LSCC Special Committee on Rules for Creating New Staff Sections

Findings and Recommendations

TO:

LSCC

FROM:

Alfred Speer, Chair of the Task Force on Creating New Staff Sections

DATE:

July 9, 1999

RE:

The Process for Considering Requests for New Staff Sections

The task force submits the following findings, recommendations and observations on the process for considering requests for new staff sections and identifies proposed changes in the Criteria for New Staff Section Organizations. The findings and recommendations stemmed from the Task Force's consideration of the request for a new staff section for public information and media relations staff.

Finding 1: Many LSCC members were reluctant to decide on the new staff section during the meeting when the request was first made. 

Recommendation: The LSCC should acknowledge at the outset that it will not decide on a request for a new staff section during the meeting at which the initial request is made.

It takes time to adequately consider the potential effects of creating a new staff section. The staff officers and the task force members wanted to avoid the impression that the LSCC was being asked to push through a quick approval or rejection of the request. Moreover, by acknowledging at the outset that a request will be submitted to a task force for further study and recommendation, those requesting a new staff section will not expect an immediate answer and the members of the LSCC will not feel as though they must make a snap decision.

Finding 2: The task force found that using a task force to study the request for the new staff section was helpful.

Recommendation: The LSCC should submit requests for new staff sections to a task force for detailed analysis, study and recommendation to the full LSCC.

It is important to deliberate on the potential costs and benefits of the proposed new staff section, assess how a new staff section will affect existing staff sections and ensure NCSL's ability to provide staff services to the new staff section. These issues need to be adequately considered which takes time and the attention of legislative staff.

Finding 3: Having members of the task force come from each of the existing staff sections allows for maximum input and the broadest perspective on the potential effects of the new staff section.

Finding 4: Having experienced legislative staff and former NCSL staff chairs on the task force provided a valuable historic perspective on the creation of staff sections.

 

Recommendation: The Staff Chair should appoint members from each of the existing staff sections along with at least one former staff chair to the task force to review the request for a new staff section.

The broad perspectives provided by the task force members were very helpful in assessing the effects of creating the new staff section. Gaining consensus among such a broad group of legislative staff ensures that there is broad-based support for the new staff section.

Finding 5: The Criteria for New Staff Section Organization are helpful but need a slight modification.

Recommendation: The Criteria for New Staff Section Organization should be revised as follows:

2) The application of any group wishing to be recognized as an NCSL staff section shall be reviewed by the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee. The Committee shall refer the request to a task force of legislative staff for its study and recommendation. The task force shall be comprised of a least one member from each of the existing staff sections and have at least one former staff chair in its membership. The task force shall report its recommendation to the full Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee. If the Committee favorably reviews and approves such applications, it will forward the application with its recommendation to the NCSL Executive Committee.

3) Criteria to be applied to each application by the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee shall include at least: (a) the anticipated impact of the new section on NCSL staff services; (b) the anticipated impact of the new staff section on any existing staff section; (c) whether the legislative function of a proposed section is of a continuous nature; and (d) whether the proposed section has a professional career orientation. The task force shall review and verify the information presented in the application. 

New Language in bold.

Strike through language to be removed.