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Research Requests Do Not Scare Us!

By Kae M. Warnock  |  May 8, 2023

Did you know that NCSL answers thousands of questions every year from legislators and legislative staff? 

Legislators ask all sorts of questions to help them understand policy issues or guide decisions on language to include in bill drafts. NCSL provides fact-based information on issues, statutory language, the legislative process and so much more. NCSL staff track more than 1,400 topics and provide testimony before legislative committees. 

How can you find this valuable information?

While the Research & Policy page on the NCSL website lists a wealth of material, frankly it’s a fraction of what’s available to NCSL members. NCSL staff are constantly gathering new data and information. Just click on the envelope icon on any general topic page and type your question. Your message will go directly to an NCSL expert in that subject area.

What topics does NCSL track?

This is like asking how deep the ocean is, but I’ll give it a whirl. Interested in agriculture and rural economic development, civil and criminal justice, education, elections, energy, environment, financial services, fiscal, health, human serviceslabor and employment, military and veteran affairs, state-federal issues, technology or transportation? NCSL has you covered. If you are not finding exactly what you need on these broad topical pages, never fear. Just click the envelope icon to send your question to an NCSL expert in that topic area.

You may be asking yourself whether NCSL can help with more obscure questions. How about legislative rules on dress codes? Yep. Limiting social media on legislative devices? Yep again. You can find answers to these and other operational questions by visiting the Center for Legislative Strengthening and clicking on the envelope. Interested in student recovery and teacher recruitment? You can find that here. How about solutions for high insulin costs? Check out the page on prescription drug costs. Just trying to understand other legislatures? Here are legislative session calendars, or visit Legislatures at a Glance to learn about legislative leaders, party control and demographic data.

Did you know that NCSL has a dedicated specialist assigned to your legislature?

Feel free to contact your NCSL state liaison for personal assistance in finding the topical expert you need. 

Or, if you’d like to look for a specific topic and contact the expert, visit the A to Z Issues and NCSL Contacts page. 

Just remember, we are here for you and that a wealth of information is just a phone call or email away. Ask your NCSL state liaison for assistance or click on the envelope on any policy topic page to talk with our information specialists. 

Want to get more involved with NCSL or attend a meeting?

As members of NCSL, legislative staff have access to resources and services designed to support you in your work and legislative careers. Simply put: You can Excel with NCSL! Take a look at the NCSL Events page for upcoming meetings and webinars.  

Kae Warnock is a senior policy specialist in NCSL’s Legislative Staff Services Program.

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