2012 NCSL Summit BannerNCSL Legislative Summit—Legislative Effectiveness Committee Agenda

McCormick Place Convention Center (West Building)
Chicago, Illinois

August 6-9 (as of 7/10/2012)

Monday | TuesdayWednesday | Thursday

Monday, August 6

3:15 pm-5:00 pm

Using the Audit Tool: A Critical Link to Effectiveness 
(Co-sponsored with National Legislative Program Evaluation Society)
MPW W185d-Level 1

Legislatures have a powerful tool in their audit and program evaluation organizations. How can you guide them to be vital and independent, yet still responsive to legislative needs? This session explores the changing nature of the field and seeks advice from veteran legislators and staff.

Moderator: Rep. John Patton, Wyoming

Panelists: Greg Fugate, Office of the State Auditor, Colorado
Ken Levine, Sunset Commission, Texas
Audit Committee Chair to be added

Tuesday, August 7

10:30 am-11:45 pm

Balancing the Powers of Governors
MPW W178ab-Level 1

Legislatures often fare poorly when taking on the governor--the deck seems stacked in favor of the executive branch. Alan Rosenthal, the leading academic expert on state legislatures, advises legislative leaders on how to work with governors and play a consultative role in shaping their agendas. He has just published a book, “The Best Job in Politics,” which looks at why governors are so successful at achieving their goals. 

Moderator: Sharon Eubanks, Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado

Speaker: Alan Rosenthal, Rutgers University, New Jersey

Noon-1:30 pm

Connecting to Citizens (luncheon provided)
(Co-sponsored with the Women's Legislative Network)
MPW W470a-Level 4

Legislators often list constituent service as their number one priority, but they may be on the lookout for ways to freshen up their practices. Veteran legislators share some new strategies to sharpen their connections to constituents and participants are invited to join an NCSL project. 

Moderator: Sen. Les Ihara, Jr., Hawaii

Presenters: Rep. Ellen Roberts, Colorado
Rep. Rick Miera, New Mexico
Rep. Jay Kaufman, Massachusetts (by video)

Wednesday, August 8

9:30 am-10:45 am

Making Sound Decisions when the Sky is Falling
MPW W185ab-Level 1

Legislators are expected to make dozens of decisions every day, and they often take the form of casting a difficult vote that will have major ramifications. Learn how to work through tough decisions even in the seemingly overwhelming crucible of a legislative session. What are the characteristics of really tough decisions and what are the most effective tools for reaching a good conclusion?

Speaker: Morag Barrett, Skye Associates, Colorado

11:00 am-12:15 pm

The Essential Skill for Legislative Success: Building Strong Relationships
MPW W185ab-Level 1

It is probably the most important skill that you need to master to be an effective legislator—building strong relationships. The research is very clear that strong relationships are the key to career success, and that is perhaps no more true than in the world of the legislature. Learn how to cultivate friends and allies within the legislative environment and how to forge positive relationships of respect with that handful of people who are difficult to work with.

Speaker:  Morag Barrett, Skye Associates, Colorado

Thursday, August 9

2:15 pm-3:30 pm

Lessons in Ethics
(Co-sponsored by Center for Ethics in Government, Leadership Staff Section and Legal Services Staff Section)
MPW W183ab-Level 1

No gambling interests, no revolving door, no gifts. These reforms are touted by America’s best-known lobbyist/felon, Jack Abramoff. He will defend his ideas in front of a panel of experienced legislators who will talk about ethics reforms in their states and challenge Abramoff on what makes sense.

Moderator: Gene Rose, Marmillion + Company, Colorado

Speaker: Jack Abramahoff, Former Lobbyist, Washington, DC

Panelists:  Senate President David Williams, Kentucky
Rep. Rosie Berger, Wyoming