2013 LRL Legislative Summit Agenda

NCSL Legislative Summit

Mon. Aug. 12 | Tues. Aug. 13 | Wed. Aug. 14 | Thurs. Aug. 15

Monday, August 12, 2013

7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


Noon - 1:15 p.m.

New Attendee Orientation

1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

General Session: Our Constitutional Legacy

Sandra Day O’Connor is a trailblazer who has made an enduring mark on the nation. In this 225th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, you will hear from the first woman—and crucial swing justice—appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court on the principles that have made the nation strong through the centuries. She’ll share her views on representative democracy, civic education and fair courts. She is the author of three books, including the recently released, Out of Order, a history of the Supreme Court, its famous justices and how it evolved into the sometimes controversial institution it is today. 

Speaker: Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, retired

3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Legal Writing and Thinking

Drafting bills and amendments takes expertise and experience. Learn best practices and tips of the trade from a senior legislative attorney.
Speaker:  Becky Lennahan, Consultant and Former Deputy Director of the Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado

4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Common Goals: Nonpartisan and Partisan Staff Roles (RACSS, LSS, LRL & NALFO)

Both nonpartisan and partisan staff have their unique roles in legislatures but also share common goals. This session will focus on how can they each better understand the needs and challenges of the other, so that they can work together more effectively.

Moderator: Sabrina Lewellen, Deputy Director, Arkansas Senate

Sallie Bolton, Office of the Speaker, Kentucky House of Representatives
Walker Reagan, Research Director, North Carolina General Assembly

5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Opening Reception: Georgia On My Mind
Meet with old friends and new at the opening reception at the Georgia World Congress Center where you'll delight in a taste of Georgia and special Southern entertainment. This kick-off to the Summit will definitely put Georgia on your mind.

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

LRL Dutch Treat Dinner

AZIO Downtown, 229 Peachtree Street Northeast
Join legislative librarians from around the country for a fun and festive evening at our annual Dutch Treat Dinner.  Spouses and guests are welcome. RSVP to Jeanne Mejeur.   Meet at the restaurant, AZIO Downtown, 229 Peachtree Street Northeast.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.


7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Public Access to Legislative Information

Citizens have the right of access to any public information, unless it is specifically exempt by law.  Most legislative records, reports, bills or working papers are considered public records.  Learn the requirements and exemptions in this informative session.

Moderator: Bryant Howe, Deputy Director, Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, Utah
Jon Heining, Texas Legislature
Eddie Weeks, Tennessee General Assembly

8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

General Session: America's Retirement Crisis

Despite our sluggish economy and the global economic uncertainty, building lifetime financial security is not a pipe dream in 21st century America. But for most Americans, it’s become a do-it-yourself proposition, as a result of the decline of traditional pension plans in the private sector and the challenge of unfunded liabilities in state and local pension plans. TIAA-CREF’s CEO Roger Ferguson believes we need to rethink, repair and restart America’s retirement system so individuals can better ensure their own lifetime financial security. Mr. Ferguson is a noted economist, former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and president and chief executive officer of TIAA-CREF. His perspective on the economy and pension concerns is insightful and astute. 

Speaker: Roger Ferguson, TIAA-CREF

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Legislative Staff University: Staying Engaged and Motivated

Legislative staff work in an environment where the motives that drive individual members may not always match the values of the institution. How can staff help legislators achieve their policy goals while ensuring that the process remains open and objective? Learn from Phil Boyle—a distinguished professor and leadership consultant who works with state and local governments on ethics, problem solving and decision making—about how to stay motivated and engaged during tough legislative sessions.

Presiding: Paula Dominguez, Rhode Island General Assembly
Speaker: Phillip Boyle, Leading and Governing Associates, Inc., North Carolina

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

General Session - Speaker to be announced

9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Issue Forums


  • The State Role in Local Government Pension and Retiree Health Care Costs
  • Natural Gas: Panacea or Pariah?
  • Increase Your Presence with Tech Tools
  • Taming Health Costs: New Solutions, New Challenges
  • Plugging the Skills Gap
  • Cyber Warfare
  • Veterans and Civil Employment: State Legislative Approaches

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Issue Forums


  • Managing State Pension Liabilities
  • Anywhere, Anytime Learning
  • Going Mobile: What it Means for Legislatures
  • Brain Science and Kids: New Policy Approaches
  • Can We Talk?  Medicaid, Exchanges and New Technology
  • Immigration: Finally a Federal Fix?
  • The Business of Sharing

12:15 p.m.-1:45 p.m.

Salute to Legislative Staff Luncheon

Join fellow legislative staffers from around the country to celebrate the outstanding work, commitment and contributions you make each year to America’s Legislatures! Art Hamilton, former member of the Arizona House of Representatives and NCSL President and CEO of a successful public affairs firm, will talk about the critical contributions legislative staff made to him in advancing his career, and to the legislature as an institution in sustaining its values. Hear his perspective on those qualities that staff may forget about during tough legislative sessions that make the whole thing possible. Don’t miss this inspiring and humorous presentation from a man that Bill Clinton called “one of the finest speakers I have ever heard.”

Speaker: Art Hamilton, The Art Hamilton Group, LLC, Arizona
Art Hamilton is the founder of the firm The Art Hamilton Group, LLC. Prior to the founding of the firm in 2008, Art Hamilton served 26 years in the Arizona House of Representatives, with 18 consecutive years as the Democratic leader in the Arizona House. Because of his dedicated service and superior leadership, Art was acknowledged by the Arizona Republic, in 2008, as being one of the ten best modern legislators in Arizona history.

1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Issues Forums


  • Pensions: Sound State Pension Practices
  • Casino Royale: From Brick and Mortar to Zeroes and Ones
  • Reinventing College
  • Cultivating an Honest Environment
  • Be Great at Debate
  • U.S. Economic Outlook
  • How States Can Prepare for Disasters

3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

LRL Business Meeting

Legislative librarians hold their annual Business Meeting, to elect officers, consider amendments to the bylaws, present the Legislative Staff Achievement Award, announce the 2013 Notable Documents Awards winners, and plan activities for the coming year.

Presiding: Eddie Weeks, LRL Chair 2012-2013; Legislative Librarian, Tennessee General Assembly

4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m

StateNet Training

Join fellow librarians in learning the basics of using NCSL’s Bill Information Service, a StateNet database available exclusively to state legislators and legislative staff. Search the full text of legislation in the 50 states, D.C. and the U.S. Congress, and summaries of Puerto Rico legislation.

6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Closing Event—A Whale of an Evening

Georgia Aquarium
You'll have a whale of a good time in the underwater world of dolphins, sharks, belugas and more at the Georgia Aquarium. It's one of the world's largest and contains more aquatic life in its seven stunning exhibits than any other aquarium in the world. You'll dine on delectable Southern cuisine and enjoy the music of Georgia while you mingle with friends.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

7:30 a.m. - Noon


10:00 a.m. - Noon

NCSL Annual Business Meeting

Noon - 1:30 p.m.

General Session Luncheon

David Gergen is a respected and esteemed CNN senior political analyst, advisor to four presidents, and director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. His view of politics, the state of the nation and where we’re heading now is timely and provocative.

1: 45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Program and Tour at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

LRL members will tour the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum and participate in a behind-the-scenes program on the Library and Archives.  The Library is part of the Presidential Library system administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, and houses President Carter’s presidential papers.  Space is limited and reservations are required.  First priority will be given to LRL members.  RSVP to Jeanne Mejeur.