Guide to NALFO

NALFO Membership and Governance

NALFO is one of the 10 staff sections associated with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). NALFO welcomes all legislative staff involved in fiscal research and analysis. The purpose of the association is to improve the quality and effectiveness of legislative fiscal staff and the services they provide to state legislatures. NALFO does not charge dues and has no formal affiliation process. NALFO holds its annual business meeting in conjunction with NCSL's Annual Meeting.  This guide of the NALFO activities and NALFO officers responsibilities is designed to familiarize members with the organization and to help with planning for the year.

Officers and Executive Committee

NALFO's officers are a president, president-elect, secretary, treasurer and immediate past president. NALFO's executive committee is made up of the officers, committee chairs and two regional representatives chosen by the Western States Legislative Fiscal Officers Association (WSLFOA) and Eastern States Legislative Fiscal Officers Association (ESLFOA). Regional representatives to NALFO are chosen during the fall meetings of the ESLFOA and the WSLFOA.

The president-elect automatically assumes the office of president. The secretary and treasurer do not move automatically into the next office. A Nominating Committee chaired by the immediate past president is appointed prior to the Annual Meeting and is responsible for developing a slate of candidates for NALFO elective offices. The president takes office during the annual meeting and serves a one-year term, as do the other officers and committee chairs.

Officer selection takes place at the NALFO annual business meeting, held during the NCSL Annual Meeting. The current president presides over the business meeting, discusses staff section activities, conducts the election of officers, introduces the incoming president and discusses all business of the staff section, as needed.

The president may create committees and appoint members of the staff section to serve on them. Currently, NALFO has two committees, Research and Training.

NALFO's president and president-elect serve as NALFO's representatives to the NCSL Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee (LSCC). The LSCC provides guidance on staff activities of NCSL. The LSCC meets four times a year and the NALFO representatives should plan to attend the meetings. The current year's LSCC schedule appears at the end of this document.

By-Laws, Meetings and Conference Calls

Members of NALFO may propose amendments to the NALFO by-laws. Such amendments would be considered at the NALFO annual business meeting and would need approval by a majority of NALFO members in attendance. NALFO's by-laws can be found on NCSL's home page. The Internet address for the home page is http://

Conference calls with the officers and the staff section contact are conducted throughout the year to assist in planning programs for NALFO-sponsored meetings and other staff section activities. The schedule for the calls is determined by the president, although the NCSL staff section contact may assist the president in scheduling the call.

NCSL Assistance to Staff Sections

NCSL assigns a staff member to each staff section. As part of his or her overall NCSL job responsibilities, the NCSL staff section contact provides assistance to NALFO officers on all staff section activities, serves as a contact for information about the staff section for legislative staff members and is held accountable for the smooth operation of the staff section by NCSL management. The NALFO staff section contact helps with agenda development, meeting planning, invitations to faculty, conference calls, projects, surveys, the annual directory, photocopying, mailings and any other assistance needed by the staff section.

There is no separate budget for NALFO, or for any of the NCSL staff sections that do not charge membership dues. The budgets for the Skills Development Seminar and the Fiscal Analysts Seminar are based entirely on registration fees for each seminar and are not augmented by NCSL general funds. A line item in each seminar's budget identifies NCSL overhead costs in administering the seminar. NCSL retains any profits and absorbs any losses of these seminars. All other costs related to NALFO are paid for by NCSL general funds, including photocopying, postage, printing, mailing lists, staff section surveys, fax charges, staff time and staff travel expenses. NCSL staff are responsible for executing contracts on behalf of the staff section.

Professional Development Opportunities

Annual Meeting

Several time slots are reserved for staff section programs at the NCSL Annual Meeting, with the schedule determined by the NCSL Executive Committee. NALFO's officers are responsible for suggesting and approving program topics and speakers. Staff sections and committees occasionally offer joint programs, and the NALFO Executive Committee may decide whether to participate in such joint programs.

Fiscal Analysts Seminar  (NOTE:  MEETING SUSPENDED FOR 2009)

The Fiscal Analysts Seminar is held in late summer or early fall, with the location determined by the NALFO executive committee and the NCSL Fiscal Staff. Decisions on meeting location are based on considerations of transportation availability, local facilities and the potential for attracting attendees. NALFO's officers are responsible for approving the track topics for the seminar. The NCSL Fiscal Affairs Program staff are the primary planners of the seminar agenda; they are responsible for inviting faculty and for making sure that all materials for the seminar are prepared. The budget for the seminar is based entirely on its registration fees, currently set at $325 and based on projected attendance of 90 to 100 staff. The budget usually provides for travel expenses and small honorariums for three to five faculty. Hotel contracts, facilities and meals are negotiated and signed by NCSL's seminar staff.

Legislative Staff Achievement Award

NALFO may select up to two individuals, teams or legislative officers from its membership for its annual Legislative Staff Achievement Award. The nomination process requires a description of the accomplishments of the individuals or groups nominated and why they deserve recognition. An award selection committee is appointed by the president to make a selection among the nominees for the awards. Additionally, the president contacts both the nominees selected for the award and those who were nominated but not selected to inform them of the results. NCSL staff prepare the plaques that are awarded at the NCSL Annual Meeting and maintains a list of previous recipients.


NALFO on NCSL's Home Page

NCSL maintains a site on the World Wide Web and has designated a portion of that site for the staff sections. The staff section contact is responsible for posting NALFO information to the NALFO page, including a list of NALFO officers, the NALFO bylaws and general staff section information. 

The Fiscal Link

NCSL publishes a monthly electronic newsletter called The Fiscal Link. NCSL fiscal staff edit, publish and distri­bute The Fiscal Link, and are responsible for electronically posting the newsletter to the NCSL Web site.

NALFO E-Mail Discussion Group

NALFO has established an electronic mail dis­cussion group. Those wishing to join must first send an E-mail message to:; leaving the subject area blank and writing in the message area: Subscribe NALFO-L Firstname Lastname. After confirmation of subscription to the discussion group has been received (usually within 24 hours), subscribers are able to broadcast messages to all other NALFO sub­scribers by sending an email message to

The NALFO-L listserv can also be used as an electronic distribution list. This allows NCSL staff in Denver and DC to send out advisories or inquiries electronically when necessary. 

Mail Contact

NCSL maintains mailings lists for all staff sections. NALFO has one mailing list, whose code is:

CB: Fiscal officers and senior fiscal staff (approximately 275 members)

NCSL continually updates all its mailing lists, as advised by the legislatures and postal reporting systems.

NCSL develops materials, makes copies, provides labels, pays postage and processes all mailings for the staff section. NCSL letterhead is used when sending memos or letters to the staff section membership. 

Internet Email Contact

NCSL maintains an email address list containing the names of over 1,000 legislative fiscal staff. The list is used primarily for distributing the monthly Fiscal Link.

Research and Publications

NALFO Directory

NALFO publishes an annual directory of key legislative fiscal staff. The staff section contact is responsible for updating the directory, making all edits to the directory, and arranging for electronically distributing the directory to all members of the staff section.

Salary Survey

Every odd-numbered year, NALFO conducts a survey of legislative fiscal offices to collect information on the annual budgets of legislative fiscal offices, the number of fiscal staff and annual salaries. The results of the survey are distributed automatically to those who respond, and on request to other fiscal directors.

NCSL Research

Each year NCSL surveys legislative fiscal offices for legislative tax and budget actions. NALFO members provide the information for this survey.

NALFO has requested that the NCSL fiscal staff report its research agenda to NALFO at the annual meeting. At that time, NALFO members may make comments and suggestions regarding the planned projects.

Participating in NALFO

Any legislative staff member involved in fiscal research and analysis can be a part of NALFO. For information on ways to participate, check with your legislative fiscal director or call the NALFO staff section contact, Arturo Pérez, in the NCSL Fiscal Affairs Program at (303) 364-7700.


NALFO Annual Timeline

NALFO Annual Business Meeting--new officers' terms begin. Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee (LSCC) meeting.
Skills Development Seminar
Fiscal Analysts Seminar

Meetings of Western States Legislative Fiscal Officers Association (WSLFOA) and Eastern States Legislative Fiscal Officers Association (ESLFOA). 
NALFO Executive Committee conference call (site selection for Fiscal Analysts seminar)
Release of updated NALFO Directory.
Fiscal Leaders Seminar and Budgets & Revenue Committee sessions at NCSL Fall Forum.
LSCC meeting. NALFO Executive Committee conference call. (Fiscal Analysts track selection and initial brainstorming for NALFO Annual Meeting agenda)
Plan NALFO programs at Annual Meeting. Call for NALFO Staff Achievement Award nominations. LSCC meeting.
Executive Committee conference call. Finalize NALFO Annual Meeting program. Fiscal Program staff plan programs for Fiscal Analysts Seminar.

Mail brochures for Skills Development Seminar and Fiscal Analysts Seminars. 
Begin work on state tax actions and state budget actions surveys.
Email agenda for NALFO Annual Meeting program.

NALFO Staff Achievement Award selection committee convenes conference call for final selection.

NALFO Officers Nominating Committee named.
NALFO Officers Nominating Committee convenes conference call for nominations.

For more information, contact: Todd Haggerty, NCSL Staff Liaison.