Legislative Effectiveness Committee 

Friday, April 9, 2010
Marriott Wardman Park
Washington, D.C.

Meeting Session:  Committee Business Meeting

Overview & Presiding Officers:

Committee officers and members discussed plans for committee sessions to be held at the Legislative Summit 2010.

Presiding Officer: Chair: John Bjornson, Counsel, Legislative Council, North Dakota

Summary:

Plans for Legislative Summit 2010

The committee made plans for sessions for four available time slots at the upcoming 2010 Legislative Summit (annual meeting), which will be held July 25-28, 2010, in Louisville, Kentucky. The approved sessions are: 

1.  Keeping up with the Technology. Whether you embrace social networking and the latest technology, it’s clear that legislators and staff need to learn how to adapt their work and communications to the recent changes. This session provides an interactive learning experience as we continue our look at legislative best practices in using technology and communication. 

2.  The Transparent Legislature. An open government—one that is transparent, participatory and collaborative—is increasingly the new paradigm at all levels and branches of government. Citizens who use the Internet, social media and user-friendly search engines on a daily basis now expect to easily access their legislature. Pam Greenberg has organized an annual meeting session on this topic and the Legislative Effectiveness Committee would like to co-sponsor, with Staff Vice Chair Jon Heining offering to assist as a panelist with particular interest in privacy issues. 

3.  Real Life Ethics Cases.  State legislatures have faced a number of crises with ethics-related cases in the past year. This session highlights leaders and veteran staff as they explore the lessons they learned in dealing with these challenges and provide their advice on the best strategies to respond to or avoid future problems. 

4.  Legislative Budgets and Staffing: What Happens with Continued Budget Deficits?  NCSL studied the initial responses of legislatures as they reduced their budgets in light of decreased budget revenues. States took fairly predictable steps in freezing staff vacancies, banning or reducing travel, and generally matching cuts that occurred in the executive branch. The reduced revenues continue for many states, and this session explores what kind of responses we are likely to see in the next round of legislative budgeting and staffing decisions. 

The committee decided not to co-sponsor the session on “How Good is Your Legislature?”