New Leaders Were Elected at NCSL's Legislative Summit in Los Angeles
Los Angeles—Senator Toi Hutchinson of Illinois became the 46th president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) at the annual Legislative Summit in Los Angeles. Hutchinson, a Democrat, succeeds Republican Senator Deb Peters of South Dakota.
NCSL, a bipartisan organization that serves the nation’s 7,383 state lawmakers and more than 20,000 legislative staff throughout the country, alternates its leadership annually between the two parties.
"I am honored to be named president of such a distinguished organization that works to provide valuable information and resources to legislators and staff across the country,” Hutchinson said. “More than ever, as rapid changes to our economy and society accelerate, policymakers must be continuously informed and able to respond to the needs of our communities and our residents. I am proud of NCSL’s role in ensuring legislators have the tools necessary to become better leaders and I look forward to continuing working with such a talented and dedicated organization.”
Hutchinson has served in the Illinois Senate since 2009 and currently serves as chairwoman of the Senate Revenue Committee.
In that role, Hutchinson introduced legislation to close corporate tax loopholes, and passed legislation increasing the earned income tax credit as well as the standard tax exemption. As a senator, Hutchinson has placed a high priority on working to modernize Illinois’ tax structure, protecting women and children from violence and exploitation, and supporting construction projects that create jobs while also maintaining Illinois’ position as an international transportation hub.
Other officers elected were:
- Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos (R), president-elect. Under his leadership, the Legislature has approved one of the largest tax cuts in Wisconsin history and became the 25th right-to-work state in our country. He is also proud of the bipartisan work in the Assembly where more than 90 percent of the bills passed receive bipartisan support. His speaker's task forces have developed important legislation on topics including mental health, rural schools, Alzheimer's and dementia, urban education and youth workforce readiness.
- Hawaii Speaker Scott Saiki (D), vice president. He was first elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives in 1994, where he has served as majority leader, chair of the Labor Committee, chair of the Hawaiian Affairs Committee and co-chair of the Senate-House Investigative Committee. The Democrat, who represents the state’s 26th district, was named House Speaker in 2017.
- Jon Heining of Texas’s Legislative Council, staff chair. Heining has worked for the Texas Legislature in a variety of positions since 2003, first as a bill analyst and attorney to the lieutenant governor and since 2006, with the Texas Legislative Council. He is currently responsible for drafting legislation, addressing personnel issues, reviewing analyses of legislation, drafting contracts, providing advice regarding ethics and open records law, answering press calls and assisting with certain parliamentary issues, just to name a few. He has been on the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee (LSCC) for five years, and has chaired numerous other LSCC subcommittees. He has also served on the NCSL Executive Committee since 2014.
- Martha Wigton, Georgia House Budget and Research Office director, staff vice-chair. Wigton has worked for the Georgia General Assembly since 1991, first in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office as executive assistant for policy and budget and later as chief of staff. Since 2011 she has served as director of the House Budget and Research Office where she provides policy and fiscal analysis to 180 members as well as furnishes the professional staff for all 38 legislative standing committees. Wigton has been an active member of NCSL since 2011, having served on numerous NCSL committees. Most recently she has served on the NCSL Executive Committee.
NCSL is governed by a 63-member Executive Committee, elected yearly, which includes both legislators and staff, under the leadership of seven officers.
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.