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November 16, 2010

State Legislators Named as Top Government Officials

Governing Magazine announces their top list of 2010. 

DENVER - Three state legislators have been honored as some of the top public officials of 2010.

This annual awards program by GOVERNING, now in its 17th year, recognizes leaders from state, city and county government for outstanding accomplishments in their department/agency, community or state, according to the company's press release.

Texas Representative Jerry A. Madden and Senator John Whitmire led efforts, as part of a budget package, to divert thousands of offenders from prison to rehabilitation facilities. The plan reduces reliance on incarceration, avoiding construction of costly new prisons, while also providing services to help these offenders more safely and successfully reenter communities. The strategy has received national attention and is one that other states are looking to as part of corrections reforms.

"I share this accomplishment with my colleague and friend in the Senate, Senator Whitmire. We are tough on crime, but smart on crime, as well as good stewards of your taxpayers'  monies,” said Representative Madden.

Representative Diana S. Urban of Connecticut was the architect and prime mover behind Results Based Accountability legislation, which requires all Connecticut state agencies to submit performance metrics along with budgets – the first legislation of its kind in the United States.

Representative Madden was the chair of the NCSL Law and Criminal Justice Committee in 2009-2010. In his work, he became very involved with NCSL’s lobbying efforts to increase flexibility for state implementation of the sex offender registry provisions of the Adam Walsh Act, and worked in a bipartisan fashion with colleagues on the Law and Criminal Justice and Human Services Committees to spotlight the emerging issue of human trafficking in the states. Senator Whitmire currently sits on NCSL's Law & Criminal Justice Committee. Representative Urban is currently a member of NCSL's Ag and Energy Committee and has served on the Environment committee in the past.

Public Officials of the Year are selected from nominations submitted by readers, experts in the public and private sectors and the GOVERNING editorial team. Among the qualities recognized are leadership, courage, innovation, creativity and good management.

Award winners are profiled in the November issue of the magazine and will be honored at a dinner in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 18, 2010.

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.