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Staff Snapshots | Jim Hannah

July 22, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print

For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.

Jim Hannah

Hometown: Frankfort, Ky.

Title: Public Information Specialist

Years of legislative service: Seven

His inspiration: Working for an institution that isn’t driven by the bottom line. The stated goal of the Legislature is the advancement of Kentucky and its citizens.


Why did you choose to work at the legislature?

After 17 years as a daily newspaper reporter, I was looking for a more financially secure career. It turned out that working in the Public Information Office of the Legislative Research Commission was a perfect match for the skill set I had honed as a journalist. 

What skill or talent are you most proud of?

I work in a nonpartisan shop, so being free from party affiliation or bias is of the utmost importance. My nonpartisanship is a point of pride, and I think it came easy because of my years in journalism. As a reporter, I strived to avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. That always included registering to vote as an independent.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

What’s one thing you love about your state?

Kentucky has some breathtaking beauty. From the Appalachian Mountains of the east to the rolling hills of horse country, there’s gorgeous scenery all around. Lush forests, mighty rivers and quaint towns just add to the appeal of the Bluegrass State.

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

The recent death of New York journalist Janet Malcolm prompted me to reread her most famous book, “The Journalist and the Murderer.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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