RACSS Awards

Legislative Staff Achievement Award - RACSS

trophy cupBackground

The Legislative Staff Achievement Award was instituted in 1997 by the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee, as a means for the NCSL staff sections and staff networks to annually recognize legislative staff or offices that have demonstrated excellence in supporting the work of a state legislature and strengthening the legislative institution, as well as contributing to the work of NCSL.  The awards have added meaning in that they are bestowed by the recipients’ peers through each of the staff sections and networks, as well as two at-large awards presented by the NCSL Staff Chair.

Award Criteria for RACSS

There are two criteria, both of which must be met, for bestowing the Legislative Staff Achievement Award from the Research and Committee Staff Section: service to their legislature and participation in RACSS.

First, in the staff member's service to their legislature, they must have:

  • Exhibited a high degree of professionalism, competence, and integrity in serving their legislature and the public
  • Helped to improve the effectiveness of the legislative institution
  • Supported the legislative process and the mission of the legislature

Second, the staff member must:

  • be or have been an active member of the Research and Committee Staff Section
  • have contributed to the work of the staff section, through participation in RACSS activities. Such activities include, but are not limited to attending RACSS meetings, serving as faculty for RACSS programs, contributing to the newsletter, serving on committees or serving as a staff section officer.

RACSS Award Process

The current RACSS Chair shall select three members of the staff section at large to serve on the Awards Committee. Members are traditionally past recipients of the award or past officers. The Awards Committee shall solicit nominations for the Legislative Staff Achievement Award through an announcement in the Spring and/or Summer edition of the RACSS Newsletter or through an announcement emailed to all members of the staff section. The Awards Committee shall evaluate all nominees for the award, based on the criteria shown above, regarding service to a legislature and participation in RACSS. The Awards Committee shall select no more than two nominees for the award and submit their names to the RACSS Executive Committee for final approval of the award recipients.
List of Past Honorees (Award Text)
Mark Mitchell, Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

John Q. Cannon, Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

Pepper Sturm, Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau

David Ortbahn, South Dakota Legislative Research Council

Guy Cherry, Maryland Dept. of Legislative Services
Pat O'Grady, Illinois Legislative Research Unit

Jamie Jo Franklin, Kentucky Legislative Research Commission
Terry Sullivan, North Carolina Research Division (retired)

Dan Chapman, Colorado Legislative Council
Mike Nugent, Idaho Office of Legislative Services

Mary Janicki, Connecticut Office of Legislative Research
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, Utah, Citizens Guide Project. Team Members: Brian Allred, Susan Creager Allred, Mark Andrews, Emily Brown, Spencer Burton, Arek Butler, Esther Chelsea-McCarthy, Ben Christensen, Phil Dean, Cathy Dupont, John Fellows, Shannon Halverson, Brett Hopper, Bryant Howe, Jerry Howe, Art Hunsaker, Dee Larsen, Jeanenne Larson, Jami Momberger, Rich North, Nina Norton, Patricia Owen, Robert Rees, Rebecca Rockwell, Stewart Smith, Connie Steffen, Mark Steinagel, Joseph Wade, Eric Weeks, and James Wilson

Sheila Mason, Kentucky Legislative Research Commission
Electronic Bill Book Project Team, House Office of Program Research, Washington. Research Team Members: Charlie Gavigan, Dave Knutson, Bob Longman, and Cara Shipley

Virgil Puskarich, Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission (posthumously)
David Sallach, New Jersey Office of Legislative Services

Bryant Howe, Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
Kirk Mlinek, Colorado Legislative Council

Terry Anderson, Wisconsin Legislative Council
Bob Erickson, Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau

Karl Aro, Maryland Dept. of Legislative Services
Richard Strong, Utah Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel (retired)

Sandy Deaton, Kentucky Legislative Research Commission
Darrell Jackson, Missouri House Research

Diane Bolender, Iowa Legislative Services Agency
David Hite, Colorado Legislative Council

Larry Barish, Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau
Allan Green, Connecticut Office of Legislative Services

Joyce Honaker, Kentucky Legislative Research Commission
Carvel Payne, Maryland Dept. of Legislative Services (retired)

RACSS Contact: For more information, contact RACSS Secretary Jeanne Mejeur.

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