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Meeting Agenda (Preliminary as of 06/24/2020, subject to change)

Please click the + on each section to see information on session topics and speakers.

 

   Wednesday, July 29

 

 9:00 AM PDT

 

Firefighting in the West is a dangerous and nearly year-round threat. With the 2020 fire season upon us, the Water & Environment Committee will host a discussion on Firefighting and the Good Neighbor Provision of the 2019 Farm Bill. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted operations from strained budgets to the inclusion of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and congregant living in fire camps. What does the combination of dry conditions, pandemic precautions, and economic strain mean for current and future fire seasons? What can state firefighting efforts expect from the federal government? Be sure to join the conversation for insights to these questions.

 

Chair: Representative Zach Brown, Montana

Vice Chair: Senator Bill Hansell, Oregon

 

Session Speakers:

Nils Christoffersen – Firefighting and the Good Neighbor Farm Bill Provision, Wallows Resources

Sonya Germann – Forester, Montana State

 

 9:00 AM PDT

 

With increased media coverage of the bail reform topic, many state legislatures have begun to explore the concerns and perspectives as it relates to their state judicial system. In this forum, participants will engage with Maryann C. Moreno, Pretrial Reform Task Force member and Washington State Superior Court Judge, Jeff Clayton, Executive Director/Policy Director of the American Bail Coalition, and Senator Robert Hertzberg, California Senate Majority Leader to discuss the many challenges and opportunities associated with bail reform.

 

Session Facilitator:

Carl Reynolds – Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, CSG Justice Center

 

Session Speakers:

Jeffrey Clayton – Executive Director, American Bail Coalition

Senator Bob Hertzberg – California State Senate

Justice Maryann Moreno – Superior Court Judge, Spokane County

 

 9:00 AM PDT

 

CSG West Officers, present and past, invite top-level sponsors to this scheduled coffee talk to share insights, challenges, and innovations in their respective fields. (Bring your own beverage – tea drinkers welcome!)

 

10:00 AM PDT

 

In response to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and ensuing protests, thirty-four states and the District of Columbia enacted seventy-nine laws to address police reform. Today, the topic has resurfaced with a renewed sense of urgency. State legislatures are once again facing demands that they impose greater accountability upon local policing. Offering an overview of how legislatures are responding, this session will host a discussion about the role of states in regulating what is largely a local function. Panelists from states with legislation already introduced or passed will share their insights and invite participants to join the conversation.

 

 10:00 AM PDT

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the economy and workforce in unprecedented ways. Stay-at-home orders issued to control the pandemic forced millions of businesses to adapt to a new reality almost overnight and workers across industries have been affected in different ways. This session will provide an overview of the future of work in a post pandemic environment, and how Western states can adapt and facilitate growth and resiliency.

 

Chair: Senator Pat Spearman, Nevada

Vice Chair: Senator Randi Becker, Washington

 

Session Speakers:

Rachel Kerestes – Executive Director, Science is US

Mark Scheffel – Senior Vice President, Advantage Capital Partners

Kate Watkins – Chief Economists, Colorado Legislative Council

 

 10:00 AM PDT

 

Committee working sessions provide members an opportunity to address policy resolutions and other items related to committee work. Due to the nature of the working session, attendance is restricted to appointed committee members only.

 

 11:00 AM PDT

 

Hosted by the Energy Committee, this session will provide an overview what beneficial electrification is and the positive impacts it can make on grid management, job creation, electrical customer engagement, and assistance in meeting existing environmental goals. Following his presentation, Mark Dyson of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) will join an open discussion on what states can do to encourage beneficial electrification.

 

Chair: Representative Geraldine Custer, Montana

Vice Chair: Senator Chris Hansen, Colorado

 

Session Speakers:

Mark Dyson – Principal, Electricity Practice at Rocky Mountain Institute

 

 11:00 AM PDT

 

Natural disasters have ravaged the West in recent years elevating the critical nature of effective emergency communications. One of the largest public private partnerships in U.S. history, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is a congressionally mandated authority already reshaping how first responders communicate during times of crisis. During this session participants will learn about FirstNet’s history and work during the 2018 Camp Fire in California, the 2018 earthquake in Alaska, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic, gaining an understanding of how this new tool can continue to improve emergency communications.

 

Session Speakers:

Ed Parkinson – CEO, FirstNet Authority

 

 11:00 AM PDT

 

Committee working sessions provide members an opportunity to address policy resolutions and other items related to committee work. Due to the nature of the working session, attendance is restricted to appointed committee members only.

 

 Noon  Break
 12:30 PM PDT

 

CSG West Chair, Wyoming Senator Michael Von Flatern welcomes all meeting participants during the opening ceremony of the 73rd CSG West Annual Meeeting.

 

With the meeting given its official clearance for take-off our keynote speaker, Jessica Cox will take the controls to share her remarkable story. A speaker, advocate, mentor, and world record pilot, Jessica shares her truly unique story as an illustration of resilience in the face of challenges. Born without arms, she has learned to conquer physical barriers to become the first armless pilot, first armless black belt, certified scuba diver, and so much more.

 

 1:45 PM PDT  Break
 2:00 PM PDT

 

Striving to strengthen relationships and collaboration between legislators from the western U.S. states and Canadian Provinces, the Canada Relations Committee will host a conversation addressing the unique interactions of binational policy efforts.

 

Co-Chair: Senator Michelle Stennett, Idaho

 

 2:00 PM PDT

 

In the months following China’s import restrictions, a wave of new investments has been announced in the United States, expanding both plastics recycling capacity and the use of new, innovative technologies such as advanced recycling. These technologies, which convert post-use plastics into plastic and chemical feedstocks, specialty chemicals and other useful products like waxes and transportation fuels, are rapidly commercializing across the country and providing opportunities to create a cleaner environment and new jobs. Join the American Chemistry Council and industry experts to learn more about the technologies and opportunities that are moving us closer to a more circular economy for plastics.

 

Session Speakers:

Craig Cookson, Senior Director, Recycling and Energy Recovery, Plastics Division, American Chemistry Council

Bill Cooper, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Agilyx

Brent Perry, Director, Federal Government Affairs, Eastman Chemical Company

Jayme Leita, Director, Circular Economy Integration, Eastman Chemical Company

 

 2:00 PM PDT

 

Committee working sessions provide members an opportunity to address policy resolutions and other items related to committee work. Due to the nature of the working session, attendance is restricted to appointed committee members only.

 

 3:00 PM PDT

 

This July marks the 30-year anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), providing states an opportunity to highlight their efforts to remove barriers and improve opportunities for people with disabilities. During this session participants will receive a brief history of this landmark legislation, share best practices, and provide policy options aimed at developing inclusive workplaces. Topic experts will share insights along with tools and resources that can increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

 

Session Moderator:

Representative Joanne Ferrary, New Mexico

 

Session Speakers:

Robert “Bobby” Silverstein – Principal, Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC

Kristin Vandagriff - Executive Director, Governor’s Council on Disabilities & Special Education

 

 3:00 PM PDT

 

Digital connectivity has become such a vital component of modern life that rural communities with limited access to high-speed broadband are unable to utilize technological developments in areas such as healthcare, public safety, and academia. In this session, industry champions of connectivity will share their experiences and success stories related to this issue. Key conversation topics will include the role of public-private partnerships and the recent FCC measure set to provide billions of dollars in subsidies to increase broadband access in rural areas.

 

Session Speakers:

Joanne Hovis – President, CTC Technology & Energy

Senator Chris Rothfuss – Senate Minority Leader, Wyoming State Senate

Barbara Sessions – Vice President/COO, Silver Star Communications

Senator Albert Sommers – Speaker Pro Tempore, Wyoming State Senate

Brian Worthen – President & CEO, Visionary Broadband

 

 3:00 PM PDT

 

Committee working sessions provide members an opportunity to address policy resolutions and other items related to committee work. Due to the nature of the working session, attendance is restricted to appointed committee members only.

 

 4:00 PM PDT

 

Providing long-term education funding can be a challenge in times of economic growth. The impact of COVID-19 to state revenues has created an even greater challenge as legislators seek to minimize fiscal impacts to education. Members of the Education Committee have invited Jason Willis of WestEd to share information on ways to assess sustainable education funding during a recession. Following his presentation, Jason will join an open discussion with session participants to answer questions and share insights based on his experiences.

 

Chair: Representative David Northrup, Wyoming

Vice Chair: Senator Mo Denis, Nevada

 

Session Speakers:

Jason Willis – Director, Strategy and Performance, WestEd

 

 4:00 PM PDT

 

Everyone has a preferred conflict-handling mode capable of enhancing their ability to address conflict, engage in conversation, or negotiate their interests. In this session participants will review the established conflict-handling modes – of conflict-handling styles – to gain a better understanding of how they can be used as tools in various situations to help achieve intended results. Concluding the session participants will have an opportunity to take an assessment to determine their personal style allowing them to readily apply their new knowledge.

 

Session Speaker:

Dr. Danny Miller – President, New Heights Learning

 

 4:00 PM PDT

 

Committee working sessions provide members an opportunity to address policy resolutions and other items related to committee work. Due to the nature of the working session, attendance is restricted to appointed committee members only.

 

 5:00 PM PDT  Break
 5:30 PM PDT

 

A key element of the Western Legislative Academy (WLA) experience is the relationships forged with colleagues in other states. During this happy hour, program alumnus are invited to come together and catch up.

 

 5:30 PM PDT

 

CSG West leadership, members of the Wyoming Host Committee, and select sponsors are invited to this social hour providing an opportunity to connect in a fun and social setting.

 

 

   Thursday, July 30

 

 9:00 AM PDT

 

As federal, state and local governments continue to make decisions impacting the operation of the criminal justice systems, what can states expect in the future? Hosted by the Public Safety Committee, this session invites topic experts to share their thoughts on two key areas of the justice system – juvenile justice reform and preparedness of corrections facilities in the face of infections disease outbreaks. Each conversation will focus on lessons learned and how to best apply them to build a stronger justice system for all.

 

Chair: Representative Sherry Appleton, Washington

Vice Chair: Representative Chuck Kopp, Alaska

 

Session Speakers:

Kelly Howell – Special assistant to the Commissioner, Alaska Department of Corrections

Tarra Simmons – Director, Civil Survival Project of Public Defender Association

 

 9:00 AM PDT

 

The Colorado River and the negotiation of the Interim Guidelines is a prominent feature in the future of western states. Convened by CSG West Chair, Senator Michael Von Flatern and CSG West Chair-Elect, Representative Jeni Arndt, this session invites western water experts and leaders to share experiences and perspective on the negotiations of governing rules for the Colorado River. Discussions will also address water rights, allocations, and public policy options available to states as they navigate new rules and changing environmental conditions.

 

Convener: Senator Michael Von Flatern, Wyoming

Co-Convener: Representative Jeni Arndt, Colorado

 

Session Speakers:

Gregory Hobbs – Retired Supreme Court Justice, State of Colorado

Patricia Mulroy – Senior Fellow, UNLV Law School

Patrick Tyrell – Water Commissioner, State of Wyoming

Tony Willardson – Executive Director, Western States Water Council

 

 9:00 AM PDT

 

Committee working sessions provide members an opportunity to address policy resolutions and other items related to committee work. Due to the nature of the working session, attendance is restricted to appointed committee members only.

 

 10:00 AM PDT

 

The current outbreak of COVID19 is providing a stark reminder that determinants like housing, transportation, poverty, access to care and paid leave can have significant impacts on curbing the spread of disease. Health Committee members have invited Mikelle Moore of Intermountain Healthcare and Katie Baldassar of Lake County Colorado to share state and local efforts to incorporate social determinants into health care. Following their presentations, they will join an open discussion on the critical need to include social determinants in efforts to improve public health and care.

 

Chair: Representative Eric Barlow, Wyoming

Vice Chair: Representative Deborah Armstrong, New Mexico

 

Session Speakers:

Katie Baldassar– Executive Director, Lake County Build a Generation

Mikelle Moore – Senior Vice President & Chief Community Health Officer, Intermountain Healthcare

 

 10:00 AM PDT

 

Federal lands occupy a significant acreage throughout the West, impacting the ability of states to collect property tax revenue. Based on this financial impact, the federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) was enacted by Congress to pay states the tax equivalent amount for the lands retained in order to hold harmless western communities from lost property tax. A recent analysis by the Utah Legislature found that there is a significant disparity in the PILT payments made to states and the commitment made by Congress to pay the tax equivalent amount. Meeting participants are invited to join this session to learn about the findings of the study, the technological tools that made this study possible, and discuss the potential implications for states of securing the promised tax equivalent amount for PILT.

    

 10:00 AM PDT

 

Committee working sessions provide members an opportunity to address policy resolutions and other items related to committee work. Due to the nature of the working session, attendance is restricted to appointed committee members only.

 

 11:00 AM PDT

 

Fish and Wildlife agencies are challenged with balancing multiple priorities and mandates. Among the highest profile of these are effective depredation programs which strive to accommodate the needs of agriculture, ecosystem, and outdoor lifestyles. With the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on state budgets, depredation program claims are outstripping available funds in some states. Members of the Agriculture Committee invite participants to join the conversation addressing how these programs may be implemented and managed, as well as spotlighting features capable of making a positive impact.

 

Chair: Representative Lynn DeCoite, Hawaii

Vice Chair: Senator Lee Heider, Idaho

 

Session Speakers:

Kepa Maly – Executive Director, Lana'i Culture and Heritage Center

Dwayne Meadows – Executive Director, Wyoming Wildlife Federation

Pat Tucker – Habitat Partnership Program Coordinator, Colorado Fish & Wildlife

 

 11:00 AM PDT

 

State, federal, and local policy makers work to ensure safety on public roadways and over the past several years, the primary focus has been issues surrounding distracted driving and automated vehicle regulation. While these are critical issues, there are other opportunities for states to improve automotive safety; including combating the proliferation of counterfeit parts and ensuring that consumers take advantage of free safety recalls. In this session Honda representatives will discuss these issues and share best practices for addressing them gathered nationally and internationally.

 

Session Speakers:

Craig Orlan, Senior State Relations Specialist, Honda North America

Ember Brillhart, Manager, State Relations, Honda North America

 

 11:00 AM PDT

 

Committee working sessions provide members an opportunity to address policy resolutions and other items related to committee work. Due to the nature of the working session, attendance is restricted to appointed committee members only.

 

 Noon  Break
 12:30 PM PDT

 

In recognition of leaders whose legislative careers demonstrate the ability to see and work beyond the border of their state, and in the interest of the West, CSG West presents the Fahrenkamp Award. Join us for the reveal of this year’s recipient – sure to be a familiar face to many!

 

Continuing the celebratory spirit, CSG West Chair-Elect, Colorado Representative Jeni Arndt will reveal the destination for the 2021 CSG West Annual Meeting. Be among the first to find out where we are headed next!

 

 1:45 PM PDT  Break
 2:00 PM PDT

 

Beyond its effects on public health, COVID-19 has impacted all levels of the economy – global, national, and state. Acknowledging that a one-size-fits-all solution to reviving economic growth does not exist, the Economic Development Committee invites participants to join a conversation exploring a range of approaches being recommended and implemented. Representing efforts in California, Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming, presenters will share an overview of their tailored approaches followed by hosted break-out conversations in which more detailed information and suggestions will be shared.

 

Chair: Representative Bradley Last, Utah

Vice Chair: Senator Ben Allen, California

 

Session Speakers:

Chris Dombrowski – Acting Director, California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)

Josh Dorrell – CEO, Wyoming Business Council

Val Hale – Executive Director, Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development

Melanie Sheldon – Director of Business Development, Nevada’s Govenor’s Office of Economic Development

 

 2:00 PM PDT

 

As the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, governments and private industry are expediting research and testing with the aim of developing a vaccine as quickly as possible. In this session, participants will receive a high-level overview of vaccine development including different types, what is in the research pipeline, and a possible timeline for development and dissemination.

 

Session Speakers:

Ed Harnaga – Vice President, R&D Corporate Affairs, Pfizer

Dr. Anna Wald– Head of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Division, Professor of Medicine, Laboratory Medicine & Pathology, Epidemiology, University of Washington

 

 2:00 PM PDT

 

Committee working sessions provide members an opportunity to address policy resolutions and other items related to committee work. Due to the nature of the working session, attendance is restricted to appointed committee members only.

 

 3:00 PM PDT

 

Wyoming has actively developed blockchain-enabling statutes recently in an effort to facilitate an influx of capital, jobs, and revenue benefiting the state. During this forum, Wyoming Representative Michael Yin and Senator Tara Nethercott will share information on how the state established a comprehensive legal framework to encourage the growth of blockchain technology for both individuals and companies. Concluding their presentation, an open discussion will allow participants to share thoughts and questions on the topic.

 

Session Speakers:

Representative Mike Yin – Wyoming House of Representatives

Senator Tara Nethercott – Wyoming State Senate

 

 3:00 PM PDT

 

Open to all attendees, these sessions offer additional learning opportunities on a variety of policy topic areas. Check back soon for updates on selected topics and conversation hosts.

 

 3:00 PM PDT

 

Governors across the West, as well as the country, exercised broad authority under their state constitutions and laws for the purpose of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. As states continue to deal with the health crisis, legislatures are assessing the legal and practical consequences of these actions as part of their oversight role. This roundtable discussion will allow members of the Board to share their insights on how their governors and state executive agencies responded to the crisis, and to examine the role of legislatures in the decision-making processes.

 

Chair: Senator Pat Spearman, Nevada

Vice Chair: Senator Randi Becker, Washington

 

 4:00 PM PDT

 

Committee working sessions provide members an opportunity to address policy resolutions and other items related to committee work. Due to the nature of the working session, attendance is restricted to appointed committee members only.

 

 5:00 PM PDT  Break
 5:30 PM PDT

 

The Wyoming Host Committee and CSG West staff invite all conference attendees to this happy hour. Be sure to grab your favorite beverage and join us as we meet, greet, and mingle – virtually!