Fall Seminar Agenda and Handouts 2011

RACSS 2011 Professional Development Seminar - Handouts and Videos 
Join Mutton RACSS membership is open to legislative staff involved in research, policy analysis, legal research, committee staffing, constituent or member services.

October 2-5, 2011
Hilton Portland and Executive Towers
Portland, Oregon 

Main Meeting Page

New--Seminar Video! Seminar sessions on Tuesday afternoon were live streamed from the Oregon State Capitol on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Videos for these sessions and a seminar highlights wrap-up video, prepared by Oregon Legislative Media Services, are also available for viewing on-demand below:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

1:00 pm - 5:30 pm 


 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Dutch Treat Happy Hour

Monday, October 3, 2011

 7:30 am - 5:00 pm


 7:30 am - 8:15 am

Continental Breakfast

 8:15 am - 8:30 am

Welcome and Announcements

8:30 am -10:00 am

Ready, Fire, Aim! Planning Effective Policy Research

Research projects can miss the mark if careful planning isn’t done at the beginning. Discovering the real problem can help identify the appropriate issues to be researched. Learn how to identify the problem being addressed, ask the right questions and focus the research to make sure research projects are effective and on point.

Panelists: Pepper Sturm, Chief Deputy Research Director, Legislative Counsel Bureau, Nevada
Bryant Howe, Assistant Director, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, Utah
Annie Pennucci, Senior Research Associate, Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Pdf logo PDF presentation

10:15 am -12:00 pm

Conducting 50-State Research and Evaluating Information Resources (CLE*)

Every year, hundreds of new 50-state surveys are published in articles, cases, commercial databases, court briefs, books, government publications, loose-leaf services, and websites.  Join Cheryl Nyberg, author of the Subject Compilations of State Laws bibliography series, for a discussion of her successful search strategies to find the right 50-state information.

Speaker: Cheryl Rae Nyberg, Reference Librarian, Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington

Pdf logo PDF presentation

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Succession Planning for Legislative Agencies

As baby boomers reach retirement, they create a need for legislatures to develop plans to recruit and train new employees without threatening retirement eligible staff with premature retirement.  Learn about the Retirement Management Plan adopted by the Oregon Legislature and discuss how it can be adapted for other states and agencies.  Also learn about the work being done in the North Carolina General Assembly to ensure smooth transitions and continuity of leadership for staff agencies.

Speakers: Lore Christopher, Human Services Director, Oregon Legislature
Walker Reagan, Director, Research Division, North Carolina General Assembly

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Using GIS for  Legislative Research and Policy Analysis

Geographical information systems (GIS) offers tools to organize and analyze data, interpret results, spot trends, visualize findings, and make better-informed policy decisions.  This session provides an overview of practical uses for GIS in the legislature and include a demonstration of GIS tools.

Speaker: Richard Leadbetter, Esri, Inc.

Pdf logo PDF presentation

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Roundtable on the 2011 Legislative Session

In many states, the 2011 legislative sessions were some of the most challenging ever held.  This roundtable discussion will focus on the top issues, biggest challenges, major changes in the political environment, and the impact on legislative staff.

Facilitator: Sabrina Lewellen, Constituency Services/Research and Special Projects Manager, Arkansas Senate

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Opening Reception and Vendor Exhibits (Joint with NALIT)

Tuesday, Ocrober 4, 2011

7:45 am - 8:00 am

Grab-and-Go Breakfast

8:00 am

Buses Depart for Trip to Salem (Joint with NALIT all day)

9:30 am - 10:30 am

Welcome and Tour of the Oregon State Capitol

Learn about the history and architecture of the unique Oregon State Capitol.

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Oregon Committee and Technology Services

Oregon staff will present information on:

  • Committee Agenda Scheduling
  • Gov Delivery
  • Desks System
  • CourtSmart
  • IRC System
  • House Audio / Video System
  • Legislative Information Zone (LIZ) Project

12:10 pm - 12:50 pm

Box Lunches

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Social Media Do’s & Don’ts

Social media is increasingly being used by legislatures to communicate with members and the public.  Legislative staff must often use social networking tools to do their jobs.  This session will look at the potential pitfalls and benefits of using social media and explore practices and policies to lessen the chances of a career-altering YouTube moment.

Speaker: Keith Buchholz, Senior Counsel, Office of Senate Counsel, Washington

Pdf logo PDF presentation

   ►  Video-Recording of Session

2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Using Technology to Increase Efficiency and Productivity

The most successful technology projects are collaborative in nature and boost productivity by changing labor-intensive work processes. Washington’s Electronic Bill Book (EBB), developed by a team of research and IT staff, changed the way standing committees conduct their public hearings.  Learn how the EBB simplified the administration of committee hearings, made it easier for committee members to navigate through lengthy agendas, and improved public access to committee documents.

Tanya Carter, Research Analyst, House Office of Program Research, Washington
Tim Rothwell, Computer Information Consultant, Legislative Service Center, Washington
Ronda Tentarelli, Applications Support Manager, Legislative Service Center, Washington
Yvonne Walker, Senior Research Analyst, House Office of Program Research, Washington 

►  Video-Recording of Session

4:00 pm

Buses Depart for Return Trip to Portland

6:30 pm

Dutch Treat Dinners/Dinner on Your Own

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

8:45 am - 9:00 am

Continental Breakfast

9:00 am -10:30 am

Records Retention for Staff Documents: What to Save, How to Save, & Why You Save It (CLE*)

Legislative documents are generally considered public records and as such, must be preserved.  But not all documents are the same.  Staff working papers, emails and internal communications may have different requirements.  This session will look at the requirements for preserving legislative documents to ensure appropriate use and legal compliance.

Speakers: Walker Reagan, Director, Research Division, North Carolina General Assembly
 Pdf logo  PDF Handout - Records Retention for Staff Documents: What to Save, How to Save, & Why You Save It
 Pdf logo  PDF Handout - Open Government Guide
 Pdf logo  PDF Handout - Statistical and Administrative Data on Black Subpoena

Connor Edmonds, Records Unit Manager, Oregon State Archives, Oregon
Pdf logo PDF presentation

Dave Bohyer, Director, Office of Research and Policy Analysis, Montana
Pdf logo PDF presentation

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Legislative Staff Ethics (CLE*)

Legislative staff are faced with ethical concerns on a regular basis and it often goes beyond a simple question of right or wrong.  Knowing the rules and requirements are important and can help guide staff in their professional roles.  This session will look at the legal requirements of legislative ethics and apply them to legislative settings.

Speaker: Bruce Feustel, Senior Fellow, NCSL 

PDF Logo PDF presentation

  State Ethics Commissions 

  State Ethics Advisory Opinions 

  Penalties for Public Corruption 

  NCSL Ethics Center

12:00 pm

Seminar Evaluation and Conclusion

 * CLE: Sessions designated CLE may be eligible for continuing legal education. Attorneys are responsible for filing CLE applications with their respective state CLE boards. NCSL does not guarantee that any program will be approved for credit by any particular state board.



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