Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee

Meeting Summary

Denver, Colorado
May 21, 2010 

Welcome and Introductions
Nancy Cyr, NCSL Staff Chair, called the meeting to order and introduced LSCC members.

Executive Director’s Report
Bill Pound, NCSL Executive Director, reported that the FY 2010 budget is on target. The Fall and Spring Forums performed better than expected in revenue terms. NCSL expects to finish the year in the black. Bill appointed Molly Ramsdell and Neal Osten as co-directors of the Washington D.C. office to replace Carl Tubbesing. For the Legislative Summit, attendance is expected to be lower than in 2009. Bill highlighted NCSL’s recent work on health policy issues, webinars and the Redistricting Seminar in Austin.

Preview of the Executive Committee Meeting
Nancy Cyr reviewed the major events planned for Saturday.

Subcommittee Reports
Professional Development and Outreach. Peggy Piety, chair, noted that the subcommittee had met jointly with Technology and E-Learning for an introduction to the new NCSL-University portal. Plans are moving ahead for the new staff orientation for the Legislative Summit and the hub city project (joint meetings of professional development seminars), which is receiving interest from the staff sections (under Gary Schaefer’s leadership). Two speakers have been confirmed for the NCSL Legislative Staff University program at Legislative Summit—Massachusetts Representative Jay Kaufman and former Nebraska Senator David Landis—and one more is being sought (under Marti Harkness’ leadership). The staff career project is also moving ahead, designed to encourage college graduates to choose legislative service as a career (under Roger Norman’s leadership). LSCC then saw the new video in the series the Legislative Institutions Subcommittee is preparing, this one of Texas information technology staff.

Staff Section Officers. Holly Lyons, chair, reported that the officers had discussed plans for the new staff section officers’ orientation at the Legislative Summit and that volunteers are needed to assist with it. The officers also discussed the hub city project and reviewed staff section plans for meetings in 2010, 2011 and 2012, as well as the international program for the Legislative Summit.

Technology and E-learning. Michael Adams, chair, reported on the joint meeting with Professional Development and Outreach, and Ed Smith’s demonstration of the new e-learning portal. The subcommittee also heard a report from Gene Rose and Kae Warnock on recent NCSL webinars, which were developed with the assistance the Foundation for State Legislatures provided to the Executive Committee, and others developed by grant-funded programs. The subcommittee is designing guidelines for distance-learning projects. It also discussed the collaboration tools NCSL has offered for legislative staff use. 

Strategic Planning. Tim Rice, staff vice chair, reported that the experiments with collaboration tools have had mixed results. He discussed plans for the preservation of LSCC work projects from year to year. 

Volunteer Efforts for Legislative Summit
LSCC heard a report and saw a video on a book donation project for Legislative Summit that would support United Through Reading, a nonprofit organization designed to strengthen family ties through reading aloud together. 

Spring Forum Report
Judy Hall, staff chair of the standing committees, reported better-than-expected attendance at the Spring Forum in Washington, D.C., though many committees lacked the quorums needed for adoption of policies. She noted that the NCSL Executive Committee’s Working Group on Policies and Procedures would meet later on May 21 to complete its recommendations to the Budget and Rules Subcommittee and the Executive Committee on the regular two-year review of the structure of the standing committees, the future forum schedule, and changes needed to resolve ambiguities in the NCSL Bylaws and Rules of Procedure. 

Legislative Staff Management Institute 
Gary VanLandingham, NCSL Immediate Past Staff Chair, reported that LSMI registration in May was stronger than had been expected, but that assistance from LSCC is needed to ensure a sufficient number of participants at the 2010 LSMI. The Project Citizen pilot project enlisted 150 volunteers from legislative staff in various states to work in classrooms, but to some extent teachers failed to follow through. Where staff worked in classrooms, the pilot was a success, and lessons were learned about the needed schedule and the contributions staff could make to students’ projects. Gary recommended that the pilot project continue. 

Other Business
Tim Rice noted that because there will be no NCSL Executive Committee meeting in the early fall of 2010, he has scheduled a stand-alone LSCC meeting in Denver, October 15-16. 

Kathy Brennan Wiggins announced that there are openings for legislative staff to join the Partnership of Parliaments Germany/Austria tour this year. 

Nancy Cyr announced the NCSL Staff Nominating Committee membership for 2010: Patrick O’Donnell, chair; Karl Aro, Pamela Ray, Richard Sweet, Elizabeth Lincoln, Ernest Sumner and Shantee El, with Janeen Halverson and Mark Mitchell as alternates. 

The meeting adjourned.