By Stacy Householder

Legislative staff from around the country wrapped up another successful year of professional development seminars. Stretching from Raleigh, N.C., to Sacramento, Calif., and places in-between, the host states for the seminars welcomed their colleagues with superb sessions, unique venues and outstanding networking and social events.

The NCSL staff sections hit high attendance numbers this year as more legislative staff pursued professional development opportunities.  More attendees mean more networking and learning from colleagues around the country about how they handle the challenges of the legislative environment.  Here is a quick synopsis of each staff section:

ASLCS: Sacramento welcomed the Clerks and Secretaries to celebrate their 70th anniversary. Highlights included general sessions from Dave Logan and Bill Kennedy on how your brain works.  A unique celebration at Sutter’s Fort rounded out the seminar.

Leadership, Legal Services and Research & Committee Staff and HR: These staff sections joined forces and resources to host a riveting event in Denver. CLE was a big hit among the legislative lawyers. Team building in Boulder helped leadership staff to explore their management and leadership styles. HR professionals held their first meeting in four years to discuss the latest HR trends and laws and explore innovative HR practices. The group held a kick off reception at the Colorado Capitol – the first event there since 1999!

NLPES & NLSSA: The program evaluators and services and security staff met in Austin, Texas. They went BIG in Texas with sessions on crowd management, security tours, evaluating economic development, using effective research methods and the role of graphics visualization in reporting. They rounded out their events with an exclusive event at an exotic game ranch.

NALFO: The fiscal analysts held their seminar in beautiful Annapolis with record attendance!  Offering four tracks on Medicaid, Education, Economic Development and Capitol Budgeting, there was no shortage of information to take back to the states. Unique to Annapolis, the Naval Academy welcomed the fiscal analysts for a closing dinner.

LRL:  Legislative librarians met for the first time in four years in Boise. The superb host state led the librarians on a capitol tour and hosted sessions on exemplary services and social media in libraries. But the big hit was “Five Minutes of Fame” where librarians were able to share what’s new in their legislature.

NALIT: North Carolina played host to the IT professionals this year. The highlight included a live demonstration of the Legislative Dashboard used by the House and Senate to track bills, plus a behind-the-scenes tour of the servers than run the legislature. No North Carolina meeting would be complete without some barbeque in the historic Capitol!

LINCS: Communications professionals hit Washington, D.C., right at the start of the shut-down. The Feds may have been able to use their expertise to get back up and running! They made good use of the nation’s capital with tours of the Newseum and C-SPAN, sessions on managing negative media, the latest digital trends and the future of page programs.

Staff sections are aimed to hone skills for a particular legislative group and provide opportunities to exchange ideas and best practices with those who have similar positions in other legislatures.  To learn more get involved with a staff section, please visit NCSL’s staff section webpage and contact the NCSL staff liaison.

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This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.


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