Brian Weberg, Director of NCSL Center for Legislative Strengthening, next presented on the composition of human resources (HR) offices in state legislatures. He stated that legislatures have been reviewing their respective HR structures in terms of location, jurisdiction, and scope. He distributed a memo that outlines six general HR organizational approaches applied by state legislatures (Attachment H). These six types range from no official HR office or personnel to caucus or chamber-based ones to a centralized office that services all personnel.
Committee members asked questions about HR functions and jurisdiction, including non-partisan staff, aides, and other at-will, short-term employees. The committee expressed interest in developing an HR office that could endure various administrations. Mr. Weberg reiterated that HR should be able to stand on its own and not have a relationship to partisan politics.
The committee discussed workplace culture and diversity, as well as other more traditional aspects of HR, such as job classifications, salary, hiring, candidate recruitment, equal pay, overtime policies, and payroll.
Committee members discussed training, accommodations, accountability, the role of leadership,and ethics. Further discussion ensued about the difficulties and conflicts with holding elected officials accountable.
Mr. Weberg continued to explain the scope of HR offices in other states and provided examples of various models, including the roles of the HR administrator and victims advocate. In response to a question about an ombudsman, he was unaware of states that have employed one for this purpose.