division, Office of the Idaho Attorney General

Dr. Douglas Howe – Director, Western Grid Group



ALTA I Handout


Scott Raecker Presentation


Research indicates that our inability to identify and manage stress is having a significant impact on workplace culture and optimal performance. During this session, participants reviewed the new science of stress management with a focus on awareness, mindset, actions, and reflection of personal stress management. The presentation was interactive and participants were able to develop a personal stress management plan to assist in reaching their desired outcome for day-to-day success.


Session Facilitator:

Scott Raecker – Executive Director, The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University



Wayne Easter Presentation


Earl Anthony Wayne Presentation


North America Summit (NAS) X

When job losses occur, trade agreements are often identified as the culprit. While corporations certainly practice offshoring, the existing and growing skills gap in North America is believed to be driven by productivity improvements and new technology according to recent studies. Based on a survey of over 300 global companies from 20 developed and emerging economies, the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Future of Jobs Report asserted that across all jobs there will be a 42% change in workforce skills from 2018-2022. More than 54% of workers will require reskilling or upskilling and, of the companies surveyed, 74% indicated that geographic location for production will be determined by the availability of skilled local talent. The three North American economies of Canada, Mexico and the United States share these workforce challenges but also opportunities given their commercial and economic integration. Session attendees joined in the conversation and heard proposals for better jobs and a more competitive North America.


Session Speakers:

Stéphane Lessard - Consul General, The Consulate General of Canada in Denver

The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament, Canada

Earl Anthony Wayne - Carrer Ambassador (ret.) & Public Policy Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Thursday, July 18

SPRC - Summary and Reccomendations


State Suicide Prevention Coordinators


Suicide Prevention Forum

In 2018 the Suicide Prevention Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), started a project aimed at helping states develop a strong infrastructure for suicide prevention at the state level. Bringing together stakeholders from across the country, their efforts have resulted in the report “Recommendations for Suicide Prevention Infrastructure.” The recommendations are a blueprint for how states can develop successful suicide prevention programs based on best practices and has been approved by SAMSHA. During this breakfast session, a representative from the Center provided a review of the report that was made available in May 2019.


Session Speakers:

Julie Ebin – Manager of Special Initiatives, Suicide Prevention Resource Center at Education Development Center

Linda Newell – Former Senator, Colorado State Senate



Kenan Fikri Presentation


Mark Robyn Presentation

Economic Development Committee

In the West, regional efforts to revitalize communities and foster economic growth include Opportunity Zones and Incentives.  In 2018, Opportunity Zones were the talk of the town for economists and with a proposed regulation on the horizon, confidence is rising from investors, developers, and accountants. Meanwhile, Incentives remain a core aspect of local and state economic development despite renewed scrutiny from both academic researchers and the public. In this session, committee members, topic experts, and participants engaged in a discussion on best practices, success stories, and lessons learned for continued economic prosperity.


Session Speakers:

Brett Doney – President & CEO, Great Falls Montana Development Authority & High Plains Financial

Kenan Fikri – Research Director, Economic Innovation Group

Mark Robyn – Senior Officer, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ State Fiscal Health Project





Dr. Ross Burkhart Presentation


Kathy Eichenberger Presentation


Canada Relations Committee

Through its efforts, the Canada Relations Committee strives to strengthen the understanding, ties, and collaboration among legislators of the thirteen U.S. Western States and the Western Canadian Provinces. Participating legislators had the opportunity to engage with each other on a variety of binational issues of common concern as well as identifying shared solutions. This session facilitated a dialogue between federal representatives and other stakeholders interested in western regional issues, such as economic competitiveness, energy, and trade.


Session Speaker:

Dr. Ross Burkhart – Professor of Political Science, Boise State University

Kathy Eichenberger, Executive Director, Columbia River Treaty

Electricity and Alternative Energy Division

British Columbia Ministry of Energy, MInes and Petroluem Resources



Legislative Oversight Working Group

During this session, members worked to gain a collective understanding of existing legislative oversight practices among Western state legislatures. Members also discussed how legislators and legislative committees can better utilize oversight tools to foster greater accountability, transparency, and responsiveness to the needs of citizens. Attendance was limited to appointed members only.



Bill Barton Presentation


ID Fish & Game Presentation


Lynn Nakamura Presentation

Agriculture Committee

Agriculture in the West is a way of life, an economic driver of jobs and revenue, and a resource feeding community far beyond the boundaries of our states. Participants were invited to join a discussion of how farmers, ranchers and growers are dealing with the challenges of producing safe, economically sustainable food, while dealing with the pressures of new climate realities and changing markets. Committee members shared out their experiences in what has worked, what can be improved and what remains to be done.


Session Speakers:

Dr. Bill Barton, DVM – Administrator and State Veterinarian, Animal Industries Division, Idaho State Department of Agriculture

Toby Boudreau – Wildlife Bureau Chief, Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Jeff Farrar, DVM, MPH, PhD – Director of Intergovernmental Relations and Partnerships, Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Lynn Nakamura-Tengan – Associate Extension Educator, Department of Human Nutrition, Food & Animal Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa



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Education Committee

The Education Committee hosted an engaged discussion that explored the topics of teacher retention and recruitment, as well as competency-based education. Drawing from committee members, attendees and resource experts, participants reviewed data and best practices to evaluate what has and has not worked in these areas across the region.


Session Speakers:

Kelly Brady – Director of Instructional Support for Student-Centered Learning, Idaho State Department of Education

Tara Kini – Director of State Policy, Learning Policy Institute


Private Sector Forum

The Private Sector Forum, along with invited public and private sector representatives, discussed CSG West programs and services as well as engaged on ways to marshal private sector support of the organization’s mission.

Friday, July 19



Patrick Byroth Presentation


Scott Christensen Presentation


Erik Kalsta Presentation

Water & Environment Committee

Session attendees and committee members reflected on the challenges and opportunities facing western legislators seeking to protect, maintain, reclaim and restore natural resources and clean water for the people, ecosystems, and businesses that depend on them. With water and natural resource experts on hand to share the latest trends and data, participants reviewed what is happening across the region regarding wild fisheries management and restoration, recreation regulations on well-loved rivers across the west, and private land ecosystem and wildlife conservation.


Session Speakers:

Patrick Byorth – Director for Montana Water Project, Trout Unlimited

Scott Christensen – Deputy Director, Greater Yellowstone Coalition

Erik Kalsta – Kalsta Ranch Company


Western Leaders’ Forum

Designed to address the unique challenges faced by legislative leaders, this session provided a facilitated discussion highlighting insights and best practices for successful problem-solving.


Session Facilitator:

Dr. Danny Miller – President, New Heights Learning, LLC


Shared State Legislation

The Shared State Legislation Committee seeks out emerging policy innovations throughout the states. In this session, the Committee debated which bills to include in the 2019 Shared State Legislation Volume, which offers legislators a window into how states are addressing the most pressing policy concerns of the day.  Committee members shared how their states have approached areas of growing concern and heard a lively debate about which bills to include in volume.



US Census - Census 2020


Census 2020

Started in 1790 and mandated by the U.S. Constitution, a complete count of U.S. population is conducted every 10 years. As preparations for the upcoming 2020 Census begin, many questions have been raised. What are the benefits or consequences? How is the 2020 Census different from previous counts? Who is responsible for an accurate count? What will be asked? With large demographic changes throughout America, the stakes are high for regions, states and cities preparing for the upcoming count. During this session, participants engaged with state and federal officials to foster a regional dialogue in answering these questions.


Session Speakers:

Mary Craigle – Bureau Chief, Research and Information Bureau of Montana Department of Commerce

Michael Hall – Los Angeles Regional Census Center, U.S. Census Bureau

Vicki McIntire – Assistant Regional Director, Denver Regional Office of the U.S. Census Bureau



Dante Giancola Presentation


John Scott Presentation


Jennifer Stoll Presentation


Rep. Mike Yin Presentation



Westrends Board

The session conversation focused on the advances in telehealth which, through the use of communication technologies, is helping eliminate barriers in the delivery of health care. As policy-makers consider the growth of telehealth, Westrends Board members engaged in a robust discussion about the regulatory, privacy, safety, licensing and reimbursement issues that need to be considered in this important area. Board members also got an overview of the continued emergence of Blockchain technology and its possible uses for state governments. This included a look at governance issues and what states need to consider to realize the benefits of Blockchain, as well as potential challenges.


Session Speakers:

Dante Giancola – Vice President Government Affairs, Ownum

John Scott, MD, MSc – Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Washington

Jennifer Stoll – Executive Vice President Government Relations and Public Affairs, OCHIN



Dr. Danny Miller Presentation


A key behavior of effective leaders is the capacity to influence those around them. To influence effectively you must be adept at getting your opinions and ideas heard, recognized, and considered by others. Using the Influence Style Indicator, participants identified their preferred influence style and then, through interactive activities, learned how to adapt for greater effectiveness.


Session Facilitator:

Dr. Danny Miller – President, New Heights Learning, LLC



Lisa Soronen Presentation

US Supreme Court Review


This session reviewed several high-profile Supreme Court cases decided last term impacting states. Cases included the census citizenship question and partisan gerrymandering, as well as religion in public spaces, state regulation of impaired driving, and state authority to prosecute crimes. The Supreme Court has agreed to decide numerous cases of interest to states next term—including two cases of particular interest to Western states--on guns and water.


Session Speaker:

Lisa Soronen – Executive Director, State & Local Legal Center

Saturday, July 20



Kyle Tackett Presentation


Chair’s Forum – Forest & Rangeland Management

The western region has seen a steady rise in wildfires, which prompts much conversation on best practices for forest and rangeland management, as well as recovery from fire activity. This forum focused on prevention and recovery with resource experts from the West who led discussions to review the best traditional techniques and new technologies available to prevent and minimize fires. Additional conversation focused on best practices related to recovering from the impact of fires.


Forestry Management Speakers:

Sonya Germann – State Forester, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Dr. Klaus Puettmann - Edmund Hayes Professor in Silviculture Alternatives, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University


Rangeland Management Speakers:

Dr. Jane Mangold – Associate Professor & Extension Invasive Plant Specialist, Montana State University Bozeman

Dr. Jeff Mosley – Rangeland Management Specialist, Montana State University Extension

Kyle Tackett - Partnership Coordinator and Resource Conservationist, Initiatives for the Natural Resources Conservation Service