A Message From NCSL Staff Chair Martha Wigton
The year 2020 is not quite what I expected it would be. By early April, the Georgia legislature normally would have passed our state’s budget and adjourned for the year, and I would have turned my attention to the other important tasks we address during the interim—including recognizing my staff for the high-quality services and support they provide to the House and their exceptional commitment to the legislative institution.
Instead, as I write this in mid-April, the General Assembly has suspended session indefinitely. My team, along with the many other Georgia staffers, is now working behind the scenes to analyze the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis in order to recraft the FY 2021 budget, draft legislation to address this new reality, support members as they communicate with their constituents, and help to run the institution from afar.
While this time of year is not what I envisioned, I do know one thing: Georgia legislative staff have stepped up to meet the challenge. Every day, my peers and colleagues are innovating, collaborating and practicing resilience. They stand ready to meet unprecedented daily demands. I have no doubt that legislative staff across the country are also stepping up to this challenge and shining a positive light on legislative service and the power of the legislative branch.
During Legislative Staff Week, NCSL spotlights you. Now, more than ever, your work matters. So, take a moment to give yourself and your colleagues a round of applause. Because of you, legislatures across our nation are stronger than ever!
Finally, remember that NCSL stands ready to assist you. From providing analysis and briefings about the impact of coronavirus on states to convening webinars and videoconference calls to discuss how legislatures continue to get their work done, NCSL is here for you. We’ll get through this, together.
NCSL Staff Chair Martha Wigton is director of Georgia’s House Budget and Research Office.
In the photo: When the nearly empty Georgia House was adjourned on March 13 because of the coronavirus, NCSL Staff Chair Martha Wigton tweeted, “Staff are still on duty—remote and ready!”