Legislative Effectiveness Committee | 2015 NCSL Capitol Forum Agenda


2015 NCSL Capitol Forum Logo and ColonadeJoin us at the NCSL Capitol Forum, Dec. 8-11 in Washington, D.C., to help craft the States’ Agenda and be a voice for the states on Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. The Capitol Forum features sessions on important state-federal issues, special tours and briefings for legislative staff, and opportunities to connect with legislative colleagues from across the nation.

This page shows the agenda for sessions of the Legislative Effectiveness Committee at NCSL's 2015 Capitol Forum in Washington D.C.

For more information, visit the 2015 Capitol Forum website or view the preliminary 2015 Capitol Forum agenda. See you in Washington D.C.!

Legislator co-chair: Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams, Nevada

Legislator co-chair: Senator Elaine S. Bowers, Kansas.

Legislator vice chair: Representative Kristin Conzet, South Dakota

Legislator vice chair: Representative Mike McKell, Utah

Legislator vice chair: Representative Susan Westrom, Kentucky

Legislative staff co-chair: Michael Adams, Virginia

Legislative staff co-chair: Connie Ridley, Tennessee

Legislative staff vice chair: Sabah Eltareb, California

Legislative staff vice chair: Jason Hancock, South Dakota

Legislative staff vice chair: Jim Melton, South Carolina



ThursdAy, Dec.10
Time Sessions

8:30-8:45 a.m.


Committee Welcome and Orientation

The officers of the Legislative Effectiveness Committee will welcome attendees, describe the mission of the committee and preview the day’s agenda.

8:45-10:00 a.m.


Civility, Collaboration and the Legislative Process

Legislative rules and procedures form the backbone of the lawmaking process. Examine formal and informal rules and practices that promote civility, public access, minority party rights and collaboration.


Moderator: Julie Pelegrin, Office of Legislative Legal Services, Colorado General Assembly


Panelists: Senator Michael Gronstal, Iowa

Russell Humphrey, Office of the Chief Clerk, Tennessee Senate

Senator Terri Haverly, South Dakota

Robert Richie, Fair Vote, Maryland

10:15-11:45 a.m.

Lincoln 4

Who Governs? Legislator Demographics in 2015

Learn the latest trends in ethnicity, age, gender and occupations of state legislators from the national release of new research and data from NCSL and The Pew Charitable Trust on the demographics of lawmakers in 2015.


Moderator: Michael Caudell-Feagan, Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, D.C.


Panelists: Assemblymember Irene Bustamante Adams,Nevada

Representative Kristin A. Conzet,South Dakota

Scott Greenberger, Stateline, Washington, D.C.

Karl Kurtz, Legis Maters, Colorado

Dr. Kira Sanbonmatsu, Rutgers University, New Jersey

11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.

General Session Luncheon: When Religious Freedom and Anti-Discrimination Collide

Thurgood Ballroom, Mezzanine Level, Marriott Wardman Park


Proponents argue the government shouldn’t infringe on the right to exercise one’s religious beliefs, but opponents of religious freedom acts contend they allow legal discrimination. Indiana brought the debate into national focus. Is there middle ground? Utah may be the model.


Moderator: Senator Curtis Bramble, Utah

Speakers: Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson, College of Law, University of Illinois
Senator David Long, Indiana

Respondent: Senator J. Stuart Adams, Utah

1:30-2:45 p.m.


Social Media Minefields

Social media is a valuable outlet to promote your work and quickly engage constituents, but what happens when your post spirals out of control? Negative comments, hashtag backlash, and posts going viral (and not in a good way) can impact you and your work in the legislature. Learn strategies and best practices for handling social media minefields.


Moderator: Michael Adams, Office of the Clerk, Virginia Senate


Panelists: Representative Michael H. Schlossberg, Pennsylvania

Ellie Wallace, Republican State Leadership Committee, Washington, D.C.

Hailey Spencer, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia

3-3:45 p.m.


Legislative Effectiveness Committee Business Meeting

All interested attendees are welcome to discuss and set the agenda for future committee topics and activities.

3:45-4:45 p.m.

Washington 1

Fundraising and Legislating: Two Jobs in One

The cost of campaigning for legislative seats continues its trend upward. Learn how much campaigns cost in the states, and discuss how the need to raise money impacts the legislative process and agenda. Hear from legislators from big states, small states, red states and blue states about how they balance fundraising and legislating roles.


Moderator: Douglas Himes, Office of Legal Services, Tennessee General Assembly


Panelists: Senator Curtis Bramble, Utah

Senator Judy Lee, North Dakota

Senator Cheryl C. Kagan, Maryland



Co-sponsored with the Redistricting and Elections Standing Committee