NCSL Press Release
Feb. 16, 2021
Denver—Seven legislators and two legislative staff members were recently selected to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Executive Committee. The nine new members will join the 63-member governing body of NCSL.
The Executive Committee drives the organization by supervising and controlling the affairs of the conference, its committees and publications, as well as deciding the organization’s ultimate positions on matters of public policy.
The Executive Committee meets three times a year to oversee the development and implementation of NCSL policies.
“We are pleased to have these dedicated women and men serve on NCSL’s Executive Committee,” said NCSL President and Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. “These talented new members bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table and I look forward to working with each of them.”
The new members include:
Representative Megan Blanksma, Idaho
- Blanksma was elected to the Idaho House in 2016 and currently serves as majority caucus chair. She graduated from the University of Idaho and lives in Hammett, Idaho, where she is a potato farmer with her husband and two children.
Representative Giovanni Capriglione, Texas
- Capriglione was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2012. He previously served as chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations and serves on several other committees and caucuses. Capriglione is the owner and president of his own small business, Texas Adventure Capital LLC, which provides business services to various investment fund managers and business owners. His focus is investing in Texas-based small businesses. After receiving his bachelor of science degree in physics, he pursued his MBA in finance from Santa Clara University. He has been married to his wife, Elisa, for 19 years and has three children.
Jon Courtney, New Mexico
- Courtney has worked for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee for 10 years and became the deputy director for program evaluation in 2019. Prior to his work in the legislature, he was a data evaluation specialist and behavioral scientist. He’s the immediate past chair of the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society, one of NCSL’s professional staff associations, and is a 2013 graduate of the Legislative Staff Management Institute. Courtney holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Texas Christian University.
Representative Debra Lekanoff, Washington
- Lekanoff was elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 2018 and is the only Native American woman currently serving in the legislature. Prior to her time in the legislature, she served as governmental affairs director for the Swinomish Tribe. Lekanoff serves as the vice chair on the Energy and Environment Committee and sits on others.
Natalie Mullis, Colorado
- Mullis has worked for the nonpartisan Colorado Legislative Council for 22 years and became the director in 2018. Prior to being the director, she served as chief economist and fiscal director. She’s been involved with several NCSL programs during her career, including graduating from the Legislative Staff Management Institute in 2007 and serving as a member of the National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices, one of NCSL’s professional staff associations. Mullis holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Colorado.
Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, New Jersey
- Murphy joined the New Jersey Assembly in 2018. She currently serves as the deputy majority leader and vice chair of the Judiciary Committee and sits on several other committees. She served as a legislative staffer in prominent positions for other assemblymembers before being elected.
Senate President Leroy Garcia, Colorado
- Garcia was elected to the Colorado Senate in 2014. He served as the minority leader prior to the chamber flipping in 2018, when he was selected as Senate president. Prior to his work in the Senate, he served in the House of Representatives and on the Pueblo, Colo., City Council. Garcia teaches emergency medical services at a community college and is a paramedic. From 2001 to 2007, he served in the Marine Corps and was deployed to Iraq. He lives in Pueblo with his wife and two sons.
Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, New York
- Solages is a fifth-term legislator, first elected in 2012. She is the first person of Haitian descent to be elected to the New York State Legislature. She currently serves as the Assembly deputy majority leader as well as chair of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus. Solages resides in her hometown, Elmont, N.Y., with her family and her dog.
Representative Barry Usher, Montana
- Usher was elected to the Montana House of Representatives in 2017. He serves as majority whip and chair of the Judiciary Committee. Usher is a partner in Maui Motorcycle Co. and the president of Beartooth Harley-Davidson. Previously, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He and his wife, Anne Marie, have four children.
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.