Legislator Candidates--NCSL Executive Committee

Frequently asked QUESTIONS & our ANSWERS


Adopted Guidelines for Nominating Committee and Candidates (Legislators)


Excerpts from current By-Laws pertaining to Executive Committee candidacy and membership


 

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

Legislator Candidates

Question

Am I eligible to run for membership on the Executive Committee?

AnswerAny legislator is eligible to run. No more than two members shall come from the same state. (See Article VII. Section 4)

Question

Do I have to be a leader to seek membership?

Answer

No, however the "10 leader rule" must be met. (See Article VII. Section 4)

Question

What are criteria to run?

Answer

Legislator; previous involvement with NCSL is considered but not mandatory; support of leadership is necessary because of meeting commitments; commitment to attend Executive Committee meetings; pay for travel, lodging and meal expenses.

Question

How long do I serve?

Answer

Term is one year with option to continue for three consecutive years. (See Article VII. Section 7)

Question

How do I submit my name as a candidate?

Answer

Write a letter to NCSL's Executive Director; or write a letter to the Chair of the named Nominating Committee; or write to the President of NCSL stating your desire and intent to run.

Question

When would I be elected?

Answer

At the current year Annual Meeting Business Meeting. Candidates are encouraged to be present if at all possible. Candidates have an 8-10 minute interview with the Nominating Committee. Candidates are notified immediately following the final deliberations of the Nominating Committee, usually the day before the Business Meeting.

Question

Can I run more than once?

Answer

Yes.  If unsuccessful in a given year, can run again the following year(s).

Question

When do I begin to serve if elected?

Answer

The fall meeting following the Annual Meeting. Four meetings in one Conference Year: Fall meeting typically in September-October; winter meeting January-February; spring meeting April-May; summer meeting during Annual Meeting.

Question

How long are the meetings and when are they held?

Answer

Sometimes Friday afternoon and all day on Saturday. Seldom do we have Sunday meetings.

Question

Is there a registration fee for the Executive Committee meetings?

Answer

No registration fee for Executive Committee and LSCC members.

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Excerpts from Current By-Laws Pertaining to Membership on NCSL's Executive Committee (Articles VI; VII; VIII; X; XI; XII)

ARTICLE VI

Officers and Executive Committee

Section 1. Officers. The officers of the Conference shall be a President, a President-Elect, a Vice President, and the Immediate Past President; and a Staff Chair, a Staff Vice Chair, and the Immediate Past Staff Chair.

Section 2. Composition of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall be composed of forty legislators and twenty legislative staff. The legislator members shall be President, Immediate Past President, President-Elect and Vice President; twenty-seven at-large legislators; three legislators, one each representing the state hosting the annual meeting at the time of election and the states hosting the next two annual meetings; Chair of the NCSL Standing Committees ex officio appointed by the President; Chair of the Council of State Governments ex officio; one member elected from each of the four regional conferences of the Council of State Governments. The regional conferences may also elect an alternate member. CSG Regional Conference Members and Alternates shall be elected following the NCSL Annual Meeting from states not having at-large legislator representation on the NCSL Executive Committee.

The legislative staff members shall be Staff Chair, Staff Vice Chair and Immediate Past Staff Chair; sixteen at-large legislative staff members; Staff Chair of the NCSL Standing Committees ex officio appointed by the Staff Chair.

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ARTICLE VII

Nomination and Election Procedures

Section 1. Legislator Nominating Committee. The President shall appoint a Legislator Nominating Committee of twelve members at least sixty days prior to the next Annual Meeting. The Nominating Committee shall consist of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. It shall include at least one Democrat and one Republican from each region and no more than four members from the same region. The President shall select members with the advice and consent of the legislator members of the Executive Committee. The President shall appoint the chair of the Legislator Nominating Committee, who shall be a legislative leader.

Section 2. Legislative Staff Nominating Committee. The Staff Chair shall select a Legislative Staff Nominating Committee consisting of seven legislative staff at least sixty days prior to the next Annual Meeting. The Staff Chair shall select members with the advice and consent of staff members of the Executive Committee. The Staff Chair shall appoint the chair of the Legislative Staff Nominating Committee.

Section 3. Nominating procedures for legislator officers. The Legislator Nominating Committee shall present to the Annual Meeting a slate of candidates for the offices of President-Elect and Vice President. The President succeeds automatically from the office of President-Elect; the Immediate Past President succeeds automatically from the office of President. No officer who has served one full term shall be eligible for reelection to the same office until at least one intervening term has elapsed. The President-Elect and Vice President shall be legislative leaders from a member jurisdiction at the time of their election. The offices of President, President-Elect and Vice President shall alternate between the two major political parties. For the office of Vice President and President-Elect, the Legislator Nominating Committee may submit more than one name.

Section 4. Nominating procedures for legislators on the Executive Committee. The Legislator Nominating Committee shall present to the Annual Meeting a slate of candidates for the at-large positions and the annual meeting host state positions on the Executive Committee. In nominating members for the Executive Committee, the Legislator Nominating Committee shall, insofar as possible, consider geographic balance. At least ten of the at-large members of the Executive Committee shall be legislative leaders at the time of their election. No more than two legislator members other than ex officio members shall come from the same state.

Section 5. Legislative Staff Nominating Committee duties. The Legislative Staff Nominating Committee shall present to the Annual Meeting a slate of candidates for the Executive Committee and the office of Staff Vice Chair. The Staff Chair succeeds automatically from the office of Staff Vice Chair. The Immediate Past Staff Chair succeeds automatically from the office of Staff Chair. All nominees of the Legislative Staff Nominating Committee shall be full-time professional legislative staff from member jurisdictions. In nominating legislative staff for the Executive Committee, the Legislative Staff Nominating Committee shall, insofar as possible, consider geographic balance. No more than one legislative staff member shall come from the same state, except that states represented by an officer or ex officio member may have two members.

Section 6. State representation on the Executive Committee. Each state shall have the opportunity to be represented on the Executive Committee at least once every five years.

Section 7. Consecutive terms. No member of the Executive Committee other than an officer or ex officio member may serve for more than three consecutive terms. Terms as officers or ex officio members shall not count toward the limitation of three consecutive terms.

Section 8. Floor nominations. Additional nominations may be made from the floor for the offices of Vice President and President-Elect. Such candidates shall be qualified under Article VII, Section 3.

Section 9. Voting procedures. Voting on the reports of the nominating committees shall be by member jurisdiction, and each member jurisdiction in good standing shall be entitled to cast one vote regardless of the number of delegates present from that jurisdiction. A majority of the member jurisdictions present and voting shall be required to adopt the reports of the nominating committees. If no nominee receives a majority of the member jurisdictions present and voting on the first ballot, there shall be a runoff ballot among the two nominees receiving the highest vote. The nominee who receives a majority of votes on the runoff ballot shall be elected.

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Article VIII

Terms of Office and Vacancies

Section 1. Terms. The term of office for the officers and other members of the Executive Committee shall be from the close of the annual meeting through the next following annual meeting.

Section 2. Vacancies. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, the Executive Committee shall elect a past President of the Conference to serve the remainder of the term. Such past President shall be of the same political party as the person vacating the office. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Staff Chair, the Staff Vice Chair shall succeed to the office of Staff Chair. The Executive Committee shall fill other elected offices, if vacant, at any regular or special meeting.

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ARTICLE X

Powers of the Executive Committee

Section 1. Executive Committee powers. The Executive Committee is the governing body of this Conference. The Executive Committee shall supervise, control and direct the affairs of the Conference; shall implement the policies of the Conference; shall actively prosecute its objectives; and supervise the disbursement of its funds. The Committee may adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its business and may delegate certain of its authority and responsibility to committees, divisions, sections, officers, and the Executive Director.

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ARTICLE XI

Executive Committee Procedures

Section 1. Quorum and voting. A majority of the Executive Committee's membership shall comprise a quorum. On any vote not otherwise specified, a simple majority of the members present and voting is required for passage. Each member shall be entitled to vote on any matter coming before the Committee. On any vote that places the Conference on record in a matter of public policy, legislative staff shall not be entitled to vote. All decisions on voting eligibility of staff members shall be made by the President, subject to appeal to the Executive Committee.

Section 2. Meetings of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall meet at least three times each year at such time and place as the Committee shall decide. No more than one meeting during the Annual Meeting of the Conference shall be used to satisfy this requirement.

Section 3. Absences from Executive Committee meetings. Absence from two Executive Committee meetings within a year without cause shall be grounds for removal.

Section 4. Reimbursement. Upon authorization of the President, Executive Committee members may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses for travel directly related to official NCSL activities. The officers may receive a per diem in addition to actual and necessary expenses if their home state does not pay such per diem.

Section 5. Executive Committee meetings open. All meetings of the Executive Committee shall be open to the public.

Section 6. Adopting policy under emergency circumstances. In emergency circumstances, when there is insufficient time to consider a new policy under normal processes, policy positions having the same force and effect as policy adopted by the full Conference may be established by either of the following means: (1) majority vote of the legislator members, present and voting, of the Executive Committee in meeting assembled; or (2) the unanimous agreement by conference call of the President, the President-Elect, the Vice President, the Immediate Past President, the Chair or a Vice Chair of the Assembly on Federal Issues, and the Chair or a Vice Chair of the appropriate committee or subcommittees of the Assembly on Federal Issues. Proposed policy resolutions must be provided to the NCSL Executive Director by 4:00 p.m. of the day before the NCSL Executive Committee meeting.

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ARTICLE XII

Committees and Subcommittees of the Executive Committee

Section 1. Committees and subcommittees. There shall be a Budget, Finance and Rules Committee, and such other committees and subcommittees as the Executive Committee may authorize. Membership on committees and subcommittees shall be divided between legislator and staff members in accord with voting eligibility on the Executive Committee, unless otherwise provided by the Executive Committee. The Legislator and Staff Chairs and members of these committees and subcommittees shall be appointed by the President and Staff Chair, respectively, with the approval of the Executive Committee.

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Guidelines for the Legislator Nominating Committee and Candidates for NCSL Office

Guidelines (1-6) were adopted by the NCSL Executive Committee in June 1987. Guideline 7 was adopted in April 1989 by the NCSL Executive Committee.  Revised and Approved May 2004.

  1. The purpose of the NCSL nominating and election process is to select legislators and legislative staff who are broadly representative of the leadership and top management of the nation’s legislatures to lead the Conference.  Successful candidates for NCSL office should have demonstrated through proven leadership in their own legislature and positions of responsibility in NCSL that they can effectively represent NCSL before the public, Congress, and the Administration and provide leadership to the Executive Committee and the NCSL staff.  The ability to attend meetings either through scheduling or funding also is a criteria for selection.
  2. For legislators, the NCSL By-laws mandate, in so far as possible, rotation in office between the two major political parties.  In 1999, the NCSL membership adopted an amendment to the By-laws designed to avoid as rigid regional rotation which, when combined with the requirement of partisan rotation, could result in shutting out one of the parties in each of the regions.  While the Executive Committee continues to believe that long-term geographic balance is important to the organization, it affirms its concern that no viable candidate for NCSL office be excluded from consideration by the combination of their party and region.
  3. During each Annual Meeting, NCSL provides an opportunity for candidates to interview with members of the Nominating Committee.  Candidates are discouraged from holding their own reception or events.
  4. Candidates are urged to “campaign” for office principally by written and oral communication with the members of the Nominating Committee and are discouraged from spending funds to lobby the Nominating Committee or for personal or political advertising.
  5. The election of officers and Executive Committee members should occur entirely among the nation’s legislators and legislative staff.  It is not considered appropriate to involve non-legislators in the legislator nominating committee process.  Involvement will be considered grounds for a candidate’s disqualification.
  6. Members of the Nominating Committee should not be elected as at-large members of the Executive Committee in the year in which they serve on the Nominating Committee.  Any member of the Nominating Committee who wishes to be considered for membership on the Executive Committee must resign from the Nominating Committee in a timely manner.
  7. Individuals interested in being considered for membership on the NCSL Executive Committee shall indicate their interest in writing to the chair of the NCSL Nominating Committee or the NCSL Executive Director who will forward the information to the Nominating Committee chair.  All applications for membership are due by 5:00 p.m. the day before the first meeting of the Nominating Committee at the NCSL Annual Meeting.  Individuals attending the NCSL Annual Meeting who are interested in serving on the NCSL Executive Committee will be interviewed by the Nominating Committee at the NCSL Annual Meeting.
  8. Members of the NCSL Executive Committee are elected for a one year term.  At-large members have the opportunity to be elected for a maximum of three years.  The NCSL By-laws state: Absence from two Executive Committee meetings within a year without cause shall be grounds for removal (Article XI, Section 3).  The Nominating Committee will interview any Executive Committee member who is eligible to continue on the committee and did not attend two or more meetings to ascertain whether or not that individual will be nominated for an additional one year term.
  9. A copy of these Guidelines should be distributed to each candidate for NCSL office.


Posted 2/28/03
Updated 8/20/07

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