Richard S. Costigan III is the Senior Director of State and Government Affairs at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. He was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California State Personnel Board (SPB), which is responsible for the state’s Civil Service System. Richard was elected by his fellow board members in December 2010 to represent the SPB on the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) Board. Before rejoining Manatt and being appointed to the SPB, Richard served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Affairs Secretary for Governor Schwarzenegger. He was directly involved in all aspects of policy development and legislative strategy for the Governor, including the historic reform of California’s workers’ compensation system, the rollback of increased vehicle licensing fees, the increase in the state’s minimum wage and the groundbreaking Million Solar Roofs Initiative.
Richard’s responsibilities included serving as the liaison between the Governor, the Legislature and California’s many agencies and departments on policy development and implementation. In this role, and with the support of the team he managed in the Governor’s Legislative Affairs Unit, Richard was successful in obtaining the Legislature’s bipartisan approval of the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), the largest voter-approved infrastructure investment package in the state’s history (totaling $42.7 billion (Propositions 1A-1E)); the Economic Recovery Bond Act (Proposition 57); and the California Balanced Budget Act (Proposition 58).
Richard served as the Governor’s chief negotiator with the Legislature and was responsible for developing and overseeing the Governor’s legislative agenda and advising the Governor on all pending legislation and issues before the Legislature. He worked with over 70 agencies and departments on legislative and policy matters, and had extensive interaction with Agency Secretaries, as well as extensive involvement in the state budget process, communications and external affairs.
Richard and his unit handled the confirmation process for the Governor’s appointees and successfully handled the unanimous bipartisan confirmation of a statewide constitutional officer.
Richard also served in the Legislative Branch, where he has the rare distinction to have been Chief of Staff to two different Republican leaders in the State Assembly, where he oversaw all aspects of the caucus operations, including policy, budget and communications. Additionally, Richard held the positions of Director of Policy for the Assembly Republican Caucus’s policy unit and Chief Policy Advisor to the Republican leadership. Prior to those positions, Richard held the position of Principal Consultant to the Assembly and Budget committees, focusing on transportation, environmental, local government, insurance, labor and employment issues. Richard credits his work with the Legislature and in the private sector with preparing him to assume legislative policy responsibilities on day one of the Schwarzenegger Administration.
In the private sector, Richard was Vice President of Government Relations and Chief Lobbyist for the California Chamber of Commerce, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of the Chamber’s public policy agenda. At the Chamber, he led major coalitions, testified before the Legislature on issues ranging from mandatory healthcare to minimum wage, oversaw the Chamber’s professional advocacy staff and served on the Chamber’s executive management team. He also had extensive interaction with the media, including appearances on CNNfn, CNN, radio and print.
Prior to 1996, Richard was actively engaged in the practice of law in Georgia, where his practice focused on business defense, creditor bankruptcy and family law. He practiced before both state and federal courts.