Gary VanLandingham, FL; NCSL Staff Chair (2008-09)National News from LSCC

By Gary VanLandingham, NCSL Staff Chair

October 2008

The Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee (LSCC) is working on several major projects to strengthen NCSL’s services to legislative staff.  As you may know, the LSCC is comprised of two representatives of each of the ten staff sections, plus staff who are serving on the NCSL Executive Committee.  The LSCC recently met in September for its first meeting of the year; it will meet in January, May, and July as well. 

Rest assured that LSCC meetings aren’t a junket.  The meetings are pretty grueling–the first meeting of the day begins at 7:30 AM and various subcommittee and working group meetings last until 6:30 PM that evening and then again the next morning, followed by Executive Committee meetings throughout this second day.  So, folks don’t go to LSCC meetings to hang out, but instead often look forward to getting back to their day jobs where the pace is somewhat saner (at least on a good day).

Currently, the LSCC is working on several major initiatives: 

  • The Legislative Institutions subcommittee is assessing major trends that are affecting legislative staff nationwide, including the pending retirement of Baby Boomers, technology changes, economic stresses, and increasing partisanship and term limits.  The subcommittee will develop strategies to help legislatures address these challenges and guide NCSL activities in future years. 

  • The Marketing and Outreach subcommittee is developing better ways to market NCSL’s services so that legislative staff and legislators understand what NCSL can do for them and how they can best get involved with the organization.

  • The Professional Development subcommittee is working to strengthen NCSL’s training programs for legislative staff, including options for expanding programs for staff entering management positions as well as those beginning their legislative careers. 

  • The Technology subcommittee is working to develop a capacity to deliver high quality professional development programs via the internet to staff that cannot travel to NCSL meetings.  

  • The Staff Section Officers subcommittee is working to ensure that staff sections receive needed support from NCSL in hosting professional development seminars.  The committee is also working with the technology committee to identify ways that the staff sections can use e-learning technology to deliver skills development programs for staff who perform specific functions in their legislatures such as committee research and program evaluation. 

  • The Standing Committees workgroup is working to strengthen the role of legislative staff in NCSL’s Standing Committees, which meet three times a year to develop NCSL’s lobbying position on federal issues.

  • The Member and District Staff Training workgroup is developing a prototype seminar that will be held next spring for member and district staff.  

  • The Strategic Planning workgroup is establishing plans to accomplish to goals of Nancy Cyr, who will serve as Staff Chair next year. 

It is truly an honor to serve as your staff chair this year.  NCSL is the premier organization for legislative staff, and it provides a wealth of opportunities to learn, share information, and meet colleagues and make friends who share our role in supporting representative democracy.  This fall, I and the other national officers (Nancy Cyr, Staff Vice Chair, and Sharon Crouch-Steidel, Immediate Past Staff Chair) have had the pleasure of visiting each of the ten staff section’s professional development conferences.  Each of the meetings was superb, and showed the talent and dedication of legislative staff. 

If you have any questions or suggestions for LSCC programs, feel free to contact me at, or the other national officers.  You can get more information on all of NCSL’s programs for legislative staff at its website at

Posted October 17, 2008

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