Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

:

NCSLStudy Proposal

December 2013

Denver 7700 East First Place Denver, Colorado 80230 Phone 303.364.7700 Fax 303.364.7800

Washington 444 North Capitol Street, N.W. Suite 515 Washington, D.C. 20001 Phone 202.624.5400 Fax 202.737.1069

www.ncsl.org

NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES

KENTUCKY GENERAL ASSEMBLY PROPOSAL

Overview and Discussion of Options
The Kentucky Legislative Research Commission (LRC) voted unanimously on October 2, 2013 to consider engaging the National Conference of State Legislatures as a consultant to study the operations of the LRC staff and to assist the General Assembly in hiring a new LRC director. NCSL representatives met with Kentucky legislative leaders and key staff on October 14 -15 to explore opportunities for NCSL assistance and to develop a plan for this engagement. NCSL staff also presented a range of study options to the Commission at its meeting on November 6, 2013. This revised proposal incorporates changes proposed by the General Assembly after the November meeting. NCSL proposes to assist the LRC in two areas: 1) conduct a review of LRC staff operations and; 2) provide documents to assist in the hiring of a new LRC director. 1) Review of LRC Staff Operations. NCSL has conducted studies of legislative staff organizations in many states using a proven methodology and drawing on our knowledge of comparative legislative operations. The review of Kentucky LRC staff will compare LRC practices to staff operations and practices in other state legislatures with similar characteristics. The review will include:       Extensive interviews of LRC staff and Kentucky legislators conducted by NCSL staff. Collection of LRC documents relevant to management, processes and practices. Distribution of opinion surveys to all Kentucky legislators and LRC staff. Comparison of the LRC to similar operations in other state legislatures and review best practices. Review of relevant managerial and operational aspects of the LRC senior staff including staff structure. and interconnection with legislative leadership and members. Review of LRC employee personnel policies and management practices.

2) Director Recruitment and Hiring. NCSL has assisted several legislatures in their efforts to recruit and hire senior-level staff directors and managers. NCSL will help the LRC on the following recruitment tasks:   Development of job qualifications, announcement and recruitment criteria. National distribution of the job announcement to state legislatures.

Review of LRC Staff Operations
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) proposes to work with the Kentucky General Assembly to review the management practices and structure of the Legislative Research Commission (LRC). The NCSL study team will begin this project in January 2014 and conclude its work by April 25, 2014. The proposed study has the following objectives:   Review relevant managerial and operational aspects of the Legislative Research Commission staff including staff structure, communication and employee personnel policies and practices. Compare the LRC to similar operations in other state legislatures and review best practices.
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NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES

KENTUCKY GENERAL ASSEMBLY PROPOSAL

Study Methodology: LRC Staff Review
NCSL has developed a proven methodology for the conduct of legislative studies. In this project, NCSL will combine several assessment tools and activities to analyze LRC staffing and operations. These tools and activities will include: Clarification of study goals and objectives: The study team will meet with legislative leaders and senior staff at the outset of the project to ensure that planned activities are aligned with legislative goals for the work. The team will continue close consultation with these stakeholders throughout the project, including submission of an interim report outlining project progress and preliminary findings. In-depth, structured in-person Interviews: NCSL's methodology depends heavily on information and opinion gathered through structured interviews with members and staff. The study team will spend the bulk of its on-site time conducting these confidential interviews. Member and staff surveys: NCSL will distribute, compile and analyze two surveys. An all-legislator survey will measure members’ satisfaction with LRC staff services and identify areas that need improvement. A survey of all staff will gather information on management practices and related issues. In addition to gathering valuable information, these surveys will ensure that all legislators and staff will have an opportunity to provide input on the study, even though we will not be able to interviews all of them. Collection of relevant data, products and policies: The study team will collect staffing data, reports, manuals and other materials relevant to the project. NCSL's unique expertise on state legislatures allows it to compare these items to products, policies and practices in other states and to accepted standards of practice.

Proposed Project Time Line: LRC Staff Review
This project can begin in January 2014 with a final report submitted on or before April 25, 2014. January 2014   Travel to Frankfort to meet with legislative leaders and legislative staff managers to conduct initial interviews and to brief all staff of the LRC about the project. Gather data and materials on current staff organization, policies and practices.

February 2014    Collect comparable, relevant data from other state legislatures. Review results of initial interviews and data collection and revise, as necessary, planned project activities and strategies. Develop and distribute surveys to Kentucky legislators and staff.

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NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES

KENTUCKY GENERAL ASSEMBLY PROPOSAL

February/March 2014   Conduct second on-site visit to Frankfort to continue interviews and other site-specific work. Prepare and submit interim project report to Commission.

March 2014       Collect and compile survey responses. Conduct final on-site work in Frankfort including interviews, data collection and discussions of work-to-date with appropriate staff and legislators. Finalize collection and analysis of comparative state data and other resource material. Compare findings to benchmarks and best practices. Assess and reach consensus on critical issues. Begin development of draft report.

April 2014  Submit to the Commission a draft report for consideration and comment. NCSL and the Commission will collaborate on the most useful format and approach for presenting NCSL's final report.* Deliver final report in format requested by the Commission. At the option of the Commission, the NCSL project team will make a presentation of its report in Frankfort.

 

*A formal, written final report (usually combined with an on-site presentation by the NCSL study team) is the standard approach and format for presenting results for these projects.

Study Team: LRC Staff Review
NCSL will assign four staff to the project. Brian Weberg, director, NCSL Legislative Management Program. Brian will serve as the team leader on this project. He has extensive experience as a project team leader and has conducted management reviews, compensation studies and human resources projects for state legislatures in 20 state legislatures. He also has provided training and consultation to staff in national and regional legislative institutions in Africa, Central America and Europe. Brian has more than 32 years of experience working with state legislatures on staffing and related issues. Brian holds a masters degree in public administration from the University of Denver and is a certified Global Professional in Human Resource Management (GPHR). Karl Kurtz, director, NCSL Trust for Representative Democracy. Karl has worked for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) since its founding in 1975. He is director of NCSL’s Trust for Representative Democracy, a public outreach and education program designed to promote civic
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NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES

KENTUCKY GENERAL ASSEMBLY PROPOSAL

engagement and counter public cynicism and distrust toward American democracy. Karl has directed management studies of the New Hampshire and Hawaii Legislatures and facilitated the development of strategic plans for legislative staff agencies in New Mexico and Florida. He is coauthor of two books on state legislatures. He has also provided advice and assistance in the development of democratic institutions to legislators and legislative staff in Africa, Europe and South America. Before joining NCSL, Karl taught political science at the University of Georgia and worked on the staff of the United States Congress as a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association. He holds an AB degree from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. from Washington University (St. Louis). Todd Haggerty, policy specialist, NCSL Fiscal Affairs Program. Todd’s focus is on fiscal matters such as state budget and tax policy. He contributes to NCSL's fiscal reports including State Budget Update, State Budget Actions and State Tax Actions and serves as the NCSL liaison to the National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices and the New York and Vermont state legislatures. Todd joined NCSL in September of 2008. He has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado. Natalie O'Donnell Wood, program principal, Center for Ethics in Government/NCSL Legislative Management Program. Natalie is a senior member of NCSL’s Legislative Management Program and the Ethics Center where she specializes in legislative ethics and lobbying policies and conducts ethics trainings for legislators and staff. She is also NCSL’s liaison to the Leadership Staff Section, serving staff who work for legislative leaders and party caucuses. Natalie has been with NCSL for 13 years and has worked on legislative staffing issues since 2004. She has participated in NCSL legislative studies in Washington and Wyoming. Natalie holds a master’s degree in political science, politics and public policy from the University of Colorado Denver.

Project Budget: LRC Staff Review
NCSL asks the General Assembly to pay a portion of the salary costs for the personnel assigned to the project based on the amount of time required to complete the work. NCSL will contribute a substantial portion to NCSL staff salaries. NCSL also asks the General Assembly to pay for a portion of the direct costs incurred in completing the project such as NCSL staff travel and the costs for any special data or materials that may be necessary. NCSL will pay for miscellaneous direct costs such as supplies, shipping and printing. The table on the following page shows a breakdown of all the costs associated with conducting the LRC staff review project. The proposed cost to the Kentucky General Assembly for the study is $42,410. NCSL will contribute $32,968 in in-kind support for the project. The total cost of the LRC staff review is $75,377.

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NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES

KENTUCKY GENERAL ASSEMBLY PROPOSAL

Budget for Kentucky LRC Staff Review 2014
NCSL Days on Project 24 22 23 22 3 Kentucky General Assembly Total

Staff costs (1 senior staff @ $530/day ea.) (1 senior staff @ $550/day ea.) (1 analyst @ $220/day) (1 analyst @ $220/day) (1 clerical support @ $150/day) Benefits (35% of staff salaries)

$6,360 $6,050 $2,530 $2,420 $225

$6,360 $6,050 $2,530 $2,420 $225

$12,720 $12,100 $5,060 $4,840 $450

$6,155 Subtotal Travel costs (three trips) 4 flights @ $500 ea x 4 11 nights hotel @ $130 ea. x 4 15 days rental car @ $30/day 15 days meals & misc @ $75 ea. x4 Subtotal Miscellaneous costs Supplies Printing Photocopy Freight Telephone IT ($950 per FTE per month) Rent (10% of Salaries) $23,740

$6,155 $23,740

$12,310 $47,480

$0 $0 $0 $0 $0

$8,000 $5,720 $450 $4,500 $18,670

$8,000 $5,720 $450 $4,500 $18,670

$50 $125 $75 $50 $380 $3,800 $4,748

$0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

$50 $125 $75 $50 $380 $3,800 $4,748

Subtotal Total costs

$9,228 $32,968

$0 $42,410

$9,228 $75,377

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NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES

KENTUCKY GENERAL ASSEMBLY PROPOSAL

Director Recruitment and Hiring
NCSL will provide the following services at no cost to the Kentucky General Assembly. 1) Development of Job Description and Job Announcement Language: NCSL has extensive experience writing and editing legislative position descriptions. An accurate and concise job description is a key element in an effective recruitment process. NCSL can help in its design and drafting. NCSL has multi-state information and examples of director-level job specifications and competencies. Similarly, NCSL can review and make recommendations on job announcement language that will help potential candidates understand the position and motivate strong candidates to respond to the recruitment effort. 2) Job Posting and Recruitment Advertising. If the General Assembly decides to conduct a national search, NCSL can post the job announcement on its Jobs Clearinghouse webpage. This national clearinghouse of legislative job announcements is a fast and effective way to get the posting to a highly relevant audience of potential candidates. NCSL also can circulate the job announcement directly to legislative staff directors, legislative HR offices and other staff who might be interested in the position.

Proposed Project Time Line: Director Hiring Services
NCSL will provide these services according to the deadlines required by the General Assembly.

Study Team: Director Hiring Services
NCSL will assign appropriate staff to this project as available and as appropriate to the various tasks required.

Project Budget: Director Hiring Services
These services are considered basic services covered by the annual dues paid to NCSL by the Kentucky General Assembly.

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