Denver—Vermont Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D) has been elected immediate past president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization serving the nation’s 7,383 state lawmakers and legislative staff.
Johnson’s election took place during NCSL’s Winter Executive Committee meeting. She will serve the remaining term of former Illinois state Senator Toi Hutchinson (D), who was appointed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) as the state’s new cannabis regulation oversight officer.
The Vermont speaker will serve as immediate past president through the August 2020 NCSL Legislative Summit in Indianapolis, at which time NCSL’s current president, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R), will assume the role. Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki (D), NCSL president-elect, will become the organization’s president and Idaho Speaker Scott Bedke (R), NCSL vice president, will ascend to president-elect. NCSL’s executive officers alternate between parties annually.
“NCSL provides critical training, research, and connections to improve the quality of work in the legislative branch of every state,” Johnson said. “I’m thrilled to join the officer’s team at this transition point for the organization to help set a strong course supporting good government around the country.”
Johnson, in her 18th session as a state representative, was elected Vermont speaker of the House Jan. 4, 2017. She is the state’s 91st speaker and third female speaker of the House. For many years, Johnson has been an active participant in NCSL events, particularly in the areas of finance management and leadership training. She is a former member of the Finance Committee and has engaged NCSL’s team in an extensive evaluation of Vermont’s legislative structure.
Born in Clifton Park, N.Y., Johnson moved to South Hero, Vt., after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont. She also holds a master's in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.
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.