Legislative Effectiveness Committee Meeting

Picture of legislators May 2013| Spring Forum, Denver, Colo.

Committee Business Meeting
May 3, 2013

Overview & Presiding Officers: Committee officers and members discussed plans for the Legislative Summit— Representative John Patton, Wyoming, Committee Co-chair

Summary: The committee officers and members and interested meeting participants discussed the committee’s plans for the Aug. 12-16, 2013 Legislative Summit. The talk included the importance of constantly addressing challenges to the legislative institution, yet providing practical tips and dynamic committee programs.  The committee approved four sessions (including a double session) for the summit, including:

Connecting with Constituents Workshop (counts as two sessions)

The committee has worked with the Kettering Foundation to learn more about how legislators and legislatures engage their constituents, particularly in meaningful discussion.  NCSL has been identifying various types of legislator models such as listening sessions, meeting constituents “on their own turf,” district dialogues, legislator area delegation forums and web discussions. The workshop will provide expert trainers for different techniques and help attendees develop their own constituent connection action plan.

Dynamic Committees

An effective legislative committee needs contributions from a strong committee chair, ranking minority member, other legislators and staff.  This session explores how to get the best leadership and contributions from all these people.

The Freshman Class: Why Didn’t You Tell Us About…?

Despite the best plans of new member orientations, first-term legislators almost always feel they didn’t get enough preparation for the legislative session. This session gathers some first-term legislators and new member orientation planners to examine what the freshman legislator class really needs to know.

Getting Practical Help From NCSL

 NCSL provides meetings, information, advice and technical assistance to legislatures and legislators. This help can take many forms, such as testifying at committee hearings about practices in the other states, providing workshops to learn tips about working with the media and briefing legislators on the impact of recently enacted federal legislation. Learn how to put NCSL’s experts to work for you.

In addition, the committee agreed to co-sponsor issue forum sessions on ethics (train the trainer and creating an honest environment) and the professional track (Parliamentary Procedure, going mobile and tech tools).