Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee

Meeting Summary

May 16, 2008
Wilmington, Delaware

LSCC Subcommittee Reports

Technology Subcommittee
Michael Adams reported for the Technology Subcommittee that members had participated in the Website Redesign Working Group's meetings.  The subcommittee reviewed e-learning issues, including distributing mega-session proceedings electronically, generation of e-learning content, packaging LSMI sessions for distribution, and use of SharePoint.  The subcommittee also discussed the redesign of staff section pages in the context of NCSL website redesign, and intends to develop a prototype for a standard staff section page.  The 50-state bill status system has been rolled out to select groups, is working well, and will be expanded to all legislators and staff in the near future.  Michael noted that this has been a huge contribution to legislative research capacity. 

Marketing and Outreach Subcommittee
Jamie Jo Franklin reported for the Marketing and Outreach Subcommittee.  It reviewed several staff sections' newsletters and found them excellent.  The subcommittee noted the newsletters are increasingly consistent in appearance.  It will have a few suggestions to make for further improvement.  The subcommittee also reviewed marketing materials for the legislative summit, with an eye toward reaching first-time attendees and orientation to the meeting for new participants.  The subcommittee plans an event for Staff Ambassadors. The subcommittee also reviewed the evaluations of professional development seminars in the light of the opportunity the seminars present for outreach to new legislative staff.  The subcommittee recommended that staff sections track first-time attendance.  The subcommittee reviewed the 50-state bill status system and the State Ambassador program.  Finally, it brainstormed on the possibility of outreach to staff such as partisan staff and business office personnel.

Legislative Institution Subcommittee
Tim Rice reported for the Legislative Institution Subcommittee and noted that the separation-of-powers website has not yet been completed and solicited LSCC contributions of material for the website.  Futures evaluation is an enormous subject and hard to approach, so the subcommittee will make recommendations in New Orleans on how to do futures research, as well as develop recommendations on specific actions.  The subcommittee finds that LSCC lacks many partisan staff in its membership, and has opened discussion on the issue.

Professional Development Subcommittee
Nancy Cyr reported for the Professional Development Subcommittee.  Karl Kurtz told the subcommittee that LSMI has received a record 54 applications for the 2008session, from which the goal is to have attendance of 35.  The contract with the University of Southern California is soon to expire.  After discussion, the subcommittee recommended that the contract be renegotiated for a period of from three years to five years with the present California group.  Brian Weberg discussed the Senior Management Legislative Seminar with the subcommittee, which recommends continuing SMLS as an attachment to the Fall Forum or another NCSL national meeting in 2009. Brian was asked to report to the subcommittee on the pros and cons of regional, Executive Committee, and Fall Forum venues for SMLS in 2009.  His report should be distributed to the subcommittee in time for full discussion in New Orleans.  Brian also proposed a regional meeting for member and district staff on the second weekend in February 2009 in Dallas instead of a district staff training session at the legislative summit.  The subcommittee approved the proposal.  The subcommittee reviewed methods of outreach to new participants at legislative summit and recommended electronic communications in various forms, making use of the tips for new participants that were submitted to this meeting.  A further recommendation is a page in the legislative summit program to describe the staff sections and special events for staff.

Staff Section Officers' Subcommittee
Patsy Spaw reported on actions at the Staff Section Officers' Subcommittee.  As part of its project on staff sections' succession planning, the subcommittee received Ron Snell's draft model transitional manual.  The subcommittee recommended a new staff section overhead allocation formula.  The recommended formula has these provisions:

  • Each staff section will budget a flat overhead allocation requirement of $2,500 for its professional development seminar, which will apply both to individual professional development seminars and to each staff section that participates in a joint professional development seminar.
  • In addition, each staff section will budget an overhead cost allocation of $35 per paid registration, other than guest registrations, for the first 150 paid registrations.  If a seminar has fewer than 40 registrations, it is exempt from this provision.
  • In addition each staff section will budget a cost allocation of $10 per paid registration, other than guest registrations, for those above 150.
  • Staff sections retain meeting profits and NCSL absorbs losses.
  • These provisions will be in effect for the 2008 professional development seminars and those thereafter.

The LSCC approved the proposed formula change and recommended it to the NCSL Executive Committee's Budget, Finance and Rules Committee.  The latter incorporated the proposal in the NCSL budget for fiscal year 2009.

Patsy also noted that the subcommittee would continue its review of hotel contracting arrangements at a meeting to be held after the LSCC meeting. 

posted 5/23/08 
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