Personal Staff Network Overview
Who Are Personal Staff?
There are 34,000 staff that work for the nation’s state legislatures and 11,000 staff, almost one-in-three, are personal staff. NCSL defines personal staff as, “staff that work directly for a state legislator or as part of a small team reporting directly to a legislator. The legislator provides supervision and direction of the staff’s work product. Their workplace might be located at the capital or at a district office.”
Personal staff are employed in sixty-one legislative chambers, out of ninety-nine. Typically, one personal staff member works for one member. However, depending on the size of the member’s district, two or three (or more) personal staff can work for one member. On the converse, personal staff can work for two or three (or more) members. Some chambers allocate money to members to hire personal staff. The amount of the allocation can determine how many aides the member employs.
Most personal staff are year-around employees and work in the member’s capitol office. Scheduling for the member, constituent services, constituent correspondence and managing a member’s office are the primary responsibilities of personal staff. Legislative Assistant, Administrative Assistant and Legislative Aide are the most common titles used for personal staff.
Personal staff provide direct support to a member as they prepare for session, hearings or meetings and assist the member as they work with constituents. Of course, the work place, title and responsibilities of each aide depends on the chamber they work in and the member, or members, they work for.
Purpose of the Network
The Personal Staff Network seeks to connect staff from across the country, who work directly for a legislator, that are interested in networking, sharing ideas and learning important skills that will help them perform their job. Through this shared connection, the Network helps to strengthen the abilities of personal staff to support their boss and the legislative institution
Training and Professional Development Opportunities
NCSL can deliver training programs for personal staff to your legislature, often at little or no cost. With your guidance, we will customize the training to match your specific professional development needs. Topics like constituent service strategies, office management techniques or staff ethics are among the possibilities. Contact Angela Andrews for more information.