NLSSA Bylaws

5/31/2019

Article I. Purpose

Section 1.  It is the purpose of the National Legislative Services and Security Association to improve the coordination, cooperation and communication among individuals serving state legislatures as sergeants at arms, security officers, law enforcement officers, and others in an administrative, service or security related capacity who are not otherwise eligible to join other staff affiliates of NCSL.

Article II. Objectives

Section 1.  The objectives of the Association are:

a. To improve the professional standing of its members through its activities.

b. To promote better relations between members of the Association and state legislators.

c. To provide a comprehensive national training program in legislative services and security.

d. To foster regional interactions of services and security personnel.

Article III. Functions

Section 1.  The principal functions of the Association are to improve communications, cooperation and coordination of legislative services and security personnel.  To accomplish these functions the Association will:

a. Periodically publish a newsletter.

b. Sponsor the publication of other reports and materials to assist members in better serving their legislatures.

c. Sponsor meetings and training conferences to meet the educational and informational needs of the members.

Article IV. Definitions

Section 1.  As used in the bylaws:

“Association” refers to the National Legislative Services and Security Association (NLSSA).

a. “Conference” refers to the NLSSA Annual Training Conference.

b. “Member” refers to those individuals belonging to the Association.

c. “Region” refers to those groupings by state as listed in Article VII, Section 6.

d. “Executive Board” refers to the policy developing body of the Association.

Article V. Creation of the Association

Section 1.  The National Legislative Services and Security Association, a part of the Legislative Staff Division of the National Conference of State Legislatures, is created with the adoption of these bylaws.

Article VI. Association Membership

A.  There shall be four classes of membership in the Association.

Section 1.  Membership in the Association is open to legislative services and security personnel and legislators agreeing with the purpose and objectives of the Association.

Section. 2.  Associate Members—Those whose duties do not involve legislative services and security, but have a peripheral interest which will be of benefit to the Association (i.e., exhibitors, etc.).  All candidates shall be subject to approval by the executive board.  Associate members shall not enjoy voting privileges.

Section 3.  Life Member—Any active member of this Association who retires from active employment is eligible to apply for life membership by communication with any member of the executive board who in turn shall submit the communication to the executive board for consideration.

a. A life member shall be excused from all annual membership assessments.

b. A life member shall not have voting privileges but receive all other privileges of the Association.

Section 4.  International Members—Membership in the Association is open to legislative services and security personnel agreeing with the purpose and objectives of the Association.  All candidates shall be subject to approval by the executive board.  An international member shall be excused from annual membership dues.  International members shall not enjoy voting privileges.

Section 5.  Members shall pay annual membership fees of $100 to the Association.  Membership fees are payable on the first day of January.  Paid members shall constitute the general membership.

a. Those persons eligible to vote at the annual training conference shall have paid their dues prior to February 15 of each calendar year.

b. Dues paid at the annual training conference shall apply to the next calendar year.

c. Members with a minimum of one year of membership prior to the annual training conference and who have paid their dues prior to February 15, shall be eligible to declare their candidacy for, or be nominated as national officers.  Members who have paid dues prior to February 15 shall be eligible to be nominated as regional officers.

Section 6.  Members will receive all publications of the Association and may participate in all meetings of the Association.  Members will elect the officers of the Association.

Article VII. Organization of the Association

Section 1.  The general membership is the governing body of the Association.

Section 2.  The general membership will elect the following national officers to serve on the executive board:

  • President
  • First Trustee
  • Vice President
  • Second Trustee
  • Secretary
  • Third Trustee
  • Treasurer
  • Sergeant at Arms

Section 3.  The president may be elected from and represent any region.  The remaining officers shall be elected from and represent those regions described in Article VII, Section 6.

Section 4.  General membership meetings will be held at least annually at a suitable location in the vicinity of the capitol of a state or territory.  Special meetings may be called by the president or by a majority of the members of the executive board.

Section 5.  Each region in the Association will elect a regional chairperson and vice chairperson who shall be voting members of the executive board.

Section 6.  For the purpose of electing board members and regional chairpersons, the general membership shall be divided into four regions as follows:

REGION 1—Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

REGION 2—Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

REGION 3—Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

REGION 4—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.

Article VIII. The Executive Board

Section 1.  The executive board of the Association is the policy developing body for the general membership.

Section 2.  The executive board is authorized to:

a. Prepare business for the annual and special meetings of the general membership.

b. Prepare and adopt a budget.

c. Call special meetings.

d. Execute contracts necessary to conduct the business of the Association.

e. Appoint any committees necessary to conduct the business of the Association.

f. Appoint a nominating committee to recommend officers to the general membership.

g. Meet as needed to conduct the business of the Association and to schedule future events.

h. Manage the training program for the Association.

Section 3.  The executive board shall be composed of officers as elected by the general membership, the regional chairpersons and vice chairpersons as elected by each region, and the chairperson of the legislative advisory committee.

Section 4.  Past presidents of the executive board may, if they so choose, remain on the executive board, in an ex officio capacity, as a non-voting member.

Section 5.  NLSSA has adopted a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and discrimination.  It shall be the responsibility of the NLSSA Executive Board to enforce this policy.  This policy prohibits conduct which is disrespectful, discriminatory or which creates a hostile environment for NLSSA members and supporters.  Harassment and discrimination based on gender, race, color, religion, medical condition and family or marital status is also prohibited.  Any incident of discrimination or harassment should be promptly reported to one of the following:  The Association President, Vice President, Sergeant at Arms or the NCSL Liaison.  NLSSA members or conference participants who receive reports of a complaint or witness inappropriate behavior or otherwise receive information regarding discrimination or harassment should transmit such information to one of the above specified officers.  If it is determined that the Association’s policy has been violated, appropriate action will be taken by the NLSSA Executive Board, including but not limited to warnings, reprimands, suspensions of membership benefits or status, exclusion or termination of membership benefits and access to NLSSA programs..

Article IX. Duties of the Officers

Section 1.  The president shall possess the powers and perform the duties prescribed:

a. To preserve order and decorum;

b. To decide all questions of order subject to appeal to the executive board by any members;

c. To appoint an executive secretary who shall be responsible for making the minutes and reports available to the membership, maintaining record books in which the bylaws and minutes are entered, keeping on file all committee reports and performing such other duties as may be required by the president.  The executive secretary shall be an ex officio member of all committees;

d. To appoint a parliamentarian to consult with and advise the president, other officers, committees and the members on procedural matters and general revision of the bylaws.  Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 1970, shall govern all matters of parliamentary procedure.

Section 2.  The vice president shall have the powers and perform the duties of the president during his absence.

Section 3.  The secretary shall be responsible for keeping a record of all proceedings or minutes of the Association, keep the Association’s official membership roll, have the current record books on hand at every meeting and prepare an agenda for the business meeting.

Section 4.  The treasurer shall furnish all members of the Association with credentials, have custody of the Association funds, pay the debts of the Association, and make a full financial report annually, or such interim reports as the Association or executive board may direct.

Section 5.  If a vacancy should exist on the executive board as elected by the general membership, succession shall be as follows:  The vice president shall fill the vacancy of the president; the second trustee shall fill the vacancy of the first trustee; and the third trustee shall fill the vacancy of the second trustee.  Should both offices of president and vice president become open simultaneously then the executive board would appoint an acting president of the Association until the next election.  The president of the Association shall make appointments to vacancies in the positions of vice president, secretary, treasurer, third trustee and sergeant at arms, and any appointment to any officer position left vacant by such selection or any multiple vacancies created.  Such appointments shall be effective until the next election of officers.

Section 6.  If a vacancy should exist in the position of regional chairperson, the vice chairperson shall fill the unexpired term.  The regional chairperson shall then appoint a member from the region to fill any unexpired vice chairperson vacancy.

Article X. The Legislative Advisory Committee

Section 1. The executive board will appoint a legislative advisory committee composed of at least three legislators from each region as specified in article VII.  Each regional chairperson will nominate at least two legislators from his region for the consideration of the executive board.  The executive board will make the final selection of members for the advisory committee.

Section 2.  The president of the Association shall nominate one member of the advisory committee to serve as chairperson and one member to serve as vice chairperson, for the consideration of the executive board.

Section 3.  The legislative advisory committee will meet with the executive board and attend annual meetings.  The chairperson of the advisory committee will have a vote on the executive board.  In the absence of the chair of the legislative advisory committee, the vice chair will assume all responsibilities of the chair.  Members of the advisory committee who are paid members may vote at the annual conference.

Article XI. Quorum

Section 1. At any meeting of the executive board, a quorum will exist if six members are present.  At general membership meetings, a quorum will consist of those members present.

Article XII. Election and Terms of Officers/Regional Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons

Section 1.  The election of officers will be held at the business meeting and the election of regional chairpersons and vice chairpersons will be held at the region meetings, which will be held during the annual training conference of the Association.  Those active members of NLSSA who have complied with Article VI, Section 5, will be entitled to vote in the election.  Members who are eligible to vote, registered for the conference and have attended a minimum of three days of the conference but cannot be present for the election will be entitled to vote by absentee ballot.  No other person will be entitled to vote by absentee ballot.  Absentee ballots must be in a sealed envelope and filed with the NCSL liaison no earlier than two days before the annual election.  Absentee ballots will be tabulated with all other ballot on the day of the election and cannot include write-in candidates.

Section 2.  Candidates wishing to seek election to national office on the Executive Board must declare their candidacy in writing to the Chair of the Nominations Committee, in care of the NCSL Liaison to the NLSSA, no later than August 1.  Such written declaration must include a statement that the leadership of the candidate grants their collaboration and support for the candidate to travel and perform the duties as an officer of NLSSA.  Names of candidates for national office that have been submitted by August 1 will be placed on a ballot and posted on the NLSSA website before the annual training conference.  Also, nominations for any national office on the Executive Board will be accepted from the floor prior to the election.  However, anyone nominated from the floor must also provide sufficient assurance that leadership grants them, too, their collaboration and support to travel and perform the duties as an officer of NLSSA.  All nominations, both those on the ballot and those taken from the floor, must require a second from the floor.  All candidates for office must meet the eligibility requirements for candidates as prescribed in Article VI of these bylaws.

Article XIII. Amendments to the Bylaws

Section 1.  Amendments to the bylaws may be proposed by any member of the Association at any meeting of the executive board or of the general membership.  If proposed at an executive board meeting, the adoption of the amendment will be deferred until the annual meeting of the general membership.  Amendments will be adopted by a majority vote of the members present at the annual meeting and become effective upon adoption.

(as amended Aug. 30, 2018)