Support Staff Committee Meeting Minutes

NCSL Legislative Summit
San Antonio, TX
August 8, 2011

Call to Order

The meeting of the Support Staff Committee was called to order by Alan Whittington, TN, Chair.


The following members of the committee were present: 


Alan Whittington, Chair (TN)


Anna Hanback (VA)


Tisha Gieser, Vice-Chair (AK)


Maryann Horch (VA)


Lucinda Benjamin (NV)


Emily Howard (VA)


George Bishop (VA)


Kathy Jackson (UT)


Carmen Cauthen (NC)


Amy Leach (CA)


Sarah Culley (MO)


Michael Linn (MN)


Marguerite Duda (WV)


Carol Newton (MO)


Burney Durham (TN)


Tara Perkinson (VA)


Ginny Edwards (VA)


Cooper Roberts (LA)


John McEnery Garrett (VA)


David Surdez (MN)


Janice Gadd (UT)


Tricia Vaughan (VA)


Stephanie Hall (AK)


Joyce Wright (AL)

Other members/guests in attendance included: Mardi Alexander (TX), Nathan Hatfield (VA), Bill Horn (AL), Jay Murphy (AL), Trish Obrien (VA), Jay Pearson (VA), Ron Smith (LA), Michelle Wright (VA), and Angela Andrews (NCSL).

Old Business

Chair Whittington stated that the Committee needed to discuss and review plans for the sessions for which the Support Staff Committee was responsible at the 2011 Professional Development Seminar (PDS) in Branson, including the concurrent session, the Legislative Expo, and the Staff Breakout sessions.

Chair Whittington reminded the Committee that the concurrent session would be on Redistricting, with an emphasis on the background and a breakdown of how the process works. He stated that he would like to get volunteers for the panel who have various types of roles to play in the process, with a particular interest in getting a legislative staffer from a state in which they are very involved with helping to craft the legislation. He asked if any of the Committee members were from a state where staff was very involved, but the majority were from states where the process was member-driven.

Chair Whittington stated that after discussion with Angela Andrews (NCSL) he wanted to get feedback from the Committee on whether to have a specific theme for the Legislative Expo. Angela suggested that perhaps having a certain theme would help people to focus on what to bring to share at the Expo. Committee members felt that it would be better to leave the Expo theme open, to avoid the possibility of people feeling that they didn't have anything to contribute to a particular topic. The suggestion was made that participants could let Alan or Tisha know what they would be bringing and that the information may then lead to an overall "theme" which could be posted on the meeting blog. As a way to advertise for the Expo, Maryann Horch (VA) offered to use the Flip camera to tape a message about the Expo, which could be added to the blog. Angela Andrews stated that the Expo would be held on Friday, September 30 from
9:30 – 11:30 am. Nathan Hatfield (VA) stated that having a two-hour timeframe in the morning and without any other meetings being scheduled at the same time was very helpful and would allow for increased participation.

Chair Whittington reminded the Committee that based on the positive feedback from the 2010 PDS the Staff Breakout sessions would be done in 3 groups:
• Principals – Clerks and Secretaries
• Administrative and Support Staff
• Legislative Operations Staff
It was mentioned that including descriptions of which jobs fell into each group would be helpful in determining which breakout session to attend. Chair Whittington stated that there would need to be moderators for each of the groups. Committee members recalled that the moderators for both Administrative and Support Staff and Legislative Operations Staff came to the Breakout sessions with several topics for discussion. This approach was seen as very helpful because it allowed for a "jumping off" point but also allowed the attendees to present their own ideas and topics.


Upon a motion by George Bishop (VA) and seconded by Joyce Wright (AL) the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Emily Howard (VA), Recorder