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LSS Bylaws

Leadership Staff Section Bylaws

(as amended October 2012)

ARTICLE ONE

Name - The name of the organization is the Leadership Staff Section (LSS) of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Membership - The general membership will consist of persons designated as leadership staff by legislative leaders of the fifty states and the insular possessions and territories of the United States of America. Each individual state legislatures definition of leadership staff shall be applicable when determining membership. A person's eligibility for membership or tenure on the Executive Committee shall cease upon separation of employment with the legislature. There shall be no dues or membership fees.

Purpose - The purposes of this Section are: to provide a national forum for recognition of the contributions of leadership staff to the legislative process; to enhance communications among staff members in the 50 states and the insular possessions and the territories; to increase effectiveness and professionalism of leadership staff; and to offer a forum for discussion of how leadership staff can better serve their elected legislators and the public.

ARTICLE TWO

Meeting of Members - The Annual Business Meeting of the Section shall be held at such time and place normally to coincide with the Annual Professional Development Seminar of the Section. 

Adequate notice of the business meeting shall be provided to the general membership of the Section at least thirty days prior to the Annual Professional Development Seminar.

ARTICLE THREE

Executive Committee - The Executive Committee shall be composed of 13 members, an LSS Chair, First Vice-Chair, a Second Vice-Chair and nine Directors, elected by the membership at the preceding Annual Business Meeting, and the immediate past chair. All Executive Committee members who are employed by a state legislature, upon the completion of their term, shall be designated as ex-officio voting members for two years following the end of their term on the Executive Committee. If there is more than one ex-officio voting member from the same state, voting is limited to one vote for that state. After the two-year period, all past chairs or executive committee members of the Section, other than the immediate past chair, who are employed by a state legislature shall be ex-officio non-voting members of the Executive Committee. Any NCSL staff officer or past NCSL staff officer, or present staff member of the NCSL Executive Committee, if serving as leadership staff in his or her state legislature, shall be an ex-officio non-voting member of the Executive Committee. 

The LSS Chair shall preside over meetings of the executive committee and the membership and be responsible for the general management and control of the business and affairs of this Section. The LSS Chair is an ex-officio member of all standing committees of the Section. The First Vice-Chair shall preside in the absence of the chair. The Second Vice-Chair shall preside in the absence of the first vice-chair. The NCSL staff member assigned to the section shall provide administrative assistance to the Section.

Meetings/Quorum of the Executive Committee - The Executive Committee of this Section shall hold its meeting upon the call of the LSS Chair at such time and place as he or she shall designate. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of a majority of the members of the Executive Committee. A vacant position on the Executive Committee shall not be included in the determination of a quorum for the purposes of transaction of business.

Powers and Duties - The Executive Committee shall have the power to select a site for the Annual Professional Development Seminar, prepare the agenda for the Annual Professional Development Seminar, call special meetings of the full membership, execute contracts subject to approval of the NCSL Executive Committee, appoint subcommittees and special committees, and manage training programs.

ARTICLE FOUR

Nomination, Election and Terms of Office - Not later than 120 calendar days prior to each Annual Business Meeting of the Section, the LSS Chair shall appoint from the general membership of the Section a nominating committee of five members, one of whom shall be the immediate past chair of the Section who will serve as chair of the nominating committee.  If the immediate past chair is unable or unavailable to serve in this role, the LSS Chair shall appoint the nominating committee chair from among the general membership of the Section. If any member of the nominating committee is unable or unavailable to serve in this role, the LSS Chair shall appoint a replacement from among the general membership of the Section. The nominating committee shall compile a slate of nominees for the offices of LSS Chair, First Vice-Chair, Second Vice-Chair and nine Directors of the Section.

No later than 90 calendar days prior to each Annual Business Meeting of the Section, the nominating committee shall distribute by either electronic mail or mail to the general membership of the Section a notice that announces the opening of nominations for candidates to the Executive Committee, describes the general conditions and responsibilities of Executive Committee service and lists the name and contact information of the chair for the nominating committee. Insofar as possible, consideration shall be given to providing reasonable gender, racial, ethnic, partisan and geographic balance among the list of nominees submitted by the nominating committee, provided that nothing herein shall require the establishment of any quota. The slate of nominees shall be submitted for vote of the membership at the Annual Business Meeting of the Section provided, however, that additional nominations may be made from the floor by the general membership. Election to the office of LSS Chair, First Vice-Chair or Second Vice-Chair requires a majority vote of the member states, insular possessions, and territories present and voting. Election to the office of Director requires a plurality vote of the member states, insular possessions, and territories present and voting. Each state, insular possessions, and territory shall have one vote for each position to be elected.

The terms of officers of the Section shall commence at the close of the Annual Business Meeting at which meeting their successors shall be elected. No Director of the Executive Committee may serve more than three consecutive one-year terms unless elected to be LSS Chair, First Vice-Chair or Second Vice-Chair of the Section. Upon serving three consecutive one-year terms on the Executive Committee, an ex-officio non-voting member must wait one year before being eligible to serve on the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE FIVE

Vacancies - LSS Chair, First Vice-Chair and Second Vice-Chair:  In the event of a vacancy in the office of the LSS Chair prior to the expiration of his or her term, the First Vice-Chair shall assume the office and responsibilities and serve as LSS Chair for the balance of the term. Filling the unexpired term of the LSS Chair does not preclude the First Vice-Chair from being eligible to be nominated for a full term as LSS Chair.

The vacancy created by the First Vice-Chair shall be filled by the Second Vice-Chair. He or she shall assume the office and all responsibilities and serve as First Vice-Chair for the balance of the term. Filling the unexpired term of the First Vice-Chair does not preclude the Second Vice-Chair from being eligible to be nominated for a full term as First Vice-Chair.

To fill the unexpired term of the Second Vice-Chair, the LSS Chair shall submit to the remaining members of the Executive Committee a name for nomination for the position of Second Vice-Chair. The nomination shall be approved by majority vote of the voting members of the Executive Committee at a special meeting to be called by the LSS Chair. Should the nomination of the LSS Chair not be approved, he or she shall make a second and any subsequent nominations until the Executive Committee shall approve the nomination with a majority vote. Filling the unexpired term of Second Vice-Chair does not preclude the Second Vice-Chair from being eligible to be nominated for a full term as Second Vice-Chair. 

Immediate Past Chair: In the event of a vacancy in the position of Immediate Past Chair, the LSS Chair shall submit to the remaining members of the Executive Committee the name of a former Chair for nomination for the position of Immediate Past Chair. The nomination shall be approved by majority vote of the voting members of the Executive Committee at a special meeting to be called by the LSS Chair. Should the nomination of the LSS Chair not be approved, he or she shall make a second and any subsequent nominations until the Executive Committee shall approve the nomination with a majority vote.

Directors:  In the event of a vacancy in the position of a Director on the Executive Committee, the LSS Chair shall submit to the remaining members of the Executive Committee a name for nomination for the position of Director. The nomination shall be approved by majority vote of the voting members of the Executive Committee at a special meeting to be called by the LSS Chair. Should the nomination of the LSS Chair not be approved, he or she shall make a second and any subsequent nominations until the Executive Committee shall approve the nomination with a majority vote.  Filling the unexpired term of Director does not preclude the Director from being eligible to be nominated for a full term as Director on the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE SIX

Amendments of By-Laws - These By-Laws may be amended by a majority vote of the member states, insular possessions, and territories present at any Annual Business Meeting of the Section. Proposed amendments shall be available in writing and distributed to all leadership staff at the Annual Business Meeting.

ARTICLE SEVEN

The Leadership Staff Section is part of the legislative staff division of the National Conference of State Legislatures. All matters not covered by these By-Laws or the By-Laws of NCSL, Masons Manual of Legislative Procedure shall govern.

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