Marcia Johnson
Research Director
House of Representatives


Past Chair

Marty Garrity
Bureau of Legislative Research


Nick Bowman

Nick Bowman
Research and Publications Associate

Throughout its nearly seven decades, the SLC has encouraged regional cooperation and networking among key legislative staff members in the South. The Conference’s LSA Directors Group comprises the staff executives charged with the full range of administrative and programmatic services for the legislative bodies in the 15 Southern states. Meetings of the LSA Directors’ Group include presentations on, and analysis of, the disparate bill drafting and information management systems employed by the legislatures in their respective states; open meeting and open records provisions; state legislative committee structures and staffing patterns; state redistricting initiatives; legislative personnel policies; and Freedom of Information in a legislative agency.

Each year the LSA Directors presents the Carter/Hellard Staff Excellence Award to a legislative staff member in the South who has demonstrated distinguished service to their state’s legislature.

Legislative Staff Exchange Program (LSEP)

The Legislative Staff Exchange Program (LSEP) provides opportunities for legislative staff in SLC member states to participate in peer-to-peer briefings and exchanges to develop effective strategies, identify best practices and share innovative ideas across a broad spectrum of legislative processes. Tailored for the particular needs and schedules of the participants, LSEPs are held in both formal and informal group settings, with funding provided by the SLC.


The SLC periodically arranges for policy experts to visit member state capitols and conduct workshops on pre-selected topics for legislative staff. The topics and presenters are decided in close consultation with senior staff in the respective legislative staff office. All costs related to the workshop are borne by the SLC.

Recent Programs

Electronic Filing of Regulations
Legislative Staff Exchange

September 9-10, 2019 | Richmond, Virginia

Electronic Filing of Regulations
The SLC arranged for legislative staff from the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research (BLR) to travel to Richmond, Virginia, to learn more about the state’s Regulation Information System (RIS), a web-enabled application to file regulations and rules with the Registrar of Regulations for publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations. Arkansas House Bill 1429 (2019) requires BLR to compile, format and index the codification of all state agency rules. Staff members from the Division of Legislative Services briefed their Arkansas counterparts on the development and main functions of the RIS and also provided a demonstration of the system.

Paperless Committee System
Legislative Staff Exchange

May 7-8, 2019 | Charleston, West Virginia

Paperless Committee System

On May 7-8, 2019, the Southern Legislative Conference arranged for legislative staff from the Georgia House of Representatives and the Office of Legislative Counsel to travel to the West Virginia Capitol to learn more about West Virginia’s paperless committee system. The Georgia House of Representatives is in the process of creating their own paperless committee system. The clerks of the West Virginia House of Representatives and Senate, along with staff from the Legislative Services Division, Legislative Automated Services Division and other offices gave demonstrations and presentations on the history and operations of West Virginia’s paperless system. Specific issues discussed include: access to the paperless system; software and hardware used; and how the bill drafting system works.

Children’s Health and Safety Legislative Staff Workshop Photo
More Photos

February 8, 2019 | Atlanta, Georgia

Children’s Health and Safety Legislative Staff Workshop

On Friday, February 8, 2019, legislative staff from Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia attended a policy workshop organized by the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC). Staff whose committee purviews include health and human services, public safety and criminal justice received briefings and participated in roundtable discussions about issues important to children’s safety and well-being, including foster care, sexual exploitation, school climate and behavioral health.

Staff heard from medical professionals and public health officials about the impact of the ongoing opioid epidemic on states’ foster care systems, followed by a comprehensive overview of the Family First Prevention Services Act, signed into law in February 2018 to improve child welfare outcomes across the nation. Staff also had an opportunity to hear from three Georgia-based experts about the state’s approach to addressing sexual abuse and exploitation of children, promoting safe and healthy school climates, and providing robust behavioral health services for all students.

Presenters included representatives from the Georgia Department of Education; National Alliance on Mental Illness; Casey Family Programs, the nation’s largest operating foundation focused on reducing the need for foster care; and Georgia Cares, a statewide coordinating agency connecting services and treatment for child victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking.  

Additional Past Programs

Legislative Staff Exchange
October 29-30, 2018 | Jackson, Mississippi

Oklahoma to Mississippi: PEER Committee

Legislative Staff Exchange
November 27-28, 2017 | Richmond, Virginia

Kentucky to Virginia: Electronic Filing of Regulations Exchange

Legislative Staff Exchange
November 2-3, 2016 | Austin, Texas

Paperless Bill Drafting

October 20, 2016 | Jefferson City, Missouri

Missouri General Assembly Legislative Staff

October 16-17, 2016 | Atlanta, Georgia

Insurance Workshop for Legislative Staff Attorneys

Legislative Staff Exchange
September 9, 2016 | Raleigh, North Carolina

Virginia to North Carolina: Fiscal Staff Exchange

Legislative Staff Exchange
January 5-6, 2016

Arkansas to West Virginia: Code Conflict Exchange

Legislative Staff Exchange
January 20-22, 2016 | Little Rock, Arkansas

Louisiana to Arkansas: Bill Drafting Exchange

Legislative Staff Exchange
November 13, 2014 | Atlanta, Georgia

Louisiana to Georgia: Budget Process Exchange

November 6, 2014 | Baton Rouge, Louisiana

SouthTrain 2014

Legislative Staff Exchange
October 21-23, 2014 | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Energy and Environment

Legislative Staff Exchange
September 23, 2014 | Little Rock, Arkansas


October 28-30, 2011 | Atlanta, Georgia

LSA Directors Group Pre-Legislative Workshop