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All Western legislators are members of CSG West and are invited to attend the Annual Meeting.

For all questions about the Annual Meeting, please contact csgwam@csg.org.

(Schedule as of June 14, 2024)

Tuesday, July 9

TimeEvent
2:00-6:00 p.m. Registration Opens
Attendees are asked to check in at the registration desk to receive meeting information and credentials.
3:00-5:30 p.m.CSG West Nominating Committee (Invite Only)
Based on the bipartisan rotation, the Nominating Committee will consider Democratic candidates for the 2025 vice chair position, which will rotate to the role of chair in 2027. Applicants must be members of the Executive Committee. Reach out to Edgar Ruiz to learn more.
3:30-6:00 p.m.Housing Forum – Part 1: Meeting State Housing Needs
The housing affordability crisis is among the most critical issues facing policymakers nationwide. In the West, state and local government officials are working diligently to meet their states’ housing needs. Actions include the passage of a flurry of legislation aimed at, among other things, speeding up the permitting and construction processes for new housing, removing administrative and zoning barriers to support affordable housing, streamlining environmental review, and funding a litany of programs to support vulnerable citizens in their communities. Federal efforts have also included significant infrastructure investments. The CSG West Housing Forum will allow policymakers and other stakeholders to discuss housing issues and needs and learn what strategies and programs have worked well and which ones have encountered challenges.


Led by Idaho Senator Melissa Wintrow and Oregon Senator Daniel Bonham, the CSG West Housing Committee hosts this session.
6:00-8:00 p.m.Explore the Extraordinary! Welcome to Oregon Dinner Event
CSG West Chair Sen. Bill Hansell, alongside Oregon host committee co-chairs Sen. Janeen Sollman and Rep. Bobby Levy, and members Sen. Daniel Bonham, Sen. Elizabeth Steiner, Rep. Ben Bowman, Rep. Lisa Reynolds will welcome legislative colleagues, experts, and guests at this extraordinary kickoff of the 77th CSG West Annual Meeting.
8:00-10:00 p.m.Networking EventOregon Night (Invite Only)
A special event hosted by Oregon for legislators and meeting sponsors.

Wednesday, July 10

TimeEvent
7:15 a.m.-6:00 p.m.Registration Open
Attendees are asked to check-in at the registration desk to receive meeting information and credentials.
7:30-8:15 a.m.Opening Ceremony and Breakfast
Open to all registered attendees and guests, this morning’s breakfast will feature the Annual Meeting Opening Ceremony. Following the posting of the colors, pledge of allegiance, and national anthem, CSG West Chair, Senator Bill Hansell will offer an official welcome to kick off the meeting activities.
8:30-10:00 a.m.Chairs’ Forum: Supporting Children’s Mental Health Needs
Concerns about children’s mental health have been top of mind among policymakers across the Western region. These concerns include assessing existing mental health support systems and programs within states, providing adequate funding, and establishing partnerships with key institutions to meet the dramatic mental health needs of children. This session will allow policymakers to learn about innovative approaches to improving children’s mental health and various regional policy.
8:30-10:00 a.m.Strengthening Interbranch Cooperation
State legislatures are at their best when working collaboratively and proactively with their executive and judicial branch counterparts. This session will highlight several success stories from across the West where legislators were able to create meaningful interbranch dialogue and get things done for the betterment of their states. 
8:30-9:20 a.m.Decarbonizing Aviation
The U.S. airline industry is on a path to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To meet this ambitious goal, airlines like Pacific Northwest-based Alaska Airlines will require access to large amounts of affordable sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Join Alaska to learn about the important role of SAF in aviation’s decarbonization journey and how states are using policy to advance SAF production and availability in the U.S.
This Legislative Learning Lab session is sponsored by Alaska Airlines
8:30-9:30 a.m.Friends & Family Meet n’ Greet
Get to know your hosts and meet fellow guests! See everything Travel Portland offers for the week ahead of you.
10:00-10:30 a.m.Refreshment Break at the Capitol Connections Café
A great place to connect with colleagues, the Capitol Connections Café welcomes attendees to sit, sip, and recharge between sessions.
10:30-12:30 p.m.Housing Forum – Part 2: Meeting State Housing Needs
The housing affordability crisis is among the most critical issues facing policymakers nationwide. In the West, state and local government officials are working diligently to meet their states’ housing needs. Actions include the passage of a flurry of legislation aimed at, among other things, speeding up the permitting and construction processes for new housing, removing administrative and zoning barriers to support affordable housing, streamlining environmental review, and funding a litany of programs to support vulnerable citizens in their communities. Federal efforts have also included significant infrastructure investments. The CSG West Housing Forum will allow policymakers and other stakeholders to discuss housing issues and needs and learn what strategies and programs have worked well and which ones have encountered challenges. 

Led by Idaho Senator Melissa Wintrow and Oregon Senator Daniel Bonham, the CSG West Housing Committee hosts this session.
10:30-12:30 p.m.Trending Issues in the West
Small Module Nuclear Reactors: The International Energy Agency asserts that renewables are increasing, and nuclear power is on track to reach a new all-time high next year. Where is the development of small module reactor (SMR) in the U.S. today, and how quickly will it advance?  
Critical Rare Minerals: Explore why rare minerals are critical to achieving the energy transition, spurring economic development, and strengthening national security.  

Led by Wyoming Representative Landon Brown and New Mexico Senator Liz Stefanics, the CSG West Westrends Board hosts this session.
11:30-12:20 p.m.Accessing Earned Wages  
Explore earned wage access (EWA)- an innovative financial technology that helps people save money by reducing reliance on predatory lending and other high-cost alternatives. It will specifically provide an overview of three important developments occurring in the industry: (1) recent and on-going research and user results; (2) 2024 state legislative and regulatory activity licensing EWA as its own financial product; and (3) likely 2025 state legislative and regulatory actions. 
This Legislative Learning Lab is sponsored by DailyPay 
12:30-2:15 p.m.General Session Lunch with Keynote – Samantha Jordan
Before the keynote, join us in congratulating the Fahrenkamp Award recipient. The award recognizes leaders whose legislative careers display an ability to see and work beyond the borders of their own states in the interest of the West.

Samantha Jordan is a futurist on a mission to spread “plausible optimism” about the possibilities of emerging technologies. As a consultant with the Future Today Institute (FTI), a leading foresight and strategy firm founded by world-renowned futurist Amy Webb, Jordan helps organizations dissect the complexities of upcoming opportunities, while also factoring the inherent risks. Her analysis of the data and trends in the ever-changing tech landscape gets organizations unstuck and ready to develop and implement their own customized, future-focused strategies for evolving their businesses.
2:30-3:20 p.m.Reviewing the Federal 340b Program
This session will provide an in-depth overview of the federal 340b program and the intended purpose of the program when it was enacted in 1992. Panelists will also discuss reforms needed to prevent further abuse of the program and allow it to better serve patients and support low income populations.
This Legislative Learning Lab session is sponsored by PhRMA
2:30-4:30 p.m.Addressing Violent Crime and Drug Use
CSG’s Justice Center will lead a conversation about concerns regarding the increase in violent crimes, and strategies for legislating more proactively. Attendees will learn about current trends and data, followed by a moderated discussion on how states in the West are addressing this uptick in violence, as well as the increasing dangers of the fentanyl epidemic.  

Led by Alaska Senator Matt Claman and Oregon Senator David Brock Smith, and hosted by the CSG West Public Safety Committee.
2:30-4:30 p.m.Prioritizing Agricultural Needs and Innovations

Part 1: Food Security
While the west produces more than enough dairy, produce, grains and legumes meat and poultry to feed the nation and beyond, food security, waste and hunger remain in many communities. We will look at current programs and initiatives that aim to eliminate hunger and waste, and improve nutrition for everyone.

Part 2: AI, Robotics, and Autonomous Vehicles  in Agriculture
With agriculture and ranching among the largest economic sectors, Western states are adopting new strategies to manage water and other inputs effectively. Experts in the field will present and share out some of the new approaches and innovative measures taken to ensure that agriculture remains strong, worker safety and workforce development align with 21st Century agriculture and ranching, and water supplies sustainable.

Led by Montana Senator Wendy McKamey and California Assemblymember Lori Wilson, and hosted by the CSG West Agriculture and Water Committee.
3:30-4:20 p.m.Improving Equity and Outcomes in Kidney Health Care 
Kidney disease is a global health problem disproportionately affecting minority populations. During this session, we will discuss ways to improve health equity and health outcomes for kidney patients. In addition, we will explore how dialysis fits into the overall healthcare infrastructure and discuss efforts to increase access to treatment and provide more upstream care that will prevent and/or slow progression of kidney disease to kidney failure. 
This Legislative Learning Lab is sponsored by Fresenius 
5:00-6:00 p.m.Receptions
– American Clean Power
– American Gas Association
– Government of Canada
6:00-8:30 p.m.Evening Event and Dinner at the World Forestry Center
Located in Portland’s forested Washington Park, World Forestry Center’s Discovery Museum invites visitors to examine forests and consider all the ways they impact our lives.

The dramatic 20,000-square-foot wooden building has been a Portland icon since 1971. Visitors get a bird’s-eye view of a northwest forest, explore society’s connection to the woods, and learn about the challenges and opportunities facing this critical natural resource.

Through interactive and featured art exhibits, visitors can learn how the way forests are managed affects everyday lives and how they are crucial to the forestry conversation.

Thursday, July 11

TimeEvent
7:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.Registration Open
Attendees are asked to check in at the registration desk to receive meeting information and credentials.
7:30-8:15 a.m.General Breakfast
Start your day of sessions with a delicious breakfast open to all registered attendees.
7:30-8:15 a.m.Leadership Coffee Talk Breakfast (invite only)
8:30-10:00 a.m.Chairs Forum: Trending Issues in Artificial Intelligence
The CSG West Chair’s Forum on Artificial Intelligence (AI) will provide Western policymakers and other stakeholders an opportunity to learn about the latest applications of AI that are rapidly transforming industries and driving innovation across a wide array of fields. The session will also highlight legislative actions across Western states to address the potential misuses or unintended consequences of AI while balancing the need for technological innovation.  Policymakers will learn about the latest applications of AI that are rapidly transforming industries and driving innovation across a wide array of fields. The session will also highlight legislative actions across Western states to address AI’s potential misuses or unintended consequences while balancing the need for technological innovation.   
8:30-10:00 a.m.The Pivotal Role of the Sub National Relationships Between the United States and China
A senior Chinese diplomat will illustrate the importance and vitality of the sub national relations between CSG West members and China. What can be accomplished in a changing world.
8:30-9:20 a.m.Addressing the Health Care Affordability Crisis 
As health care spending nears one-fifth of the American economy, finding solutions to address rising health care costs is a priority among policymakers regardless of the state’s political landscape. This legislative learning lab will provide lawmakers an overview of the different strategies states are taking to address rising costs. This session will highlight various cost containment strategies including cost growth target initiatives set by Oregon and Utah and other policy solutions to encourage competition, promote transparency, and advance access to affordable health care. 
This Legislative Learning Lab is sponsored by Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon 
9:30-10:20 a.m.Treating the Chronic Disease of Obesity
Learn how the stigma and bias associated with overweight and obesity precludes patients from getting needed treatments. Hear about the science of obesity, the comorbidities resulting from a lack of treatment, and the tools available to treat the mother of all chronic diseases. Understand the significant costs associated with failing to provide treatment options to patients in a manner consistent with all other chronic diseases. Get ready to learn and to check your bias!
This Legislative Learning Lab session is sponsored by Novo Nordisk
10:00-10:30 a.m.Refreshment Break at the Capitol Connections Café
A great place to connect with colleagues, the Capitol Connections Café welcomes attendees to sit, sip, and recharge between sessions.
10:30-11:20 a.m.Enabling Right to Repair 
Right to Repair legislation, whereby consumers have the right to directly or select a service provider to repair their devices instead of returning them to a manufacturer, is being introduced throughout the US and within the EU. In February, the Oregon Legislature passed comprehensive Right to Repair legislation with broad, bipartisan support. This session will highlight how proponents worked with the tech industry and the business community to better protect intellectual property, ensure consumer privacy and address anti-consumer practices that hinder access to repair. 
This Legislative Learning Lab session is sponsored by Google 
10:30-12:30 p.m.Strengthening the Canada-U.S. Relationship
Created three years ago, attendees will revisit The Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership, a shared plan to collaborate on several shared issues such as climate, health, defense, security, and diversity and inclusion. 
Participants will also discuss the current state of transboundary water management and unpack the international mechanisms of water governance.  

Led by Washington Representative Debra Lekanoff and Alberta MLA Grant Hunter, the Canada Relations Committee hosts this session.
10:30-12:30 p.m.Legislating for Employee Wellness and Success
As collective stress, burnout, and other behavioral health challenges continue to increase throughout the U.S. population, approaches are evolving to address these challenges. Workplace behavioral health company, R3 Continuum, noted in its 2024 Workplace Behavioral Health Trends report that “behavioral health support in the workplace is no longer an option but an imperative. Workers need and expect more support from their employers, and a mentally healthy organizational culture contributes to retention, recruitment, and overall performance.”   

Led by Nevada Senator Rochelle Nguyen and Utah Representative Steve Eliason, the CSG West Health Committee Hosts this session.
11:30-12:20 p.m.Connecting the Unconnected 
The once-in-a-generation investment in broadband presents a unique opportunity to chart the path of connectivity in our states. In this session, we discuss approaches to ensuring broadband networks are meaningfully deployed and adopted to maximize long-term sustainability and success, including digital equity and skills-training initiatives. Our goal is to spotlight best practices to help accelerate connecting the unconnected. 
This Legislative Learning Lab session is sponsored by the Oregon Cable and Telecommunications Association 
12:30-1:30 p.m.Lunch
Open lunch to all registered attendees.
1:30-5:30 p.m.Policy and Friends and Family Tours
This afternoon, attendees will have the option to attend either policy tours or friends and family tours. Policy tours will provide an opportunity to experience hands-on facilities and innovations in the Portland area for a greater understanding of specific issues and/or industries.

The Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC R&D)
OMIC R&D is one of five designated Oregon Centers of Innovation and leads in additive and advanced manufacturing.  OMIC R&D is a collaborative composed of 3 research university members and 37 industry members from five countries and across the United States, develops cutting-edge, innovative solutions that allow manufacturers to advance.  In addition, OMIC R&D inspires and educates the next generation of manufacturing professionals and develops new approaches to learning. Through our commitment to innovation in additive manufacturing, traditional machining, and more, OMIC R&D drives productivity in the manufacturing sector.
 
Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association – Embark on The Oregon Beverage Trail
Oregon is home to 400 breweries, 1,000 wineries, 1,300 vineyards, 70 cideries, 100 distilleries, 73 distributors and 10,000 restaurants, creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, several billion dollars in wages and more than $17 billion in economic activity for the state. Learn about the birth of Oregon’s iconic craft beverage industry and what makes it successful today.  The tour includes presentations from local wineries, cideries, breweries, distributors and their hospitality partners and a chance to taste the beverages that put Oregon on the map.

Oregon Bottle Recycling Center (OBRC) – Leading the Nation in Bottle Recycling 
Oregon’s first-in-the-nation “Bottle Bill” established an industry-responsibility program to slash beverage container litter and improve recycling outcomes. Oregon’s systems have evolved over the past five decades but remain the most convenient and successful system in the United States. It’s no accident that 9 of the ten top recycling states have adopted deposit-return systems for beverage containers. OBRC is the industry steward of Oregon’s deposit-return systems, and their Clackamas processing plant is a “Willy Wonka” experience for recycling enthusiasts! 
 
Genentech – Committing to Positive Patient Experiences 
Tour Genentech’s Access Solutions, which opened in 2019 and serves as the biotech company’s resource for patients and providers across the United States. It assists with patient support services, disease education, understanding insurance, and access to medicines.
5:30-6:30 p.m.Leadership Excellence for Nonpartisan Staff (LENS) Reception (invite only)
Western Legislative Academy Alumni Reception
5:30-7:00 p.m.Finding and Fine-Tuning Your Leadership Style
Join Women In Government for an interactive discussion with western legislative leaders about different paths to serving as an effective leader. Whether serving in a formal leadership role in your caucus or chamber or becoming the kind of legislator that others look to for guidance and direction, you will benefit from this conversation about ways to channel your personal leadership philosophy into practical tools and techniques. Following the dialogue, attendees are invited to “Wind Down with WIG” during a short reception.

Friday, July 12

7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.Registration Open
Attendees are asked to check in at the registration desk to receive meeting information and credentials.
7:30-8:30 a.m.Breakfast
Grab a tasty breakfast before sessions! Open to all registered attendees.
8:00-10:00 a.m.Improving Legislative Oversight
Lawmakers will share oversight ideas, roadblocks, and successes from their respective states. This feedback will inform a working group on the next steps for updating the Western Legislative Oversight Handbook, which serves as a quick reference and list of resources for best practice. The group will also hear a real-life success story from Oregon State Senator Sara Gelser Blouin, the 2021 recipient of the Carl Levin Award for Effective Oversight. To conclude, members will take what they learned from the success story and determine what they can use to supplement the previous discussion on updating the handbook for more effective use.  

Led by Utah Senator Todd Weiler and California Assemblymember David Alvarez, and hosted by the CSG West Legislative Oversight Working Group
8:30-10:00 a.m.Chairs Forum: Safeguarding the West from Wildfires
The wildfire crisis in the United States is urgent, severe, and far reaching. Wildfire is no longer simply a land management problem. The drivers of wildfire crisis are numerous and complex and influenced by multiple forces and factors at all scales. Catastrophic wildfires are posing ever-greater threats to human lives, livelihoods, and public safety. This session will address critical issues that policymakers are tackling in their states, including the protection and sustainability of forests and critical infrastructure.  
8:30-12:30 p.m.Leadership Excellence for Nonpartisan Staff Workshop 1 (invite only)
CSG West in partnership with The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, offers these workshops for nonpartisan staff aimed at strengthening legislative institutions and providing the next generation of leadership with foundational skills and a network of colleagues.
9:30-10:20 a.m.Reimagining Our Clean Energy Future
This session will explore the ways in which natural gas utilities and their partners are
deploying advanced hydrogen and carbon capture technologies. Policymakers will hear from
technical experts about the innovative pilot projects already underway in the region, as well
as learn how they can support leveraging these technologies to reduce emissions and
address our shared decarbonization goals.
This Legislative Learning Lab Session is sponsored by American Gas Association
10:00-10:30 a.m.Refreshment Break at the Capitol Connections Café
A great place to connect with colleagues, the Capitol Connections Café welcomes attendees to sit, sip, and recharge between sessions.
10:30-11:20 a.m.Capacity Building Innovations in Health and Human Services
The need for health and human services by constituents has grown in unprecedented ways throughout the pandemic, while workforce shortages continue to challenge state employees who are doing their best to meet demand. We endeavor to share and discuss ways we can accelerate ways to build capacity to serve the needs of our beloved residents in our respective US Western States.
This Legislative Learning Lab session is sponsored by Deloitte
10:30-12:30 p.m.Approaching Student Achievement Beyond Academics
Participants will explore strategies for ensuring students thrive, emphasizing the importance of leveraging individual strengths while addressing underlying challenges. Discussion topics will include approaches to fostering meaningful teacher-student relationships and tackling absenteeism, particularly in the post-Covid era. Additionally, it will seek common ground on essential values that schools and educators can instill, such as fostering civil discourse and mutual respect across partisan lines. 

Led by Colorado Representative Cathy Kipp and Idaho Representative Julie Yamamoto and hosted by the CSG West Education Committee.
10:30-12:30 p.m.Managing Energy and the Environment Across the West

Part 1: Energy Financing
Utilities and states are grappling with the rising costs of maintaining and modernizing energy infrastructure, protecting communities from wildfires and other extreme weather events.   Financing these critical functions cannot be borne by ratepayers alone. Energy costs and price volatility would create hardships across the West, especially for low and fixed-income households. Legislators will hear how securitization addresses these financing and cost recovery challenges while minimizing impacts on families, small businesses and producers in their states.

Part 2: Producer Responsibility
States are looking to extend producer responsibility laws and programs as one new approach to managing waste in our food supply chain.  

Led by Wyoming Senator Eric Barlow and Hawaii Representative Nicole Lowen and hosted by the CSG West Energy & Environment Committee.
11:30-12:20 p.m.Organizing Workers in New Ways
Policymakers will gain insights into the impacts of new forms of worker organization, such as California’s Fast Food changes and Minnesota’s Long Term Care Board, and how states can create worker organization that helps stabilize traditionally low-income jobs without creating unfair competition.
This Legislative Learning Lab is sponsored by SEIU
12:30-2:15 p.m.General Session Lunch with Keynote – Daniel James Brown
Before the keynote kicks off, help us also congratulate the SCAG Chair’s Award recipient, the LENS graduating class of 2023, and look out for some exciting information about Annual Meeting 2025.

Daniel James Brown is The New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, now being made into a movie directed by George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Brown’s other books include Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894, which traces the personal stories and social, economic, and environmental causes of the Great Hinkley Fire, The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride, which follows the footsteps of Sarah Graves, a young bride who left her home in Illinois in the spring of 1846, only to become one of a handful of the ill-fated Donner Party members who attempted to hike out of the Sierra Nevada to save herself and her family, and his second New York Times bestseller, Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War ll, a gripping World War II saga of patriotism, highlighting the contributions and sacrifices that Japanese immigrants and their American-born children made for the sake of the nation.
2:30-4:00 p.m.Executive Committee Session (invite only)
2:30-4:00 p.m.Leadership Excellence for Nonpartisan Staff Workshop 2 (invite only)
CSG West in partnership with The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, offers these workshops for nonpartisan staff aimed at strengthening legislative institutions and providing the next generation of leadership with foundational skills and a network of colleagues.
5:00-6:00 p.m.2025 Annual Meeting Wyoming Kick-Off Reception
CSG West Chair-Elect, Wyoming Representative Mike Yin, invites you to kick off the 2025 Annual Meeting, scheduled for September 2025 in Jackson.
6:00-8:30 p.m.Evening Event and Dinner at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI)
Join us for the last evening event with a dinner at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). OMSI wants to help you explore the connections between the big wide world and our individual impacts. Attendees will have a chance to explore the Turbine Hall, where there is an amazing Tyrannosaurs exhibit, and even experience a Submarine Tour!

Sessions are open to all registered attendees unless otherwise noted.