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As a champion of excellence in state governance, The Council of State Governments West (CSG West) provides state legislators and legislative staff with valuable relationship building and professional growth opportunities through a variety of member-driven, regionally focused programs and services. Highly informative conversation and peer-to-peer collaboration are the focus of our regular convenings, with a keen eye on supporting important state and regional policy efforts.

Membership is automatic for western legislators and legislative staff, and our members value the chance to confer with peers from other states in a nonpartisan atmosphere as they share cross-border knowledge and lessons learned in a variety of areas.

Whether addressing concerns specific to the region, assessing international dynamics, or honing essential leadership and consensus-building skills, CSG West’s programs are designed to assist elected leaders throughout the west in becoming more effective in their work.  

CSG West is particularly unique in the broader organization as the only region of CSG with dual international borders, a fact that is embraced and explored through several special programs and forums designed to foster the exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices on topics related to international relations and their intersection with state governance. 

Quite unlike any other organization, the broader CSG structure enables our various operations to access valuable resources at the regional, national, and international levels. Three CSG key offerings available to members across all regions include:

  • Access to a national perspective on key topics to help expand their knowledge base
  • In the realm of justice reform, the CSG Justice Center offers access to objective, data-driven research to support state-based justice efforts
  • Through the National Center for Interstate Compacts, states can receive information and technical assistance to develop interstate compacts which promote multi-state problem solving.

Our History Withstands the Test of Time

Henry Wolcott Toll was a Colorado state Senator who believed that if states wished to maintain control over inherent state issues, interstate cooperation was imperative. The strength of his conviction led him to establish what was once the American Legislators Association in 1925 with one straightforward goal: to provide elected state legislators with information and opportunities to connect. Enjoying significant success, the effort evolved. Senator Toll and a dozen colleagues formally established The Council of State Governments (CSG) in 1933 as a national organization serving all three branches of government. Initially based in Chicago, Illinois, CSG moved its headquarters to Lexington, Kentucky in 1967 – where it remains to this day –  providing essential leadership nationally and to the regional operations at CSG East, established in 1937; CSG Midwest, established in 1945; and CSG West and the Southern Legislative Conference, both established in 1947.  

Our Member Services are Highly Valued

Through our work, we strive to keep members informed about critical issues, emerging trends, and best practices impacting the work of states. This includes opportunities to attend regularly scheduled meetings, participate in leadership training programs, receive informational updates, and utilize all available resources. Whether your interest is in attending meetings to collaborate with fellow leaders or requesting research assistance for your issue work, our staff is available to help. We can be reached via email or telephone at csgw@csg.org or 916-553-4423.

Our Governance is Member Driven

Governance of CSG West is run with member needs top of mind, particularly given the weighty responsibilities of our members. Composed of Executive Committee members, officers are elected annually and rotated to ensure a bi-partisan approach in their direct oversight of the organization’s work. Acting as our governing board, the Executive Committee is made up of legislative leaders from each state and meets each year during the CSG West Annual Meeting – our marquee event — to review the work of CSG West policy committees, adopt policy positions and recommendations, and review the ongoing development and effectiveness of the organization.

Officers
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Representative Clark Kauffman

Idaho

Chair

Clark Kauffman grew up in Southern Idaho and continues to live and farm in the Magic Valley on the Snake River Plain.

Following High School, Clark spent four years in the Air Force, serving one of…

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Assemblymember Mike Gipson

California

Chair-Elect

Born and raised in Watts, Asm. Mike A. Gipson always knew that he wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of those he encountered throughout his community and beyond. His undeniable passion for public…

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Senator Bill Hansell

Oregon

CSG West Vice Chair, LCRG Chair

Senator Hansell is serving in his third term in the Oregon state legislature representing District 29, which encompasses parts of seven counties located in Eastern Oregon. His district is rural and is the third largest in…

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Executive Committee

Alaska

  • President Peter Micciche, President of the Senate
  • Senator Tom Begich, Senate Minority Leader, Co-Chair – Canada Relations Committee
  • Senator Gary Stevens, CSG Past Chair
  • Speaker Louise B. Stutes, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Cathy Tilton, House Minority Leader
  • Representative Chris Tuck, Appointed by the Speaker

Arizona

  • President Karen Fann, President of the Senate
  • Senator Rebecca Rios, Senate Minority Leader
  • Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Reginald Bolding, Jr., House Minority Leader

California

  • President Pro Tem Toni G. Atkins, Senate President Pro Tempore
  • Senator Scott Wilk, Republican Leader
  • Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman, Appointed by President Pro Tem
  • Speaker Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the Assembly
  • Assemblymember Marie Waldron, Republican Leader
  • Assemblymember Cecilia M Aguiar-Curry, Co-Chair – Agriculture & Water Committee
  • Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Assemblymember Lisa Caldedron, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Assemblymember Ken Cooley, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Assemblymember Heath Flora, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Assemblymember Mike Gipson, Appointed by the Speaker, CSG West Chair-Elect
  • Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, Co-Chair – Education Committee
  • Assemblymember Jose Medina, Chair – Border Legislative Conference (BLC)

Colorado

  • President Steve Fenberg, President of the Senate
  • Senator John Cooke, Minority Leader
  • Senator Chris Hansen, Co-Chair Energy & Environment Committee
  • Speaker Alec Garnett, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Hugh McKean, Minority Leader, Co-Chair – Westrends Board
  • Representative Cathy Kipp, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Representative Mike Lynch, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Appointed by the Speaker

Hawaii

  • President Ronald Kouchi, President of the Senate
  • Senator Kurt Fevella, Minority Leader
  • Senator Brian Taniguchi, CSG Past Chair
  • Speaker Scott Saiki, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Val Okimoto, Minority Leader
  • Representative Della Au Belatti, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Representative John Mizuno, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Representative Dee Morikawa, Appointed by the Speaker

Idaho

  • President Pro Tempore Chuck Windor, Senate President Pro Tempore
  • Senator Michelle Stennett, Minority Leader
  • Senator Carl Crabtree, Appointed by President Pro Tempore
  • Speaker Scott Bedke, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Ilana Rubel, Minority Leader
  • Representative Clark Kauffman, Appointed by the Speaker, CSG West Chair
  • Representative Linda Hartgen, Co-Chair Energy & Environment Committee

Montana

  • President Mark Blasdel, President of the Senate
  • Senator Jill Cohenour, Minority Leader
  • Speaker Wylie Galt, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Kim Abbott, Minority Leader
  • Representative Edward Buttrey, Co-Chair – Health Committee
  • *Joe Kolman, Chair – Legislative Service Agency & Research Directors
  • Representative Wendy McKamey, Appointed by the Speaker

Nevada

  • President Pro Tempore Moises (Mo) Denis, Senate President Pro Tempore
  • Senator Nicole Cannizzaro, Senate Majority Leader
  • Senator James A. Settelmeyer, Senate Minority Leader
  • VACANT – Speaker of the Assembly
  • Assemblywoman Robin Titus, Assembly Minority Floor Leader
  • Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, Co-Chair – Health Committee
  • Assemblywoman Jill Tolles, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Assemblyman Steve Yeager, Appointed by the Speaker

New Mexico

  • Senator Mimi Stewart, President Pro Tempore
  • Senator Gregory Baca, Minority Floor Leader
  • Senator Benny Shendo, Co-Chair – Workforce Development Committee
  • Speaker Brian Egolf, Speaker of the House
  • Representative James G. Townsend, Minority Floor Leader

Oregon

  • President Peter Courtney, President of the Senate
  • Senator Tim Knopp, Republican Leader
  • Senator Bill Hansell, CSG West Vice Chair, Chair – Legislative Council on River Governance (LCRG)
  • Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Appointed by President of the Senate
  • Speaker Dan Rayfield, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson, Republican Leader
  • Representative Rick Lewis, Co-Chair – Public Safety Committee
  • Representative Barbara Smith Warner, Appointed by Past Speaker Tina Kotek

Utah

  • President Stuart Adams, President of the Senate, Past CSG West Chair
  • Senator Kirk Cullimore, Appointed by President of the Senate
  • Senator Gene Davis, Appointed by President of the Senate
  • Senator Wayne Harper, Appointed by President of the Senate
  • Senator Karen Mayne, Minority Leader
  • Senator Ann Millner, Co-Chair – Education Committee
  • Senator Todd Weiler, Appointed by President of the Senate
  • Speaker Brad Wilson, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Brian King, Minority Leader
  • Representative Karen Kwan, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Representative Jefferson Moss, Appointed by the Speaker
  • Representative Mike Schultz, Appointed by the Speaker

Washington

  • Senator Andy Billig, Majority Leader
  • Senator John Braun, Republican Leader
  • Senator Bob Hasegawa, Appointed by Majority Leader
  • Senator Sam Hunt, CSG West Past Chair
  • Senator Patty Kuderer, Appointed by the Majority Leader
  • Speaker Laurie Jinkins, Speaker of the House
  • Representative J.T. Wilcox, Republican Leader
  • Representative Debra Lekanoff, Delegate to the National Council of State Legislators (NCSL)
  • Representative Gina Mosbrucker, Appointed by the Speaker, Co-Chair – Workforce Development Committee
  • Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self, Appointed by the Speaker

Wyoming

  • President Dan Dockstader, President of the Senate
  • Senator Chris Rothfuss, Minority Floor Leader
  • Senator Brian Boner, Co-Chair Agriculture & Water Committee
  • Speaker Eric Barlow, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Cathy Connolly, Minority Floor Leader
  • Representative Andy Schwartz, Co-Chair Westrends Board
  • Representative Mike Yin, 2021 WLA Class President

American Samoa

  • Honorable Tuaolo M. Fruean, President of the Senate
  • Honorable Savali Talavou Ale, Speaker of the House

Guam

  • Honorable Therese Terlaje, Speaker of the Legislature
  • Honorable Christopher M. Duenas, Minority Leader

Northern Mariana Islands

  • President Jude U. Hofschneider, President of the Senate
  • Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez, Speaker of the House

Alberta, Canada

  • *MLA Nathan Neudorf, Co-Chair Canada Relations Committee

British Columbia, Canada

  • (Presently None)
Staff
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Edgar Ruiz

Director

Edgar Ruiz serves as Director of The Council of State Governments West (CSG West), leading the organization since November 2011. He oversees CSG West’s many flagship programs and services that encourage peer-to-peer sharing and professional development…

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Martha Castañeda

Director of Policy & International Programs

Martha Castañeda serves as Director of Policy and International Programs, a position she has held since 2016. She…

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Will Keyse

Legislative Training Manager

Will Keyse serves as the Legislative Training Program Manager for The Council of State Governments West (CSG West).…

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Amanda Korte

Marketing & Advancement Manager

Amanda Korte leads The Council of State Governments West’s marketing and advancement initiatives. Including work on member engagement,…

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Jonathan Lennartz

Policy Committees & Programs Coordinator

Jonathan Lennartz serves as The Council of State Government West (CSG West) lead staff for the Education and…

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Shilpa Patel

Policy Committees & Programs Coordinator

Shilpa Patel provides support for The Council of State Governments West (CSG West) as lead staff to the…

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Jennifer Schanze

Director of Operations

Jennifer has been with The Council of State Governments West (CSG West) since 2011 and is the organization’s…

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Jacqueline Tinetti

Policy Analyst

Jackie Tinetti leads The Council of State Governments West’s (CSG West) Natural Resources portfolio, covering the dynamic issue…

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Patricia Villalba-Fletes

Membership & Meetings Coordinator

Patricia Villalba-Fletes serves as Membership & Meetings Coordinator for The Council of State Governments West (CSG West). She…

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Carina West

Senior Meetings Coordinator

Carina West serves as Meetings & Program Coordinator for The Council of State Governments West (CSG West). In…

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CSG National Officers & Staff
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Governor David Ige

Hawaii

CSG 2022 National President

Governor David Y. Ige was sworn in as the eighth governor of the State of Hawai‘i on December 1, 2014. Governor Ige is focused on improving the lives of Hawaiʻi’s people and making the islands a…

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Senator Sam Hunt

Washington

CSG 2022 National Chair

Sam Hunt was elected to represent the 22nd District of the Washington Senate in 2016 after serving 16 years in the state’s House of Representatives. He is the chair of the State Government, Tribal Relations and…

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Representative Julia Howard

North Carolina

CSG 2022 National Chair-Elect

Julia Howard is serving her 14th two-year term in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Representative Howard serves as senior chair of the House Finance Committee and vice chair of the House Committee on Banking; she…

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Representative Kevin Ryan

Connecticut

CSG 2022 National Vice Chair


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Governor Laura Kelly

Kansas

CSG Immediate Past President

On January 14, 2019, Laura Kelly became the 48th Governor of the State of Kansas.

Governor Kelly grew up in a military family and learned the importance of service, integrity and accountability at a young age.…

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Representative Joan Ballweg

Wisconsin

CSG 2022 National Immediate Past Chair

Joan Ballweg represents the 41st District of the Wisconsin State Legislature. She was first elected to the Assembly in 2004 and served as majority caucus chair in 2011 and 2013. Representative Ballweg is the 2020 national…

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David Adkins

Executive Director and CEO

David Adkins leads The Council of State Governments as its executive director and CEO. Prior to joining CSG, Adkins served as vice chancellor for external affairs at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Adkins, a graduate…

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