The Council of State Governments (CSG) is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization in the United States that serves all three branches of state government. Founded in 1933 by Colorado state Sen. Henry W. Toll, CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy.
The CSG National Headquarters is located in Lexington, Kentucky, but the council also operates regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City and Sacramento, California. CSG maintains an office in Washington, D.C. that monitors federal government activities and their impact on state issues and programs.
As a national organization with a regional focus, The Council of State Governments is committed to providing its members with unique opportunities for personal and professional growth at the regional and national levels. Leadership development opportunities with CSG include the annual Henry Toll Fellowship Program, which brings together some of the nation’s top officials from all three branches of government for an intensive program designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth while providing networking and relationship-building opportunities. Leadership development programs offered in each of the CSG regions—East, Midwest, South and West—are designed to equip talented state policymakers with the skills and strategies to meet the challenges they face in their states and regions.
Other CSG services include policy academies, research briefs, webinars and annual conferences and meetings at the national and regional levels.
The CSG Justice Center, which is based in New York City and has offices across the country, provides practical, nonpartisan advice and consensus-driven strategies—informed by available evidence—to increase public safety and strengthen communities.
CSG national leadership includes a governor, who serves as the national president, and a member of a state legislature, who serves as national chair. CSG regions are chaired by state legislators.
CSG membership includes 56 U.S. states and territories; six Canadian provinces also partner with the council. Annual dues are paid by each state and territory to support the council’s operations. In addition, revenue is derived from publication sales, registration fees, corporate grants and contributions, and investment income.
The CSG is considered part of the 'Big Seven', a group of organisations that represent local and state government in the United States.
|The Council of State Governments|
|Founder||Henry Wolcott Toll|
|David J. Adkins|
In 1925, Henry Wolcott Toll, then a Colorado state senator, created the American Legislators’ Association, the forerunner to CSG, which provided legislators with information and opportunities to connect. Toll believed interstate cooperation was imperative for states to maintain control over inherent state issues.
CSG—the only national organization that serves all three branches of state government—was created in 1933. "Probably 12 or 15 of us sat around a table in a small room," Toll recalled 25 years later. "The Council of State Governments had never been heard of before that day."
About five years after CSG was conceived, a new building at 1313 East 60th St., in Chicago became the council’s central home. In 1967, CSG and the Commonwealth of Kentucky entered into an agreement that provided CSG with a headquarters building in Lexington, Kentucky. The building was dedicated on June 9, 1969. In 1993, the state financed the construction of a second building to facilitate the council’s continued growth.
Some CSG services have been offered since the early years. The Book of the States, which provides comprehensive data and analysis about state governments and their operations, was first published in 1935. State Government News, which later became the CSG bimonthly magazine, Capitol Ideas, was first published in 1958.
The Eastern Regional Conference was established in 1937. CSG opened a Washington, D.C. office in 1938. The Midwestern Legislative Conference was established in 1945. Both the Southern Conference—now the Southern Legislative Conference—and the Western Regional Conference—now CSG West—were established in 1947. In 2006, the CSG Justice Center was formed.
The CSG Henry Toll Fellowship program, a leadership development program for state officials, was established in 1986.
CSG has 6 offices across the country including 4 regional offices, a federal affairs office in Washington D.C., and the headquarters office in Lexington, KY.
|Region||Headquarters||U.S. States||U.S. Territories||Associate Members||Website|
|CSG West||Sacramento||Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming||American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands||Alberta, British Columbia||CSG West|
|CSG Midwest||Chicago||Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin||Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario||CSG Midwest|
|CSG South (also known as Southern Legislative Conference)||Atlanta||Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia||CSG SLC|
|CSG East (also known as Eastern Regional Conference)||New York City||Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont||Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Washington, D.C.||New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec||CSG ERC|
On December 3, 2006, The Council of State Governments' Governing Board voted to transform the Eastern Regional Conference’s (CSG/ERC) criminal justice program into a national Justice Center. The Justice Center’s Board of Directors includes state legislative leaders, judges, corrections administrators, juvenile justice agency directors, and law enforcement professionals, who together represent a cross-section of the senior-level state officials who shape criminal justice policy across the country. The Justice Center is headquartered in New York City with additional offices in Austin, Seattle, Bethesda, and Washington, D.C.
Affiliate organizations contribute specialized expertise, information, resources and issues to the overall mission of CSG. In turn, CSG offers a mechanism by which affiliates may tap into CSG's products and services, and a forum for bringing issues to a broader, collective state audience.
|2018||Gov. Gary Herbert||Utah||Senate President Robert Stivers||Kentucky|
|2017||Gov. Kate Brown||Oregon||Sen. Kelvin Atkinson||Nevada|
|2016||Gov. Jack Markell||Delaware||Sen. Beau McCoy||Nebraska|
|2015||Gov. Brian Sandoval||Nevada||Sen. Carl Marcellino||New York|
|2014||Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin||West Virginia||Sen. Mark Norris||Tennessee|
|2013||Gov. Jay Nixon||Missouri||Sen. Gary Stevens||Alaska|
|2012||Gov. Luis Fortuño||Puerto Rico||Sen. Jay Emler||Kansas|
|2011||Gov. Brian Schweitzer||Montana||Rep. Robert (Bob) Godfrey||Connecticut|
|2010||Gov. Mike Rounds||South Dakota||Senate President David Williams||Kentucky|
|2009||Gov. Joe Manchin III||West Virginia||Senator Bart Davis||Idaho|
|2008||Gov. M. Jodi Rell||Connecticut||Rep. Kim Koppelman||North Dakota|
|2007||Gov. Brad Henry||Oklahoma||Rep. Deborah Hudson||Delaware|
|2006||Gov. Jim Douglas||Vermont||Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin||West Virginia|
|2005||Gov. Ruth Ann Minner[note 1]||Delaware||Assemblyman Lynn Hettrick||Nevada|
|2004||Gov. Frank Murkowski||Alaska||Sen. John Hottinger||Minnesota|
|2003||Gov. Mike Huckabee||Arkansas||Rep. Dan Bosley||Massachusetts|
|2002||Gov. Parris Glendening||Maryland||Sen. John Chichester||Virginia|
|2001||Gov. Dirk Kempthorne||Idaho||Sen. Manny Aragón[note 2]||New Mexico|
|2000||Gov. Paul E. Patton||Kentucky||Rep. Tom Ryder||Illinois|
|1999||Gov. Tommy Thompson||Wisconsin||Sen. Kenneth McClintock[note 3]||Puerto Rico|
|1998||Gov. Pedro Rosselló[note 4]||Puerto Rico||Rep. Charlie Williams||Mississippi|
|1997||Gov. George Pataki||New York||Sen. Jeff Wells||Colorado|
|1996||Gov. Mike Leavitt||Utah||Senate President Stan Aronoff||Ohio|
|1995||Gov. Mel Carnahan||Missouri||Assemblyman Bob Wertz||New York|
|1994||Gov. Ben Nelson||Nebraska||Rep. Bob Hunter||North Carolina|
|1993||Gov. Jim Edgar||Illinois||Sen. Jeannette Hamby||Oregon|
|1992||Gov. Zell Miller||Georgia||Rep. John Connors||Iowa|
|1991||Gov. Terry Branstad||Iowa||Sen. W. Paul White||Massachusetts|
|1990||Gov. Michael N. Castle||Delaware||Speaker Thomas B. Murphy||Georgia|
|1989||Gov. William A. O'Neill||Connecticut||Senate President Arnold Christensen||Utah|
|1988||Gov. James Martin||North Carolina||Senate President Pro Tem Mary McClure||South Dakota|
|1987||Gov. Richard H. Bryan||Nevada||Sen. Hugh Farley||New York|
|1986||Gov. Robert D. Orr||Indiana||Rep. John E. Miller||Arkansas|
|1985||Gov. Charles S. Robb||Virginia||Sen. James I. Gibson||Nevada|
|1984||Gov. James R. Thompson||Illinois||Rep. Roy Hausauer||North Dakota|
|1983||Gov. Scott M. Matheson||Utah||Rep. Timothy J. Moynihan||Connecticut|
|1982||Gov. Richard A. Snelling||Vermont||Sen. Kenneth C. Royall Jr.||North Carolina|
|1981||Gov. George Busbee||Georgia||Rep. William Grannell||Oregon|
|1980||Gov. Otis R. Bowen, M.D.||Indiana||Senate Pres. Oliver Ocasek||Ohio|
|1979||Gov. Julian M. Carroll||Kentucky||Speaker James J. Kennelly||Connecticut|
|1978||Gov. William G. Milliken||Michigan||Speaker Bill Clayton||Texas|
|1977||Gov. Reubin O'Donovan Askew||Florida||Speaker Pro Tem John J. Thomas||Indiana|
|1976||Gov. Robert D. Ray||Iowa||Sen. J. Harry Michael Jr.||Virginia|
|1975||Gov. Calvin L. Rampton||Utah||Sen. John J. Marchi||New York|
|1974||Gov. Daniel J. Evans||Washington||Speaker William J. Lanting||Idaho|
|1973||Gov. Marvin Mandel||Maryland||Assemblyman Charles J. Conrad||California|
|1972||Gov. Arch A. Moore Jr.||West Virginia||Speaker Ray S. Smith, Jr.||Arkansas|
|1971||Gov. Warren E. Hearnes||Missouri||Sen. Charles L. Delaney||Vermont|
|1970||Gov. John A. Love||Colorado||Sen. Charles L. Delaney||Vermont|
|1969||Gov. Buford Ellington||Tennessee||Sen. Edwin C. Becker||North Dakota|
|1968||Gov. John A. Volpe||Massachusetts||Sen. Edward L. Marcus||Connecticut|
|1967||Gov. William L. Guy||North Dakota||Sen. Charles Welch Jr.||Utah|
|1966||Gov. John H. Reed||Maine||Sen. Albert M. Spradling Jr.||Missouri|
|1965||Gov. Grant Sawyer||Nevada||Sen. C. George DeStefano||Rhode Island|
|1964||Gov. John Anderson Jr.||Kansas||Sen. Clarence L. Carpenter||Arizona|
|1963||Gov. Albert D. Rosellini||Washington||Sen. David Davis||Illinois|
|1962||Gov. Wesley Powell||New Hampshire||Speaker J. D. McCarty||Oklahoma|
|1961||Gov. Stephen L.R. McNichols||Colorado||Sen. Hal Bridenbaugh||Nebraska|
|1960||Gov. J. Caleb Boggs||Delaware||Sen. James J. McBride||California|
|1959||Gov. LeRoy Collins||Florida||Sen. Elisha T. Barrett||New York|
|1958||Gov. William G. Stratton||Illinois||Sen. John W. Noble||Missouri|
|1957||Gov. Thomas B. Stanley||Virginia||Sen. Frank E. Panzer||Wisconsin|
|1956||Gov. Arthur B. Langlie||Washington||Sen. Robert A. Ainsworth, Jr.||Louisiana|
|1955||Gov. Robert F. Kennon||Louisiana||Sen. Carleton G. Howe||Vermont|
|1954||Gov. Dan Thornton||Colorado||Sen. Stanton Hall||Mississippi|
|1953||Gov. Allan Shivers||Texas||Rep. Elisha T. Barrett||New York|
|1952||Gov. Val Peterson||Nebraska||Rep. J. Maynard Magruder||Virginia|
|1951||Gov. Frank J. Lausche||Ohio||Rep. Bernice T. Van der Vries[note 5]||Illinois|
|1950||Gov. Frank Carlson||Kansas||Sen. John W. Noble||Missouri|
|1949||Gov. William Preston Lane Jr.||Maryland||Sen. Burton M. Cross||Maine|
|1948||Gov. Horace Hildreth||Maine||Sen. Charles H. Jenkins||North Carolina|
|1947||Gov. Millard F. Caldwell||Florida||Sen. John W. Van Ness||Indiana|
|1946||Gov. Edward Martin||Pennsylvania||Rep. S. Denmead Kolb||Maryland|
|1945||Gov. Herbert B. Maw||Utah||Sen. C. Petrus Peterson||Nebraska|
|1944||Gov. Leverett Saltonstall||Massachusetts||Sen. Grant Macfarlane||Utah|
|1943||Gov. Herbert R. O'Conor||Maryland||Sen. Thurman A. Biddinger||Indiana|
|1942||Gov. Harold E. Stassen||Minnesota||Sen. Robert C. Hendrickson||New Jersey|
|1941||Gov. Harold E. Stassen||Minnesota||Sen. Edgar Brown||South Carolina|
|1940||Gov. Lloyd C. Stark||Missouri||Rep. Ellwood J. Turner||Pennsylvania|
|1939||Gov. Robert L. Cochran||Nebraska||Assemblyman Harold C. Ostertag||New York|
|1938||Gov. Robert L. Cochran||Nebraska||Sen. Thomas Vernor Smith||Illinois|