Inside the Legislative Process Committee Meeting Minutes

Professional Development Seminar
Branson, Missouri
October 1, 2011

Call to Order

The meeting of the Inside the Legislative Process committee was called to order by Matthew Baker (NV) in the absence of the Chair and Vice Chair.


The following members of the committee were present:



David G. Surdez (MN), Chair


Steven James (MA)


Matthew Baker (NV), Vice-Chair


Ruby Johnson (LA)


Chawetta Johnson (MS), Vice-Chair


Diane Keetch (NV)


Jocelyn Aquino (CA)


Cal Ludeman (MN)


Cindy  Benjamin (NV)


Bernadette McNulty (CA)


Eric Bingham (VA)


Sandi Morris (KY)


Joan Branson


Angie Murphy (VA)


Jean Burgin (KY)


Lori Mullens (WV)


Melissa Bybee-Fields (KY)


Tracy Ortiz (TX)


Carmen Cauthen (NC)


Richard Puffer (DE)


Ginny Edwards (VA)


Gary L. Randall (MI)


Jeff Finch (VA)


Don Richardson (MS)


Shelle Grim-Brooks (NV)


Ben Robinson (AK)


Virginia Habansky (VA)


Terry Rumley (NC)


Daniel Hicks (TN)


Marilyn Seaton (MO)


Jacqueline A. Hord (MO)


Jackie Schulz (AK)


Adanna Hydes (KY)


Linda Tubbs (TX)


Kathy Jackson (UT)


Zach Twilla (CA)


Tisha Gieser (AK)


Dotson Wilson (CA)

Other members/guests in attendance included Stephen Njenga Ruge, Kenya.

Approval of Minutes

Upon a motion by Joan Branson, seconded by Eric Bingham, the minutes of the last meeting held August 8, 2011, during the NCSL Legislative Summit, in San Antonio, TX, were approved.

Old Business

Tisha Gieser provided information on the committee’s responsibilities to review and produce Inside the Legislative Process, an online research tool offering information on current state legislative processes and procedures. The committee works closely with NCSL staff to develop survey questions and record the responses in an electronic format on the ASLCS website. She advised the website has approximately 20 years of survey data including legislative calendars, procedures, staffing, etc. Adanna Hydes stated the most recent survey is being finalized for publication. Tisha Gieser advised it be posted in December. A link to the Inside the Legislative Process will be provided next week for the committee members.

New Business

Terry Spieler (MO) joined the meeting and expressed her appreciation to the members for their service on the committee. She explained the survey is usually completed and published on a biennial basis with the committee members appointed for a two-year term; the publication cycle is being changed to one year to make the survey information more timely for upcoming legislative sessions. The committee appointment is for one year in conjunction with the survey.

Matt Baker provided information from a conference call held last week to discuss the third draft of the 2012 survey. He provided copies of the survey for the committee members to review. When asked, he explained the content of the survey was drafted by Brenda Erickson, NCSL Program Principal, on topics determined by the Executive Committee. An electronic version of the finalized survey will be sent out in the next few days for completion. Any questions on completing the survey can be addressed to committee Chair David Surdez or Vice Chairs Chawetta Johnson and Matt Baker.

Matt Baker emphasized the Executive Committee is seeking active participation from the committee members and he encourages questions, suggestions and interaction with other states for information. Compilation of the 2012 survey information will begin in March 2012. He urged committee members to make sure their particular chambers, whether House or Senate, complete the survey in a timely manner. He advised the Chair may decide to assign other states or chambers to certain committee members to follow up on, especially those states who weren't in attendance, aren't represented on the committee or rarely complete NCSL or ASLCS requests. Tisha Gieser said there were many states not responding to the previous survey. To facilitate communications, an email link for all committee members will be sent out next week.


Upon a motion by Adanna Hydes, seconded by Jean Burgin, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Shelle Grim-Brooks (NV), Acting Recorder