2018-2019 Chair

Marcia Goff Johnson
Research Director
House of Representatives


Immediate Past Chair

Marty Garrity
Bureau of Legislative Research


Nick Bowman
Committee Liaison

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

Kentucky to Virginia Staff Exchange
Legislative Staff Exchange

November 27-28, 2017 | Richmond, Virginia

Kentucky to Virginia: Electronic Filing of Regulations Exchange

The Southern Legislative Conference recently arranged for staff members from the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission to visit Richmond, Virginia, to learn more about the state’s Regulations Information System (RIS), a web-enabled application to file regulations and related items with the Registrar of Regulations for publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations, as well as a demonstration of the system. Staff members from the Virginia Division of Legislative Services briefed their Kentucky counterparts on the development and main functions of the RIS and also provided a demonstration of the system. Participants from both states also met with Governor Terry McAuliffe to discuss the RIS program, the staff exchange and the work of the SLC.

SLC Insurance Workshop
SLC Insurance Workshop
Legislative Staff Exchange

November 2-3, 2016 | Austin, Texas

Paperless Bill Drafting

On November 2-3, 2016, legislative staff from the Georgia House Office of Budget & Research met in Austin, at the Texas House of Representatives, for briefings, presentations and discussion on paperless appropriations committee work. In an effort to learn how the Texas Legislature adopted paperless technology in their budget and bill drafting process, staff from a number of Texas legislative agencies presented information at the meetings, including the Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Council, Speaker’s Office, House Appropriations Committee and Committee Coordinator’s Office. The sessions were organized with the assistance of staff in the House Parliamentarian’s Office.

Fall SouthTrain Program
Fall SouthTrain Program

October 20, 2016 | Jefferson City, Missouri

Missouri General Assembly Legislative Staff

The SLC SouthTrain Program convened on October 20, 2016, in Jefferson City, Missouri. Approximately 130 Missouri legislative staff participated in the all-day training, including discussions on:

Scott Raecker, former member of the Iowa House of Representatives and current director of The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, was the featured presenter for the training.  

Additional Past Programs

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