Legislative Effectiveness Committee Agenda | Forum 2014

Legislative Effectiveness Committee Meeting
Dec. 11, 2014
Washington, D.C.

ThursDay, Dec.11
Time Sessions
8:30-8:45 a.m.

Committee Welcome and Orientation

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

8:45-10 a.m.

Improving Civil Discourse from the Ground Up

Political observers and pundits express concern that the political gridlock that characterizes the U.S. Congress may be trickling down to the state and local level. What they may not see are efforts bubbling up from the grassroots designed to block or reverse that trend. Attend this session to hear unique strategies, ideas and examples from programs that promote civil discourse, dialogue and deliberation.

Moderator: Senator Elaine S. Bowers, Kansas

Panelists: Ted Celeste, National Institute for Civil Discourse, Ariz.; Liz Joyner, The Village Square, Fla.

10:15-11:45 a.m.

Capitol Security after Ottawa

Experts will discuss new threats to capitol security and how governments balance freedom of access with the need to protect those who visit and work within legislative offices and capitols.

Moderator: Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams, Nev.

Panelists: Terry Gainer, Senior Advisor, Securitas USA, former Sergeant at Arms, U.S. Senate; Martin Brock, Lieutenant, North Carolina General Assembly; Anthony “Steve” Pike, Colonel, Division of Capitol Police, Va.; Rod Welsh, Sergeant at Arms, Texas House of Representatives

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

1:30-2:15 p.m.


Primaries: Open, Closed, Top Two, What Else?

Is it a problem that the current political primary system leaves out voters (about one-third of all voters) who don’t affiliate with Democrats or Republicans? Should unaffiliated voters have a say in deciding a party’s candidate in an “open” primary, or does it make sense that primary voting is restricted to registered party members? And what about new “top two” primary systems being used in California and Washington where candidates, regardless of party, are on the same primary ballot? Learn about the pros, the cons and the options.

Moderator: Representative Jon Cox, Utah

Panelists: Representative Bill Denny, Miss.

[This session will be held jointly with NCSL’s Redistricting and Elections Committee]

2:30-4 p.m.


Legislators and Staff: Building Trust in a Polarized World

Legislative staff depend on a foundation of trust with their membership in order to be the best at what they do. The growing political stress that characterizes many legislative bodies can undermine this trust, or at least make it more difficult to build and maintain. This roundtable discussion explores strategies that members and staff can pursue that promote understanding and respect and that result in great staff services.

Facilitator: Mary Quaid, Executive Director, House Legislative Services, La.

4-4:45 p.m.


Committee Business Meeting

Discussion and agenda setting for future topics and activities. All interested attendees welcome.