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NCSL Executive Committee Officers

  • Anne Sappenfield, NCSL staff chair, Wisconsin Legislative Council
  • Sabrina Lewellen, NCSL staff vice chair, Arkansas Senate
  • Joseph James "J.J" Gentry, NCSL immediate past staff chair, South Carolina Senate

NCSL Executive Committee At-Large Members

  • Tim Bommel, photojournalist, Missouri House of Representatives
  • Martin Brock, chief of police, North Carolina  
  • Jon Courtney, deputy director for program evaluation, New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee
  • Lonnie Edgar, deputy director, Mississippi 
  • Matt Gehring, staff coordinator, Minnesota House Research Department
  • Doug Himes, ethics counsel, Tennessee
  • Terri Kondeff, director, Idaho
  • Othni J. Lathram, director, Alabama
  • Natalie Castle, director, Colorado Legislative Council
  • Rich Olsen, director, West Virginia
  • Jill Reinmuth, staff director, Washington House Office of Program Research
  • Paul Smith, clerk of the House, New Hampshire
  • John Snyder, committee staff administrator, Kentucky
  • Betsy Theroux, director of House Media Services, Georgia
  • Will Tracy, communication specialist, Arkansas
  • One vacancy.

2022-2023 Discretionary Appointments

  • Soren Jacobsen, senior IT specialist, Idaho
  • Eric Nauman, principal fiscal analyst, Minnesota Senate
  • Lori Mathis, director, Maryland
  • Jerry McGinty, director, Texas Legislature
  • Shunti Taylor, deputy director, Georgia
  • Emily Thompson, legal division director, North Dakota

2022-2023 Staff Officers of the Overall Standing Committee

  • Michelle Davis, staff co-chair, NCSL Standing Committees, Mississippi
  • K.C. Norwalk, staff co-chair, NCSL Standing Committees, Indiana
  • Miriam Fordham, vice chair, NCSL Standing Committees, North Dakota
  • Raysa Martinez Kruger, vice chair, NCSL Standing Committees, New Jersey
  • Melissa Renick, vice chair, NCSL Standing Committees, Louisiana
  • Jeff Wice, vice chair, NCSL Standing Committees, New York

2022-2023 Professional Staff Association Officers

American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS)

  • Tim Sekerak, president, ASLCS, Oregon
  • Yolanda Dixon, president-elect, ASLCS, Louisiana
  • NCSL liaison: Holly South

Leadership Staff Professional Association (LSPA)

  • Aurora Hauke, chair, LSPA, Alaska
  • Alicia Henry, first vice chair, LSPA, District of Columbia
  • NCSL liaison: Megan McClure

Legislative Information and Communications Staff (LINCS)

  • Aundrea Peterson, chair, LINCS, Utah 
  • Camille Taylor, vice chair, LINCS, Georgia
  • NCSL interim liaison: Carrie Maulin

Legislative Research Librarians (LRL)

  • Jessica Lundgren, chair, LRL, Maine
  • Lindsay Pealer, vice chair, LRL, California
  • NCSL liaison: Megan McClure

National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices (NALFO)

  • Amy Skei, president, NALFO, Washington
  • Krista Lee Carsner, president-elect, NALFO, Tennessee
  • NCSL liaison: Erica MacKellar

National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT)

  • Nate Rohan, chair, NALIT, Wisconsin
  • David Burhop, vice chair, NALIT, Virginia
  • NCSL liaison: Kae Warnock

National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES)

  • Eric Thomas, chair, NLPES, Washington
  • Darin Underwood, vice chair, NLPES, Utah
  • NCSL liaison: Megan McClure

National Legislative Services and Security Association (NLSSA)

  • Richard Webb, president, NLSSA, South Carolina
  • Michelle O'Brien, vice president, NLSSA, Idaho
  • NCSL liaison: Carrie Maulin

Research, Editorial, Legal and Committee Staff (RELACS)

  • Erica Warren, chair, RELACS, Kentucky
  • Rachel Weiss, vice chair, RELACS, Montana
  • NCSL liaison: Kae Warnock

Information Technology, Social Media, E-Learning and Outreach Subcommittee

Members

  • Chair: Betsy Theroux, Georgia
  • Vice Chair: Lonnie Edgar, Mississippi
  • Tim Bommel, Missouri
  • Krista Lee Carnser, Tennessee
  • Jon Courtney, New Mexico
  • Miriam Fordham, Kentucky
  • Jerry McGinty, Texas
  • Lindsey Pealer, California
  • Nate Rohan, Wisconsin
  • John Snyder, Kentucky
  • Will Tracy, Arkansas

Staff Chair Goals, 2022-2023: Coming Soon 

NCSL Staff: Victor Vialpando-Nuñez, Gene Rose, Diane Noel


Legislative Institution Subcommittee

Members

  • Chair: Soren Jacobsen, Idaho
  • Vice Chair: Martin Brock, North Carolina
  • Michelle Davis, Maryland
  • Yolanda Dixon, Louisiana
  • Matt Gehring, Minnesota
  • Terri Kondeff, Idaho
  • Michelle O'Brien, Idaho
  • Melissa Renick, Kansas
  • Tim Sekerak, Oregon
  • Amy Skei, Washington
  • Paul Smith, New Hampshire
  • Shunti Taylor, Georgia
  • Jeff Wice, New York

Staff Chair Goals, 2022-2023: Coming Soon

NCSL Staff: Kate Blackman, Molly Ramsdell, Natalie Wood


Members

  • Chair: Jill Reinmuth, Washington
  • Vice Chair: Eric Nauman, Minnesota
  • Dave Burhop, Virginia
  • Natalie Castle, Colorado
  • Aurora Hauke, Alaska
  • Alicia Henry, Washington, D.C.
  • Doug Himes, Tennessee
  • Othni Latham, Alabama
  • Jessica Lundgren, Maine
  • Lori Mathis, Maryland
  • K.C. Norwalk, Indiana
  • Aundrea Peterson, Utah
  • Rich Olsen, West Virginia
  • Eric Thomas, Washington
  • Emily Thompson, North Dakota
  • Erica Warren, Kentucky
  • Richard Webb, South Carolina
  • Rachel Weiss, Montana

Staff Chair Goals, 2022-2023: Coming Soon

NCSL Staff: Arturo Pérez, Alex Alavi, Stacy Householder, Carrie Maulin


Members

  • Chair: Erica Warren, Kentucky
  • Vice Chair: Nate Rohan, Wisconsin
  • David Burhop, Virginia
  • Krista Lee Carsner, Tennessee
  • Yolanda Dixon, Louisiana
  • Aurora Hauke, Arkansas
  • Alicia Henry, Washington, D.C.
  • Jessica Lundgren, Maine
  • Michelle O'Brien, Idaho
  • Lindsay Pealer, California
  • Aundrea Peterson, Utah
  • Tim Sekerak, Oregon
  • Amy Skei, Washington
  • Camille Taylor, Georgia
  • Eric Thomas, Washington
  • Darin Underwood, Utah
  • RIchard Webb, South Carolina
  • Rachel Weiss, Montana

Staff Chair Goals, 2022-2023: Coming Soon

NCSL Staff: Carrie Maulin ( lead), Arturo Perez


Members

  • Co-Chair: KC Norwalk, Indiana
  • Co-Chair: Melissa Renick, Kansas
  • Michelle Davis, Maryland
  • Miriam Fordham, Kentucky
  • Raysa Martinez Kruger, New Jersey
  • Jeff Wice, New York

Staff Chair Goals, 2022-2023: Coming Soon

NCSL Staff: Molly Ramsdell (lead), Kate Blackman, Diana Noel


Members

  • Chair: Sabrina Lewellen, NCSL staff vice chair, Arkansas
  • Jon Courtney, New Mexico
  • Matt Gehring, Minnesota
  • Othni Lathram, Alabama
  • Eric Nauman, Minnesota
  • Jill Reinmuth, Washington
  • Betsy Theroux, Georgia

Goals and responsibilities, pursuant to the LSCC Bylaws:

The work group may develop, annually, a strategic plan that establishes goals and priorities which are consistent with the purposes of the LSCC and which are to be accomplished in the following year, propose initiatives and programs suitable for accomplishing the goals and priorities, and suggest strategies for implementing the initiatives and programs.

NCSL Staff: Stacy Householder, Alex Alavi, Gene Rose


Members:

  • Chair: Natalie Castle, Colorado
  • Vice Chair: Doug Himes, Tenessee
  • Martin Brock, North Carolina
  • Tim Bommel, Missouri
  • Lonnie Edgar, Mississippi
  • Soren Jacobsen, Idaho
  • Terri Kondeff, Idaho
  • Lori Mathis, Maryland
  • Jerry McGinty, Texas
  • Rich Olsen, West Virginia
  • John Snyder, Kentucky
  • Paul Smith, New Hampshire
  • Shunti Taylor, Georgia
  • Emily Thompson, North Dakota
  • Will Tracy, Arkansas

Staff Chair Goals, 2022-2023:

NCSL Staff: Natalie Wood, Victor Vialpando-Nuñez

LSCC began as the Special Committee on Legislative Staff Organization established by resolution of the NCSL Executive Committee in 1974 "to define the role and mission of staff in the National Conference of State Legislatures." The name, Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee, was adopted in 1984.

The Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee adopted amendments to its bylaws at Legislative Summit in Minneapolis this year. The bylaws describe LSCC’s purpose, membership, subcommittee and work group responsibilities, professional staff associations, and other institutional issues.

Adopted July 31, 2022

Article I. Name

Section 1: Name

The organization subject to these bylaws shall be known as the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee (LSCC).

Article II. Scope of Authority and Purpose

Section 1: Scope of Authority

The LSCC is sanctioned under the authority of the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Section 2: Purposes

The purposes of the LSCC include:

(1) encouraging the professionalism of legislative staff and the participation by all legislative staff in appropriate professional staff associations;

(2) developing and promoting programs that improve the professional competence of state legislative staff;

(3) advising NCSL on policies and matters of interest to the legislative staff division;

(4) coordinating and supporting the activities and programs of the legislative staff division and professional staff associations of NCSL;

(5) encouraging legislative staff to participate in NCSL’s Standing Committees in order to bolster their knowledge on important policy issues facing state legislatures and to better serve their legislators and legislatures;

(6) advocating the institutional interests of state legislatures and legislative staff; and

(7) supporting efforts to strengthen legislative assemblies of other countries.

Article III. Membership and Duties of officers

Section 1: Membership

The LSCC consists of:

(1) the staff chair, staff vice chair, and immediate past staff chair of NCSL;

(2) the at-large legislative staff members of the NCSL Executive Committee;

(3) two representatives from each professional staff association as determined by the governing document of each association;

(4) four members appointed at the discretion of the staff chair; provided that the discretionary appointments of the staff chair to the LSCC shall be increased by the number necessary to preserve the size of the LSCC in the event that two or more professional staff associations merge, or a professional staff association dissolves; and

(5) staff co-chairs and staff vice chairs of the NCSL overall standing committees.

Section 2: Duties of officers

(a) The staff chair:

(1) serves as the chair of the LSCC and presides over LSCC meetings;

(2) except as provided by Subsection (b), appoints the chair, co-chairs, vice chairs, and members of the LSCC subcommittees, work groups, and task forces listed in Article IV;

(3) serves as staff chair of the Budget, Finance and Rules Committee of the Executive Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of the NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures; and

(4) appoints the staff chairs, staff vice chairs, and legislative staff members of the subcommittees of the Executive Committee.

(b) The staff vice chair:

(1) presides over LSCC meetings in the absence of the staff chair;

(2) serves as the chair and appoints the members of the Strategic Planning Work Group; and

(3) serves as staff chair of the Member Outreach & Communications Subcommittee of the Executive Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of the NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures.

(c) The immediate past staff chair:

(1) serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures;

(2) develops and implements orientation programs for incoming staff members to the LSCC and the Executive Committee, including assigning a mentor to each incoming LSCC member and to each incoming legislative staff member of the Executive Committee; and

(3) presides over LSCC meetings in the absence of the staff chair and staff vice chair.

Article IV. Subcommittees and Work Groups

Section 1: Standing Subcommittees and Work Groups

(a) The LSCC standing subcommittees are:

(1) Legislative Institution;

(2) Programs and Professional Development; and

(3) Information Technology, Social Media, E-learning, and Outreach.

(b) The LSCC standing work groups are:

(1) Professional Staff Association officers;

(2) Standing Committees; and

(3) Strategic Planning.

(c) The staff chair may create additional subcommittees, work groups, and task forces as needed and assign additional duties to the standing subcommittees and standing work groups.

(d) Except as provided in Section 7, the staff chair shall appoint the chair, co-chairs, vice chairs, and members of each standing subcommittee, work group, and task force from among the LSCC membership.

Section 2: Legislative Institution Subcommittee

The Legislative Institution Subcommittee, in partnership with the other LSCC subcommittees as appropriate may:

(1) develop a strategy to prepare LSCC members to perform their duties, including developing and improving the orientation and mentorship programs;

(2) develop programs and materials to assist legislatures in dealing with institutional issues;

(3) serve as a repository for publications and other written materials produced by the LSCC related to institutional issues;

(4) review and update the publications and written materials described in clause 3 on a regular basis;

(3) develop strategies and programs to promote legislative service as a career, including monitoring retention and recruitment issues impacting legislative staff service;

(4) develop strategies and programs to promote the value of both nonpartisan and partisan legislative staff in legislatures; and

(5) identify, support, and create opportunities to positively highlight and promote legislative staff activities and achievements.

Section 3: Programs and Professional Development Subcommittee

The Programs and Professional Development Subcommittee works with other LSCC subcommittees to promote the Legislative Staff Management Institute, the Legislative Staff Certificate Program, the annual NCSL Legislative Summit, the Young and New Professionals program, and various other NCSL programs and services as appropriate. The Subcommittee may:

(1) work with professional staff association officers, at their request, to review and promote professional development seminars;

(2) recommend speakers, programming, and related marketing for LSCC-sponsored sessions at the Legislative Summit, including associated scheduling and program format issues;

(3) oversee the Legislative Staff Management Institute and its marketing efforts;

(4) oversee the Legislative Staff Certificate Program, its selection process, and its marketing efforts;

(5) oversee the Young and New Professional Program and its marketing efforts;

(6) participate as appropriate to assist with other LSCC-sponsored learning opportunities.

Section 4: Information Technology, Social Media, E-learning and Outreach Subcommittee

The Information Technology, Social Media, E-learning and Outreach Subcommittee may develop, monitor, oversee, and promote the use of NCSL resources by state legislative staff. This includes:

(1) providing encouragement and assistance to NCSL professional staff associations to develop e-learning tools for the benefit of the professional staff association members throughout NCSL, and where appropriate the subcommittee shall assist professional staff associations to access resources to improve outreach, e-learning, social media, and information technology programming;

(2) reviewing e-learning data reflecting participation levels and evaluations;

(3) guiding and reviewing, in partnership with the Programs and Professional Development Subcommittee, NCSL programs for state legislative staff professional education, such as:

a. Introductory education regarding state legislatures to new and junior staff;

b. Encouraging the participation of all staff in NCSL;

c. Informing all state legislative of the value of NCSL and its programs for staff; and

d. Promoting legislative service as a career.

(4) developing outreach strategies, in partnership with the Programs and Professional Development Subcommittee, the NCSL marketing team, and other NCSL outreach programs, that effectively communicatee with state legislative staff and facilitate communications among state legislative staff;

(5) ensuring that electronic learning opportunities, the annual NCSL Legislative Summit, and learning and staff outreach opportunities are effectively promoted and marketed to staff; and

(6) ensuring the efficacy and utility of information technology resources deployed by NCSL for state legislative staff use and that the information technology, e-learning, social media, and outreach resources deployed by NCSL include a legislative staff focus and provide a benefit for legislative staff.

Section 5: Professional Staff Association officers Work Group

The Professional Staff Association officers Work Group may:

(1) promote and assist in producing annual professional development seminars and virtual meetings for professional staff associations, including assistance in program planning and coordination;

(2) exchange ideas and share information with professional staff associations;

(3) develop strategies to support the operation of each professional staff association and communicate those strategies to the LSCC as necessary; and

(4) promote professional staff association outreach and encourage involvement in professional staff association activities.

Section 6: Standing Committees Work Group

The Standing Committees Work Group may:

(1) promote legislative staff participation in the NCSL standing committees;

(2) monitor NCSL standing committee activities;

(3) evaluate staff officer involvement and inclusion in NCSL standing committee activities;

(4) engage the standing committee staff officers at least quarterly to update the group on the activities of the LSCC;

(5) provide professional development opportunities for standing committee staff officers;

(6) develop outreach proposals, as needed, to encourage staff to serve on NCSL standing committees; and

(7) relay the outreach proposals to the Subcommittee on Information Technology, Social Media, e-learning and Outreach for consideration.

Section 7: Strategic Planning Work Group

No changes.

(a) The staff vice chair shall serve as the chair of the Strategic Planning Work Group and shall appoint the members of the work group.

(b) The work group may develop, annually, a strategic plan that establishes goals and priorities which are consistent with the purposes of the LSCC and which are to be accomplished in the following year, propose initiatives and programs suitable for accomplishing the goals and priorities, and suggest strategies for implementing the initiatives and programs.

Article V. Establishment, Merger, and Dissolution of Professional Staff Associations

Section 1: Establishment of Professional Staff Association.

(a) The establishment of a new professional staff association may not be considered by the LSCC until the LSCC receives a request from a member of the legislative staff of not less than 20 NCSL member jurisdictions. A legislative staff member who makes such a request must be engaged in the function that would be represented by the new association. A request must be in writing and signed by each legislative staff member making the request.

(b) Upon receipt of the minimum number of complete requests required under Subsection (a), the staff chair shall refer the question of whether to establish the new professional staff association to a task force of legislative staff comprised of not less than one member from each of the existing professional staff associations and not less than one former staff chair. The task force shall verify that each request received by the staff chair satisfies Subsection (a), consider whether the establishment of the new professional staff association would satisfy Subsection (d), and report the task force’s recommendation to the LSCC.

(c) The LSCC shall review the task force’s recommendation and report the LSCC’s recommendation to the NCSL Executive Committee.

(d) In addition to considering any other relevant issue, the LSCC must ensure that the following prerequisites are met before recommending the creation of a new professional staff association:

(1) there is sufficient NCSL member jurisdiction support to justify the creation of the professional staff association;

(2) the NCSL staff has adequate resources to support the proposed professional staff association;

(3) the proposed professional staff association would complement existing professional staff associations; and

(4) the legislative function that would be represented by the proposed professional staff association:

(A) is established in not less than 20 state legislatures;

(B) is of a continuous nature; and

(C) has a professional career orientation.

(e) Upon establishment by the NCSL Executive Committee, a new professional staff association shall organize, adopt bylaws, and submit the bylaws to the LSCC for review and approval.

Section 2: Merger of Professional Staff Associations.

(a) For two or more professional staff associations to merge, a majority of each professional staff association must approve the action.

(b) For purposes of a referendum on the question of approving a merger, a majority of each professional staff association is determined by the bylaws of the professional staff association, but each member jurisdiction shall have an equal vote in deciding the issue.

(c) A merger must be approved by the LSCC. A merger approved by the LSCC may not become effective unless approved by the NCSL Executive Committee.

Section 3: Dissolution of Professional Staff Association.

(a) The LSCC shall consider dissolving a professional staff association if the professional staff association:

(1) holds no meeting in an NCSL conference year, either at the NCSL Legislative Summit or at another site and time;

(2) fails, in a conference year, to elect the officers required under its bylaws;

(3) fails to meet other significant organizational standards established in its bylaws; or

(4) is not represented on the LSCC for a conference year.

(b) Before the LSCC votes to dissolve a professional staff association, the staff chair shall contact leaders or members of the professional staff association, inform them of the LSCC's concerns, attempt to discover the reasons for the inactivity, and report the findings to the LSCC.

Article VI. Meetings

Section 1: Regular and Special Meetings.

(a) The LSCC shall hold regular meetings in conjunction with the scheduled meetings of the NCSL Executive Committee. Other meetings of the LSCC shall be deemed special meetings.

(b) Special meetings shall be for limited and stated purposes and shall be called by the staff chair or by petition of a majority of the LSCC members. A petition for a special meeting shall be delivered to the staff chair, who shall distribute it to the members. Unless an emergency compels otherwise, notice of the meeting shall be provided at least three weeks before the meeting date.

Section 2: Absence of Presiding officers.

If no NCSL staff officer is present at a meeting of the LSCC, a temporary presiding officer may be chosen by the LSCC from among its membership.

Article VII. Voting and Rules of Procedure

Section 1: Voting.

(a) Each member has one undivided vote.

(b) Voting rights may not be delegated to another person or exercised by proxy. On the request of three members, a roll call vote shall be taken on any question. Except as otherwise provided, approval of proposed actions requires a majority of the members present and voting.

Section 2: Quorum.

For the LSCC to conduct business, a quorum consisting of a majority of the membership must be present.

Section 3: Order of Business.

The order of business shall be:

(1) call to order;

(2) roll call;

(3) reading, correction, and approval of the minutes;

(4) reports of professional staff associations, subcommittees, work groups, and task forces;

(5) reports of special committees;

(6) special orders;

(7) unfinished business;

(8) new business; and

(9) announcements.

Section 4: Procedural Authority.

Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure shall be consulted in all matters of procedure not otherwise addressed in the bylaws of NCSL or in these bylaws.

Section 5: Reconsideration of Actions.

Reconsideration motions must be made and disposed of during the same meeting at which the original question was before the LSCC membership.

Article VIII. Nominating Procedures For Legislative Staff

Section 1: Nominations.

The selection of staff officers and staff members of the NCSL Executive Committee shall be conducted in accordance with NCSL bylaws.

Article IX. Vacancies In office

Section 1: Vacancy In The office of Staff Chair.

As provided in NCSL bylaws, in the event of a vacancy in the office of staff chair, the staff vice chair shall succeed to the office of staff chair. The staff chair shall then appoint a nominating committee to recommend a new staff vice chair.

Section 2: Vacancy In The office of Staff Vice Chair.

In the event of a vacancy in the office of staff vice chair, the staff chair shall appoint a nominating committee to recommend a new staff vice chair.

Section 3: Vacancy In The office of Immediate Past Staff Chair.

In the event of a vacancy in the office of immediate past staff chair, the staff chair shall appoint a nominating committee to recommend a new immediate past staff chair. Eligible candidates to fill a vacancy in this office shall be limited to past staff chairs.

Section 4: Executive Committee Vacancy Term.

A member appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Executive Committee shall serve the remainder of that year and shall be required to stand for renomination. A partial year appointment, as indicated by the date of the Executive Committee’s approval of the appointment, of greater than six months shall be deemed one full term.

Section 5: Consideration By Executive Committee.

Pursuant to the NCSL bylaws, the Executive Committee may consider the recommendations of a nominating committee to fill an elected office, if vacant, at any regular or special meeting.

Article X. Amendments

Section 1: Amendments.

(a) These bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the LSCC by a three-fifths vote of the members present and voting, provided that the proposed amendment was filed with the staff chair at least 30 days before the meeting and the staff chair has transmitted the proposed amendment to the members not later than three weeks before the meeting at which it is to be considered.

(b) These bylaws may be amended at any meeting without notice by unanimous vote of the members present and voting.

Section 2: Continuity of Bylaws.

On adoption by a majority vote of the LSCC, these bylaws shall continue in effect except as amended or repealed as provided by Section 1.

Article XI. Effective Date

Section 1: Effective Date.

These bylaws take effect upon adoption by a majority of the members of the LSCC and supersede any other policy or document that is not consistent with these bylaws.

Message from the 2019-2020 NCSL Staff Chair Martha Wigton, Director, House Budget and Research Office, Georgia General Assembly

NCSL is the only national organization that puts staff at the decision-making table. The Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee (LSCC) is composed of 49 staff from across the nation who meet throughout the year to discuss, plan and instigate staff training materials and professional development, networking, and other enrichment activities just for us.  We’ve been on an uphill climb this year and now it’s time to look over the miles we covered and celebrate the immense contributions legislative staff have made—and continue to make—to the process, as well as build on our accomplishments to provide even greater public service in the future.

As your staff chair, I asked the members of the LSCC to work on goals focused in three Cs—career, connection,  and creativity. And this year’s accomplishments of the LSCC to meet these goals have been staggeringly successful, especially in light of the abrupt interruptions that caused us to pivot three-quarters of the way into our year. Your staff advisory committee did it with the technical precision and the grace more worthy of a pirouette and here we are—check off the creative and connected goals as complete! 

The future looks amazing. While honoring the traditions that brought us this far, there is opportunity to reshape and modernize the institution for generations to come. We can all be contributors to ensuring that our branch of government remains viable and resilient in the face of pandemic, political unrest or whatever comes our way.

Thank you to the members of the LSCC. You all are dynamic and driven, and we all have reaped great benefit this year from your time and ideas! 

A special thank you to Past Staff Chair Jon Heining (TX) and the 2019-2020 work group and subcommittee officers:  Eric Nauman (Minn.), Martin Brock (N.C.), Betsy Theroux (Ga.), Lonnie Edgar (Miss.), Jennifer Jones (Texas), J.J.  Gentry (S.C.), Wendy Jackson (Wis.), Jennifer Jackson (Texas), Charlotte Carter-Yamauchi (Hawaii), Sabrina Lewellen (Ark.), Othni Lathram (Ala.), John Snyder (Ky.) and Linda Triplett (Miss.)

2019-2020 LSCC Work Groups and Subcommittees

  • Professional Staff Association Officers 
  • Standing Committees 
  • Strategic Planning 
  • Certificate and Career Development 
  • Legislative Institutions 
  • Programs and Professional Development
  • Information Technology, Social Media, E-Learning and Outreach

Career

One of my highest priorities for the conference year was to focus on providing a continuum of career development for legislative staff. NCSL continued to provide ongoing professional development for staff through the professional staff associations and standing committees, at the 2019 Capitol Forum and the very successful NCSL 2020 Base Camp, during the 2020 Legislative Staff Week and the 2020 Legislative Staff Management Institute (LSMI). We were also able to kick off two new professional development programs—a legislative staff certificate program and a senior staff leadership development program.

New programs included:

  • The Legislative Staff Certificate Program. This month-long training program is for newer legislative staff seeking a broader context about legislatures and the legislative process, and focuses on five core competencies: the legislative institution and parliamentary procedure, legislative fiscal concepts, the model code of conduct for legislative staff, clear and concise communications, and leadership within the legislative ecosystem. Staff with at least one legislative session and two to five years of legislative experience were invited to apply, with the approval of their director/supervisor. This unique program provided newer legislative staff important perspectives and insights about their roles in supporting the legislative institution. We received more than 200 applications for this new program and accepted 106 applicants, with 105 accepting the invitation to participate. Certificates of completion will be presented to the program participants in mid-November.
  • Senior Staff Leadership Development Program. NCSL’s inaugural Senior Staff Leadership Development Program, “1775 to Today: Lessons in Leadership,” was an executive leadership workshop exclusively for legislative staff directors, senior department directors, chamber, caucus or leaders’ chiefs of staff. A nor’easter that resulted in 15 inches of snow did not stop this three-day workshop, which was held Dec. 1-4, 2019, in Lexington, Mass. Sixteen senior-level legislative staff, representing 15 states, participated. Using the events of 1775 and the first shots of the American Revolution as a touchstone, attendees explored their own leadership challenges while learning about the adaptive leadership framework.
  • Professional Development and Networking for Staff Directors. Shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, NCSL brought together staff directors to share current and evolving information about how their agency or chamber was responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Five roundtable/networking discussions were held in 2020. In addition, NCSL offered a three-part professional development series for legislative staff directors focused on leading and managing during uncertain times. This series covered empathy, decision-making, communication, emotional intelligence and unconscious bias.  

Select continuing activities included:

  • Legislative Staff Management Institute (LSMI).  Celebrating its 31st anniversary this year, LSMI moved its eight-day in-person residency program to a month-long virtual program. Forty-five participants representing 20 states were accepted into this year’s program. The LSMI curriculum focused on self awareness and social awareness and covered nine content areas including feedback, resilience, negotiation and influence, and leading in an environment of risk. There was a heavy focus on creating connection and helping facilitate networking opportunities. Evaluation results will be shared with the LSCC at the January 2021 meeting.
  • Legislative Staff Week.  The third spring Legislative Staff Week was held May 4-8, 2020. The purpose of Legislative Staff Week is to celebrate legislative staff and recognize their contributions to their legislature and NCSL. This event took on new meaning as most legislative staff were forced into remote work overnight while legislatures figured out how to operate during a pandemic. The theme of the week was resiliency and recognition. This event included 387 standing ovations for legislative staff, numerous blogs, a webinar on “Managing, Leading and Growing in Uncertain Times,” a podcast about resiliency and readiness, and tweets that shined a light on staff contributions during these unprecedented times and encouraged legislative staff participation in NCSL programs and activities.
  • Legislative Staff Achievement Awards.  We also created a plan for heightening the awareness of the 2020 Legislative Staff Achievement Awards, 2020 Notable Document Awards and 2020 Online Democracy Award. These awards were presented as part of the NCSL Base Camp.

Other activities supporting legislative staff career development:

  • Created an online standing committee officer roster with pictures.
  • An updated Standing Committee FAQ was made available on the NCSL webpage. This site will serve as a resource for legislative staff interested in learning more about the NCSL Standing Committees.
  • Developed NCSL job descriptions for NCSL staff chair, standing committee staff officer and staff at-large executive committee member.
  • Reviewed NCSL’s Young and New Professionals network and increased its support and services.

Connection

The LSCC is always looking to increase and improve opportunities to promote engagement of legislative staff with NCSL and to provide a forum for staff to connect with their peers across the country. With COVID-19, the LSCC and NCSL made a quick shift to continue to provide virtual opportunities for staff to connect. 

Select activities this year included:

  • Continuing efforts by the LSCC subcommittees and workgroups to work virtually after the COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellation of all NCSL in-person meetings through 2020.
  • Creating suggestions/guidance for the implementation of Legislative Staff Exchange Programs by the professional staff associations.
  • Developing a multi-pronged communications strategy and general outreach plan for legislative staff, which was updated to respond to COIVD-19. 
  • Overseeing and providing feedback on the rollout of NCSL’s new database management system (Fonteva), which includes the development of a preference center. This preference center allows legislative staff to customize the information they receive from NCSL to better assist them in their work. 
  • Overseeing the development of a new state data/engagement report.
  • Providing online programming by each of the nine professional staff associations in lieu of their annual professional development seminars because of the pandemic. These programs consisted of roundtable discussions around certain topics related to operating during the pandemic to professional development. 
  • Requesting that each professional staff association ensure they have a designee policy to ensure continuity in the LSCC.

Creativity

“Creativity is not an option.” This was the message from Amy Climer during the 2019 Legislative Staff Breakfast. “As legislative staffers, you have an obligation to create,” she added. The LSCC was challenged to think creatively about how to provide services to staff and honor the importance of the legislative institution. 

Select activities this year included:

  • Provided support and guidance in the development and execution of the podcast “Building Democracy: The Story of Legislatures.” This special six-part series covers the history, characters and stories of state legislatures in America from the beginnings in Jamestown to the present day and into the future.  Episode No. 3—“Louisiana Purchase Through Reconstruction”—has  recently been made available while episode No. 4—“Women’s Suffrage in the West Before 19th Amendment Passage”—is well underway and is now in production. 
  • Updated NCSL's 2020 Guide for Writing a State Legislative Personnel Manual.” The guide was revised in 2019, published in June 2020 and promoted through NCSL communications channels in July 2020. NCSL consulted with Sapir Schragin, LLC, a New York-based employment law firm to ensure the guide was crafted with legal expertise and input. The workgroup recommended the table of contents in the guide be reviewed every two years by the Legislative Institution Subcommittee and that the guide have a comprehensive review every five years. The subcommittee recommended consideration be given to adding a section on emergency preparedness and continuity of operations.
  • Initiated conversations about creating an “Oral History of the Institution” video with past NCSL staff chairs and an award, or recognition, program for webinars produced by the professional staff associations.

Other

Other activities included:

  • Developing an at-a-glance guide to NCSL Rules of Procedure and parliamentary procedures for use during standing committee business meetings.
  • Making recommendations for revised professional staff association overhead allocation formula.
  • Drafting safety guidelines for traveling to be made available for NCSL meetings.
  • Developing and disseminating an annual LSCC report.
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