Aug. 29, 2011
Changes in By-laws and Rules of Procedure to Enhance NCSL’s Advocacy Efforts in Washington, D.C.
A series of changes to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) by-laws and rules of procedure were passed by state lawmakers at NCSL’s 2011 Legislative Summit in San Antonio, Texas. The changes are a result of the organization’s continued commitment to listening to and responding to its members’ suggestions.
Strengthening NCSL’s position as the only organization that lobbies on behalf of state legislatures, all current policy statements will be turned into policy “directives” that respect NCSL’s long-standing support for state sovereignty and flexibility and concerns with unfunded mandates and unwarranted federal preemption. The change will clarify NCSL’s policies and provide greater guidance for its federal relations staff in Washington, D.C. The transition from policy statements to policy directives will begin at NCSL’s 2011 Fall Forum in Tampa, Fla., and will be put up for final consideration at NCSL’s 2012 Legislative Summit in Chicago, Ill.
“NCSL already has a strong presence in Washington, representing the states’ agenda to Congress, the White House and other parts of the executive branch,” said Senator Stephen Morris of Kansas, NCSL president. “These changes will focus our lobbying efforts, and enhance our effectiveness.”
Other changes will work to further NCSL’s already robust tradition of bipartisanship. The NCSL president and president-elect will appoint legislator co-chairs to the overall officers of the Standing Committee, and to each of the Standing Committees. For each committee, a Republican and a Democrat will serve as co-chairs for two years.
“Having committees with co-chairs from both parties was suggested by legislators, and is a change that I think complements our mission as the bi-partisan voice for state legislatures,” said New Hampshire Representative Terie Norelli, NCSL vice president.
These changes to the by-laws and rules of procedure were voted on and approved at the NCSL business meeting on Aug. 11 in San Antonio, Texas.
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.