LRL 2012 Legislative Summit Agenda and Handouts 

August 6–9, 2012
Chicago, Illinois

Monday, Aug. 6, 2012 | Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012 | Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 | Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

 7:30 am - 5:30 pm


 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

General Session: The Economy

Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial has been named one of the top economic forecasters in the country by the Wall Street Journal. She acts as advisor to Federal Reserve Board and regional Reserve Banks, and is one of the most respected economists in the world and among the most quoted economists in the financial press.

Diane Swonk, Chief Economist, Mesirow Financial

 3:15 pm - 5:00 pm

Records Retention—What to Keep and How to Keep It

Joint with the Research and Committee Staff Section and the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries

Legislative documents are generally considered public records and, as such, must be preserved. But not all documents are the same. Staff working papers, emails, and internal communications may have different retention considerations. This session will explore the requirements for preserving legislative documents to ensure appropriate use and legal compliance.

Mark Mitchell, RACSS Chair, Committee Administrator, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky

Walker Reagan, Division Director, Research Division, North Carolina  -  Presentation
Kristin Ford, Legislative Librarian, Legislative Reference Library, Legislative Services Office, Idaho -  Presentation
Sonia Gavin, Legislative Information Resource Manager, Legislative Reference Center, Montana  -  Presentation

6:30 pm

LRL Dutch Treat Dinner

Join legislative librarians from around the country for a delizioso evening at our annual Dutch Treat Dinner. This year’s ristorante is recognized for its classic, yet contemporary, Italian dishes and has been called “one of the loop’s premier dining spots” and “an intimate grotto straight from an Italian hill town.” Spouses and guests are welcome. Meet at 6:30 pm, at Trattoria No. 10, 10 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60602.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

 8:00 am - 8:45 am

LRL Roundtable: Evaluating Information Authenticity

The proliferation of information on the Internet and the lack of editorial oversight for much of that information make it vital for legislative staff to be skilled in evaluating the authenticity of information. LRL officers and members will discuss the challenges of authenticity and help shape plans for an LRL webinar on evaluating information resources.

Mary Camp, LRL Chair, Director, Legislative Reference Library, Texas

 9:00 am - 10:15 am

General Session: Peter Hart and Neil Newhouse, Two of the Nation's Leading Pollsters

Peter Hart and Neil Newhouse are two of the nation's leading pollsters. Newhouse is a partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, a firm that The New York Times describes as "the leading Republican polling company" in the country. Peter Hart is "the foremost Washington pollster for the Democratic Party," according to the National Journal and is chairman of Peter D. Hart Research Associates.

 3:15 pm - 4:45 pm

Legislative Staff University: Communication Tools for Navigating Uncertainty

Legislative staff today work in an environment driven by too much information, too little time, too few personal interactions. How can you be certain the things you say are understood and responded to appropriately to achieve intended results? Learn from Laree Kiely—a distinguished professor, CEO and participant in the Legislative Staff Management Institute—how to better understand, listen to and communicate with lawmakers and staff alike for a more productive workplace.

Speaker: Laree Kiely, Kiely Group, California

Laree Kiely is an award-winning organizational expert, consultant, educator, and founder of the Kiely Group.

 4:45 pm - 5:45 pm

LRL: Rare Book Shop Site Visit and Program

Legislative librarians appreciate the value of rare and historic documents and publications. In this site visit to Kurt Gippert Bookseller, members will hear from an expert on rare and historic collections and peruse the more than 30,000 books and documents dating back to the 1550s, including one of the earliest law books and an original land deed of George Washington. 

Shelley Day, Legislative Information Liaison, Legislative Research Library, Utah

 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Opening Reception: Museum of Science and Industry 

Chicago stands tall as the city of big shoulders—a city known for its renowned architecture, captivating museums, beloved sports teams, wonderful shopping, great food and beautiful lake shore. At this opening event, you’ll have exclusive access to the largest science center in the Western Hemisphere and experience fascinating, world-class exhibits. During your exploration of the museum, you will get a “taste” of what makes Chicago famous—food, fun and music. A traditional “Taste of Chicago” will showcase all the famous eats and tunes from the Windy City, from deep dish pizza to the classic Chicago style hot dog, from jazz to gospel to rock.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

 8:00 am - 9:15 am

LRL Business Meeting

Legislative librarians hold their annual Business Meeting to elect officers, present the Legislative Staff Achievement Award, announce the 2012 Notable Documents Awards winners, and plan activities for the coming year. Breakfast will be provided.

Mary Camp, LRL Chair, Director, Legislative Reference Library, Texas  -  Agenda

 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Salute to Legislative Staff: Strong Stewards: A Tribute to Legislative Staff

Speaker: Mary Crane, Mary Crane and Associates, New York 

Mary Crane is a nationally recognized speaker and trainer. She has been featured on 60 Minutes and Fox Business News, and her experience includes working in the White House.

 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Libraries: Solution Providers for State and Local Government
Libraries are incredible resources and have moved beyond being mere storehouses of knowledge. As they adapt to new technologies, they provide services in exciting new ways, both in legislatures and their communities. Peer into the future and examine how libraries can continue to be vital partners in research and information services.

Eddie Weeks, Legislative Librarian, Tennessee General Assembly

Cathleen Bourdon, Associate Executive Director, American Library Association, Illinois  -  Presentation

Thursday, August 9, 2012

 9:00 am - 10:15 am

General Session: Job Creation

John Engler, former Michigan governor and current head of the Business Roundtable, and Douglas Oberhelman, CEO of Caterpillar Inc., and Edward B. Rust Jr., CEO of State Farm Mutual and vice-chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will participate in a lively discussion on the different roles government and businesses can play in creating jobs.

John Engler, Business Roundtable
Douglas Oberhelman, Caterpilar
Edward B. Rust Jr., State Farm Mutual

 10:30 am - 12:15 pm

NCSL Business Meeting 

 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

General Session: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Acclaimed Historian and Pulitzer Prize Winner

Doris Kearns Goodwin, acclaimed historian, Pulitzer Prize winner, prolific author and captivating speaker, has written books on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, the Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, Lyndon Johnson and Abraham Lincoln. This year, she will be speaking on Teddy Roosevelt—legislator, president, bigger-than-life hero—and the leadership lessons we can learn from a time of economic and political turmoil that reverberate today.

 2:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Researching Legislative History and Intent

Joint with RACSS, LRL and the Legal Services Staff Section

Legislative history is important in determining why a law was passed and what legislators meant by the language they used. Legislative history and intent are used by courts to establish the intended meaning of language in the law and to ensure its correct implementation. This session provides guidelines for researching state legislative history and intent.

Mary Camp, LRL Chair, Director, Legislative Reference Library, Texas

Eddie Weeks, Legislative Librarian, Tennessee General Assembly  -  Presentation and Handout
Deborah Haskins, Assistant Director, Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado  -  Handout 1, Handout 2, Handout 3, Handout 4
Mark Kuster, Attorney, Legislative Council, Texas  -  Presentation

 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Avoiding Bias and Preparing Balanced Research

Joint with the Rearch and Committee Staff Section

Nonpartisan staff pride themselves on maintaining a neutral position in their work, but preserving that balance has become more difficult in today’s supercharged political environment, where the line between opinions and facts can become blurred. This session will consider the challenges and discuss best practices to maintain nonpartisan integrity.

Pepper Sturm, Chief Deputy Research Director, Legislative Counsel Bureau, Nevada

Eddie Weeks, Legislative Librarian, Tennessee General Assembly  -  Presentation
Sharon Wenger, Principal Analyst, Legislative Research Department, Kansas  -  Presentation and Handout
Jerry Howe, Managing Policy Analyst, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, Utah  -  Presentation

 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Closing Reception: Millennium Park 

What better way to say farewell to the City by the Lake than an evening of great music and fine food in this 25-acre park along Lake Michigan’s shoreline—a center for world-class art, music, architecture, gardens and landscape design? Guests will savor and sip some of Chicago’s best offerings from its many culturally diverse neighborhoods such as Greek Town, Little Italy and Ukrainian Village. While sitting under the stars, listen to an exclusive performance by the toddling town’s best-known musicians. Get ready for an evening of culinary and musical delights set against the picturesque skyline in one of the city’s top tourist attractions.

 For more information, contact Jeanne Mejeur, LRL Liaison.