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July 9, 2013


Want to Know How Much Your Governor Earned in 1940?

CSG has a Book for That

LEXINGTON, Ky.--When The Council of State Governments published The Book of the States in 1937, CSG founder and former Colorado state Sen. Henry Toll offered this message: "The Council of State Governments hopes that you will enjoy it; the Council knows that it can be useful to you."

CSG had launched The Book of the States two years earlier, in 1935. CSG has served as a resource for state leaders and a catalyst for innovation and excellence in state governance since 1933. The Book of the States has a long history of providing detailed information about what states spend, the people they serve and how they govern. Not only can you track the salary of your state's governor throughout that time span, but you can also find the salaries of other executive branch officials, as well as information on how much other high-level state officials have earned over the years. The historical volumes illustrate how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same, through often tumultuous times in the history of our nation.

Now, all that knowledge and history about the states is available online at www.csg.org/bookofthestates. Each of the past 44 volumes is available in its entirety, including tables and articles.

"CSG constantly fields requests from policymakers and researchers for access to the invaluable historical information found in The Book of the States' archive," said Jennifer Horne, CSG's associate director of policy and special libraries who managed the archival process. "CSG is the only source for much of the data contained in the book and we are thrilled to be able to make the archive available in its entirety free of charge."

The 2013 version, containing more than 25 articles and more than 150 tables, will be available in the CSG Knowledge Center this summer.

"CSG's The Book of the States is probably more valuable today than it has ever been," said John Mountjoy, CSG's director of policy, research and strategic initiatives. "Not only are we making 78 years of state data available in a free online database, but CSG is now the only organization in the country annually tracking much of the state data that appears in the publication."

"In a world where traditional data gathering techniques and archiving of longitudinal data is being supplanted by the quick-fix of popular Internet search engines, The Book of the States stands alone as the chronicle of more than three-quarters of a century of state and territorial governance. No one else has this resource and we're proud to share this extraordinary tool," he said.

The state reference book has evolved since its 1935 edition, and fulfills the dream of founder Henry Toll, as he stated in that first Book of the States: "This volume is nothing but a lick and a promise," he wrote in the foreword in 1935. "It is the meager and unorganized beginning of a periodical publication which may eventually become a very useful reference book."

Find out how right his vision was by visiting The Book of the States online.


The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.