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  • Meagan Dorsch
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Washington, D.C.
Aug. 18, 2011

Spaw Selected to Help Lead Nation’s Legislative Staff

The Secretary of the Senate in Texas will serve in a national leadership role for legislative staff across the country.

DENVER – Patsy Spaw has been elected staff vice-chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). She will serve as staff vice chair for 2011-2012 and succeed to the position of staff chair in 2012. NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the nation’s 7,382 state lawmakers and more than 25,000 legislative staff.

“Talented, well-trained legislative staff are essential to effective and efficient legislatures, and NCSL is the only organization that fully supports legislative staff, provides professional development opportunities and recognizes the importance of furthering their institutional knowledge," said Spaw. "The need for dedicated and  professional legislative staff is more critical than ever before with the monumental changes and events occurring in and faced by state legislatures. I am honored to represent legislative staff as staff vice chair of NCSL as we face those challenges together.”

Spaw is the secretary of the Senate in the Texas Legislature. As secretary of the Senate, she is the chief executive administrator of the Senate and is responsible for the operational functions of the Senate. She supervises the elected officers and department directors of the Senate, and controls and coordinates the operation of the central Senate staff. She was elected secretary in 2001 following more than 30 years of Senate employment, which included more than 20 years as an elected Senate officer.

Spaw was selected to be the staff vice chair at the 37th annual NCSL Legislative Summit in San Antonio. She has been a member of the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries since 1977, and served as its president in 2007-2008. She served on NCSL’s Executive Committee from 2008-2011, and was staff vice chair of the Budget, Finance and Rules Subcommittee. An active member of NCSL’s Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee, Patsy chaired the Professional Development Work Group in 2010-2011.

NCSL is the only national organization that provides training, professional growth opportunities and information sharing for legislative staff. There are 14 staff sections and networks that sponsor meetings, training and publications. Legislative staff are also eligible to be members of the NCSL standing committees, which address state policy issues and state-federal issues.

Spaw received her bachelor of liberal arts from Saint Edwards University  in Austin, Texas, and her juris doctor from The University of Texas School of Law in Austin.  She is a native of 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.