The conversation about CSG’s governance structure and processes began during the Executive Committee meeting in June 2011 and quickly emerged as a priority for then CSG National Chair Rep. Bob Godfrey of Connecticut.
“Since our founding in 1933, CSG has seen unprecedented change in America’s states, and today’s fiscal and policy challenges require us as an organization to look inward and reflect on the ways CSG can better connect with state leaders around the country as they wrestle with these tough issues,” said Godfrey.
Following the June meeting, a National Governance Working Group was created to examine key ways CSG could advance its mission through enhancements to its governance structure. The National Governance Working Group is composed of members from across the broader CSG organization, including state officials from each of CSG’s regions as well as representatives from CSG’s Affiliate and Associate communities.
“This is simply the beginning of what will be a transparent and inclusive process in which all CSG members will have an opportunity to review and comment on these ideas,” said Godfrey. “I want broad dialogue and consensus on these ideas that I believe will strengthen CSG well into the future.”
Meeting twice in late 2011, and continuing its work throughout 2012, the National Governance Working Group established broad goals for enhancing CSG’s governance model, including:
An enhanced role for the judicial branch in CSG’s leadership and governance structure, affirming CSG’s interbranch mission
An expanded Governing Board whose membership would include all governors, majority and minority legislative leaders, and all chief judges in member jurisdictions
An Executive Committee tasked with major oversight of CSG activities including budget and major policy decisions
An agile and responsive Leadership Council charged with casting the strategic vision for CSG and acting, along with CSG’s senior staff leaders, as a “quick reaction force” to urgent organizational matters
Codification of many CSG practices into officially sanctioned processes, including the regional rotation of CSG’s leadership
CSG’s Governance Drafting Team
Earlier this year, a Governance Drafting Team was developed to put pen to paper on these broad recommendations and met several times to craft a revised set of CSG governance documents. Following these meetings – and with oversight from the larger Working Group – the Drafting Team has made significant progress on reasonable adjustments to CSG’s governance structure and processes. During the CSG Executive Committee meeting in May, the Working Group submitted its draft revisions to the CSG leadership for review.
Drafting Team members also met with leaders from each of CSG’s regions during their annual meetings this summer. These sessions provided valuable insights into the proposed changes and Drafting Team members made several modifications to the proposal based on this feedback.
Final approval for these amendments will be sought from CSG’s Governing Board during the 2012 National Conference in Austin, Texas on December 3, 2012.