RELACS Officers and Committees

12/1/2021

About the Research, Editorial, Legal, and Committee Staff Association

The Legal Services and Research and Committee Staff Sections voted to merge the two groups into one professional association at the NCSL Legislative Summit in August 2016. The new professional association, the Research, Editorial, Legal, and Committee Staff (RELACS), will continue to offer multiple professional development opportunities that support legislative staff who work in research, editorial, legal and committee roles. As a legislative staffer working in one of these areas, you will automatically be a member of the new association.

2021-22 Research, Editorial, Legal and Committee Staff Leadership Team

The RELACS Executive Committee represents its membership of research, editing, legal, bill drafting, code revision and publishing, policy analysis, and committee staff.

Officers

Chair Vice Chair

Fred Messerer
Principal Deputy Legislative Counsel
Legislative Counsel

California

Erica Warren
Committee Staff Administrator
Legislative Research Commission
Kentucky
Secretary/Newsletter Editor Immediate Past Chair
Staci Duros
Legislative Analyst
Legislative Reference Bureau
Wisconsin

Jamie Shanks
Legislative Attorney
Office of Legal Services

Tennessee

Directors

2022

2023

2nd Term Expires

2nd Term Expires

Matthew Coke
Research Attorney
Legislative Reference Bureau
Hawaii

Betsy Howerton
Deputy Legislative Counsel
Office of Legislative Counsel
Georgia General Assembly

Mark Cutrona
Director
Legislative Council—Division of Research
Delaware General Assembly

Matt Gehring
Staff Coordinator
MN House Research Department

Rachel Weiss
Research Analyst
Legislative Services Division 
Montana

Brett Ferguson
Attorney
Texas Legislative Council

 

Michael Queensland
Senior Staff Attorney
Legislative Council
Wisconsin Legislature

1st Term Expires 2023  
Lara Disney
Senior Editor
Legislative Service Office
Idaho
 
 

Committees

Program Planning Committee

The committee identifies session content and activities for RELACS sessions at the NCSL Legislative Summit, the fall Professional Development Seminar, and webinars. This committee also locates speakers, and conducts other tasks that contribute to the success of the Research, Editorial, Legal, and Committee Staff meetings and webinars. Committee members' term of office: October 2019-September 2021 (terms were extended due to pandemic)

 

StaffHub 2022—RELACS Representative

Chair: Betsy Howerton (Georgia)

Vice-chair: Brett Ferguson (Texas)

  • Taylor Loyd (Arkansas)
  • Amy Haydt (California)
  • Matthew Coke (Hawaii)
  • Antony Lepage (Missouri)
  • Sean Williams (Minnesota)
  • Rachel Weiss (Montana)
  • Jennifer Sturm (Nevada)
  • Kylah E. Aull (North Dakota)
  • Tricia Hines (Oklahoma)
  • John Williams (Tennessee)
  • Kristen Fraser (Washington)
Webinar Subcommittee

This subcommittee will focus on planning webinars for RELACS members and report back to the Program Planning Committee. Committee members' term of office: October 2019-September 2021 (terms were extended due to pandemic)

Co-Chair: Julie Pelegrin (Colorado)

  • Daniela Lopez-Garcia (California)
  • Mark Kuster (Texas)
  • Michael Duchek (Wisconsin)
  • Wendy Jackson (Wisconsin)
Bylaws Review Committee

The Bylaws Review Committee wil examine RELACS' bylaws and draft potential edits and revisions to present to the Executive Committee.

Chair: Jamie Shanks (Tennessee)

Vice Chair: Matt Gehring (Minnesota)

  • Megan Wallace (Alaska)
  • Erica Warren (Kentucky)
  • Rachel Weiss (Montana)
  • Dave Alukonis (New Hampshire)
  • Brett Ferguson, (Texas)
  • Staci Duros (Wisconsin)
RELACS Report Editorial Board

The Editorial Board will review article submissions for The RELACS Report, and encourage legislative staff to submit articles.  Committee members' term of office: October 2019-September 2021 (terms were extended due to pandemic)

Chair: Staci Duros (Wisconsin)
Vice-chair: Wendy Jackson (Wisconsin)

RELACS Exploratory Committee – Mentorship Program

This committee will look for ways that RELACS members may mentor new members or newer legislative staff.  Committee members' term of office: October 2019-September 2021 (terms were extended due to pandemic)

Chair: John Snyder (Kentucky)

  • Brenda Tapley (California)
  • Lara Disney (Idaho)
  • Sharon Eubanks (Colorado)
  • Wendy Jackson (Wisconsin)
RELACS Exploratory Committee—Scholarships for Teaching

This committee will will identify reasonable costs and criteria for awarding speaking stipends or comp registrations for selected faculty at future meetings.  Committee members' term of office: October 2019-September 2021 (terms were extended due to pandemic)

Chair: Mark Cutrona (Delaware)

Vice Chair: Michael Queensland (Wisconsin)

  • John Snyder (Kentucky)
  • Misty Freeman (Oregon)
  • Thomas Vaughn (Utah)
  • Vince Deliberato (Pennsylvania)
Nominations

This committee seeks nominations to the RELACS Executive Committee from the full membership. Nominees must have support from their leadership or director in order to serve. The Nominations Committee reviews nominees and selects a slate of candidates for election at the NCSL Legislative Summit each summer.

Chair: Jamie Shanks (Tennessee)

Vice Chair:Erica Warren (Kentucky)

  • TBD
Awards

This committee seeks nominations to receive the annual Legislative Staff Achievement Award (LSAA). This committee also may choose a recipient to receive a special commendation award. Recipients are presented their awards at the RELACS Business Meeting at the NCSL Legislative Summit.

Chair: Erica Warren (Kentucky)

  • TBD

Additional Resources