Challenges of Leadership

Photos of legislative leaders and administration officialsPhotos of legislative leaders and administration officialsState Legislatures Magazine sat down with 10 legislative leaders to discuss the states’ agenda as it relates to the federal government and the challenges of leadership in their own chambers.  They talked about the need for flexibility in dealing with the federal government, the necessity of maintaining states’ authority, concerns that federal responsibilities will be shifted to the states and what aggressive federal spending cuts will mean for states. 

 

The leaders also reflected on their own approach to leadership in the ongoing fiscal crisis confronting states, their biggest challenges as leaders and why they wanted to take on such a tough job. You can watch their responses in the videos on this page.

You can learn more about legislative leadership at the NCSL Leaders' Center and see the full agenda from NCSL's February leaders' meeting at the links below.

Senator Brian Bingman, Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem

Senator Brian Bingman has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2006. He served in the House from 2004-2006. He was elected president pro tem in 2011.

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Representative Dean Cannon, Florida House Speaker

Speaker Dean Cannon has been a member of the Florida House since 2004. He is serving in his first term as speaker.

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Representative Mike Chenault, Alaska House Speaker

Speaker Mike Chenault has been a member of the Alaska House since 2001. He was elected speaker of the House in 2009.

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Representative Gordon Fox, Rhode Island House Speaker

Speaker Gordon Fox has been a member of the Rhode Island House since 1992. He was elected speaker of the House in 2010.

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Senator Stephen Morris, Kansas Senate President

Senator Stephen Morris has been a member of the Kansas Senate since 1992. He has served as president of the Senate since 2004.

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Representative Robert Nutting, Maine House Speaker

Speaker Robert Nutting is serving in his sixth term in the Maine House of Representatives. He was elected speaker of the House in 2011.

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Senator M. Teresa Paiva-Weed, Rhode Island Senate President

Senator M. Teresa Paiva-Weed has been a member of the Rhode Island Senate since 1992. She was elected president of the Senate in 2009.

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Senator Kevin Raye, Maine Senate President

Senator Kevin Raye has been a member of the Maine Senate since 2004. He is serving in his first term as president of the Senate.

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Representative Shap Smith, Vermont House Speaker

Speaker Shap Smith has been a member of the Vermont House since 2002. He was elected speaker of the House in 2009.

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Senator Gary Stevens, Alaska Senate President

Senator Gary Stevens has been a member of the Alaska Senate since 2003. He served in the House from 2001-2003. He was elected president of the Senate in 2009. 

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