Jay Hartz
Legislative Research Commission


Past Chair

Marcia Johnson
Research Director
House of Representatives


Nick Bowman

Nick Bowman
Policy Analyst

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

Oklahoma to Arkansas Staff Exchange
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Legislative Staff Exchange

November 4-5, 2019 | Little Rock, Arkansas

Bill Conflicts Report

The SLC arranged for staff from the Oklahoma Legislature to travel to Little Rock, Arkansas, to learn more about the Bureau of Legislative Research’s (BLR) bill conflicts report, an online tool that identifies when introduced legislation conflicts with existing state law. While seeking out models for their system, BLR staff visited West Virginia in 2016, under the auspices of the SLC’s Legislative Staff Exchange Program, to learn about the state’s nationally recognized code conflict software. Staff members from BLR briefed their Oklahoma counterparts on the creation and main functions of the bill conflicts report and provided a demonstration of the system.

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.

Additional Past Programs

February 8, 2019 | Atlanta, Georgia

Children’s Health and Safety Legislative Staff Workshop

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