Boston—Senator Deb Peters of South Dakota became the 45th president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) at the annual Legislative Summit in Boston. Peters, a Republican, succeeds Democratic Senator Dan Blue of North Carolina.
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.
“Having been involved with NCSL for many years, I am honored to serve as president of NCSL and work alongside fellow colleagues from around the nation,” said Peters. “Not only will I work over the next year to address issues like states’ rights, taxation and health care, which should transcend party lines, but I will also work with our Washington office to ensure federal policies are in line with state priorities.”
Peters has been representing District 9 in the South Dakota Senate since 2011. In the preceding years, she served consecutively in the South Dakota House of Representatives beginning in 2005.
During her time as a senator she has focused on health and safety issues as well as e-fairness, becoming the Appropriations chair and a member on the Government Operations and Audit Committee. Peters most recently worked on the Main Street Fairness Act and the Remote Transactions Parity Act to limit burdens on retailers and encourage remote sellers to collect taxes, leveling the playing field. While involved with NCSL, Peters has been especially active in the Executive Committee's Task Force on State and Local Taxation.
Other officers elected were:
- Illinois Senator Toi Hutchinson (D), president-elect. 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.
- Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos (R), vice president. 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.
- Chuck Truesdell of Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission, staff chair. Truesdell has worked for the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission, first as an assistant public information officer, and now as a fiscal analyst. He has been on the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee for seven years, and has chaired two of three existing LSCC subcommittees. He has also served as overall staff co-chair of the NCSL Standing Committees.
- Jon Heining of Texas’s Legislative Council, staff vice-chair. Heining has worked 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.
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.