LSCC Summary: July 20, 2009-Philadelphia, PA


Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee

Meeting Summary

July 20, 2009
Philadelphia, Penn.

Gary VanLandingham called the meeting to order. He acknowledged the members of the Staff Nominating Committee who will recommend candidates for NCSL Staff Vice Chair and the Executive Committee, and introduced the Staff Vice Chair and Executive Committee candidates. Gary discussed his year-end report of LSCC activities encompassed in a soon-to-be posted online-publication entitled Roadmap to the Future. He commended the hard work undertaken by LSCC members in researching and analyzing the work that went into the report.

Executive Director's Report
Bill Pound discussed the Legislative Summit and reported that he was optimistic that despite the tough economic situation in the states, attendance would be close to the target of 5,500. He addressed the FY 2009 budget and noted that NCSL has avoided a deficit due largely to the closeout of the retiree health plan, and to increased indirect cost revenue and budget efficiencies. NCSL now anticipates a surplus of $75,000. Bill indicated that the FY 2010 budget will be $1 million to $1.5 million lower than the FY 2009 budget. NCSL is budgeting dues receipt at 90 percent of request, as opposed to the normal practice of 95 percent. He pointed out that NCSL has received 22 percent of FY 2010 dues requested to date, with only one state not having paid in full.

Marketing and Outreach Subcommittee
Wade Melton presented the report of the Marketing and Outreach Subcommittee. He described a new demonstration project in six states as part of Project Citizen that will involve legislative staff in the classroom. He noted that there will be a Statehouse Ambassadors breakfast meeting on Thursday, July 23 at Legislative Summit. Wade summarized other subcommittee activities, including updating responsibilities of the Standing Committees and Executive Committee on NCSL's website; the monthly NCSL electronic newsletter and promoting the Legislative Staff Management Institute.

Professional Development Subcommittee
Cathy Fernandez presented the report of the Professional Development Subcommittee. She updated staff on the Legislative Staff Management Institute scheduled for August 2-8 in Sacramento. Twenty-two staff will participate. Cathy then discussed the future of the Senior Management Leadership Seminar, which has not been well attended in recent years. One option is to incorporate it into a Spring or Fall Forum to improve attendance. Cathy described the three LSCC mega sessions scheduled at Legislative Summit: "Stepping Up to the Plate: Confronting Ethical Problems Head On" (July 20); "Doing More with Less: Become a Creative Innovator" (July 21); and "Building a Thriving Organization" (July 24). She reminded staff about the new Staff Section Officer orientation breakfast scheduled for Thursday, July 23, and concluded her presentation with a description of the international delegates training program during Legislative Summit.

Legislative Institutions Subcommittee
Tim Rice presented the report of the Legislative Institutions Subcommittee. He reviewed three issues that the subcommittee is assessing related to legislatures of the future: (1) impending retirements of legislative staff, projected to be 25 percent within the next five years; (2) the increasing numbers of partisan staff, their relationship to nonpartisan staff and how NCSL can best meet their needs; and (3) options to reach out to staff that cannot travel to NCSL meetings with other professional development opportunities. He noted that the anticipated outcome of the subcommittee's work would be a plan that identifies key issues affecting legislative staff and a framework for addressing the issues over the next three to five years; in effect, a baseline from which future assessments could be made.

Technology Review Subcommittee Report
Ken Levine delivered the report of the Technology Review Subcommittee. He discussed the subcommittee's final report, and a "Legislative Staff User Guide to Actually Doing an E-learning Event." Ken concluded his report with an update of e-learning opportunities at Legislative Summit.

Staff Section Officers
Linda Pittsford delivered the report of the Staff Section Officers. She updated staff on implementation of the new professional development seminar revenue/cost-sharing agreement adopted by LSCC in Raleigh as it applied to the cancelled NLPES and NALIT seminars scheduled for Honolulu in 2009. As a result of NCSL being able to schedule another meeting this fall at one of the Honolulu hotels, NLPES, NALIT and NCSL were able to share equally in the new revenue to be generated and reduce their losses. Linda described the professional development programs scheduled for later this year: (1) a joint LSS/LINCS/NALIT meeting in Austin, September 9-12; (2) ASLCS in Seattle, September 16-20; (3) NLSSA in Charleston, September 20-25; and (4) LRL in St. Paul, October 14-17. She discussed the international delegates program at Legislative Summit which includes participation by LINCS and NLSSA.

Strategic Planning Work Group
Nancy Cyr described her plans for 2009-2010, and how they would build on the previous year's work. She emphasized that she was honored to follow Gary VanLandingham and Sharon Crouch Steidel as NCSL Staff Chair.

Gary VanLandingham acknowledged the five legislative staff who are serving their final terms as members of the NCSL Executive Committee: Tony Beard, Cathy Fernandez, Jamie Jo Franklin, Wade Melton and Tim Rice.  Sharon Crouch Steidel welcomed staff to the fall Executive Committee/LSCC meeting in Richmond, October 9-10.

Gary concluded the meeting by emphasizing the importance of staff going back to their states and being ambassadors for NCSL, especially during tough economic times when travel funds are restricted. He urged them to promote e-technology opportunities and discuss the values of NCSL involvement with their staffs. He thanked the LSCC staff members for their hard work and support during the year.