Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee

Meeting Summary

Chicago, Illinois
August 6, 2012
Welcome and Introductions
Michael Adams, NCSL Staff Chair, called the meeting to order and had LSCC members introduce themselves.
Executive Committee Election
Introduction of Nominating Committee.  Michael introduced the members of the Staff Nominating Committee:  Steve Miller, chair, John Bjornson, Mary Camp, Martha Carter, Roger Norman, Pamela Ray, Lisa Wallmeyer, Pat Saville, 1st alternate, and Walker Reagan, 2nd Alternate.
Introduction of Staff Vice Chair Candidates.  Michael introduced the Staff Vice Chair candidates:  Mike Sunseri and Tom Wright.
Introduction of Staff At-Large Candidates.  Michael introduced the candidates for at-large positions on Executive Committee:  Karl Aro, Rich Beckwith, Melissa Calderwood, Lisa Davis, Brian Johnson, Jimmetta Peoples, David Teal and Charles Williams.
Final Reports from LSCC Subcommittees
Communication, Community and Collaboration.  Holly Lyons, chair, presented the subcommittee’s report.  She said the subcommittee focused on five topics: 1) continuing development of a mentorship program for new LSCC staff to be managed by the Immediate Past Staff Chair; 2) using future staff director lunch programs at the Legislative Summit as outreach mechanisms to recruit new members, and having staff section officers make personal contact with their members to encourage staff involvement with NCSL; 3) continuing and strengthening the Statehouse Ambassadors program; 4) developing an NCSL “certification” program to award completion of specific professional development skills offered by the organization (similar to CLE credits); and 5) developing guidelines for selection of charitable organizations with which LSCC can work at Legislative Summit and other meetings.
Institution, Support and Efficiencies.  Mike Sunseri, chair, presented the subcommittee’s report.  He reviewed work the subcommittee did in five program areas:

  1. Public relations and marketing—the subcommittee completed the Legislative Service as a Career video series and is now developing a plan to market the website;
  2. Challenges survey evaluation—three articles have been written addressing the challenges identified at the 2011 Legislative Summit, one of the most important being how to replace retiring senior staff and succession planning;
  3. Self-assessment guide for legislative agencies—the subcommittee is completing a survey of the guide as a test model;
  4. Outreach and access to staff information—the focus was on the Statehouse Ambassadors program, updating staff lists more frequently and devising better ways to promote outreach in-between LSCC meetings; and
  5. Staff-centric publications—the subcommittee is promoting the model code of conduct and civility accord, pushing them out onto staff section web pages.

Programs and Professional Development.  Tara Perkinson, chair, presented the subcommittee’s report.  She highlighted the Legislative Staff University at Legislative Summit with Laree Kiely as the presenter, and the Tribute to Legislative Staff session with Mary Crane as keynote speaker.  The subcommittee recommended that the Young Professionals group broaden its scope to include new staff as well as young staff.  Tara noted that there is an effort to design programs to appeal to more seasoned, management staff, and that although there is not a program for personal staff at the Legislative Summit, there will be one in 2013.  The subcommittee acknowledged a need to better evaluate LSCC-supported webinars, and to market them more effectively in collaboration with NCSL staff.  It recommended two webinars during the next conference year: 1) how to manage expectations and say "no"; and 2) communicating effectively and respectfully in writing through  social media and email.  Karl Kurtz, NCSL Director of the Trust for Representative Democracy, briefed the subcommittee on the upcoming Legislative Staff Management Institute and indicated that 39 staff representing 16 states had registered.  He also discussed the need to review and extend the LSMI contract under the current USC-Sacramento State arrangement.  The subcommittee recommended a one-year extension with further review of a three-year extension.
Final Reports from Tactical and Technical Teams
Senior Staff and Director Relationship Building.  Holly Lyons, chair, said she had covered the teams report in her earlier presentation of the Communication, Community and Collaboration Subcommittee.
Staff Section Officers.  Rich Beckwith, chair, presented the team’s report.  He described the “Super” Professional Development Seminar scheduled for October 7-12 in Madison involving six staff sections.  He said it had strong support among the staff section officers and would include joint sessions to encourage cross-pollination of ideas and individual sessions to meet the needs of each staff section.  Rich concluded his remarks by encouraging each staff section to apply for an e-learning grant from NCSL and conduct at least one webinar during the new conference year.
Standing Committee Issues and Planning.  Chuck Truesdell, co-chair, delivered the team’s report.  He said the team had created a checklist for new standing committee staff officers to help in their orientation.  The team suggested that there be an evaluation of the staff role in standing committees after the Spring and Fall forums, and encouraged staff directors to make new and interim appointments to the standing committees.
Strategic Planning.  Patsy Spaw, NCSL Staff Vice Chair, presented the team’s report.  She emphasized the importance of continuity of work and member outreach to more effective staff involvement with LSCC, and distributed a draft guide to LSCC she prepared that included organization charts and frequently asked questions.  She requested comments from staff about the guide, and said it was critical that LSCC make better use of work already done by subcommittees and teams to avoid duplication and move forward in implementing recommendations to achieve results.  Her proposals for the upcoming year include preparing committee notebooks of goals and responsibilities; guidelines for committee chairs; an LSCC mentorship program; and LSCC bylaws or standing orders.
NCSL Website Testing and Feedback.  Gary Wieman, chair, presented the team’s report.  He indicated that the team’s testing of the new NCSL meeting registration system went well and that the new system incorporated suggestions the team had offered.  The team also tested navigability and access to information on NCSL’s website and made suggestions to improve its search capability.  The goal is to increase use of the website, and provide a more intuitive, user friendly vehicle.
Report from Executive Committee Working Group to Review Committee Structure and Policy Development
John Bjornson, working group staff chair, said he did not anticipate any major changes from earlier recommendations made by the working group regarding committee structure and policy adoption procedures.  Michael Adams encouraged staff to learn more about the standing committees, especially since most of them have come to NCSL through the staff sections.
Michael Adams concluded the meeting by thanking staff for all the work they have done during difficult times.  He noted that things may not get easier, since nearly half the legislators after the 2012 elections will have two-years or less of service. 
The meeting adjourned.