Legislative Service Office
The Legislative Service Office (LSO) is the permanent, non-partisan central staff office of the Wyoming Legislature. LSO was created by the Legislature in 1971 by Act of the Forty-First Legislature, Chapter 113, Session Laws of Wyoming. The LSO commenced operations on March 1, 1971. Policies, rules, and regulations governing the general operations of the LSO and its relationship to legislative committees and individual legislators are made by the Management Council, composed of 13 legislators primarily in leadership positions. The LSO director is employed by, and subject to the direction of, the Management Council. Other employees are employed by the LSO director with the approval of Management Council. The staff is selected and services are performed on a non-partisan basis.
Legislators in Wyoming do not have individual staff. Rather, staff services for Wyoming legislators are provided by the LSO. The primary mission of the LSO is to help members of the Wyoming Legislature identify and articulate legislative issues, develop information related to those issues and help identify possible solutions. The services provided to members of the Wyoming Legislature by the Office are described below.
Legal Services Division
The Legal Services division provides bill and amendment drafting for committees and individual legislators. Members of this division serve as the staff of the Legislature’s joint interim and select committees. Staff is responsible for providing legal research services to committees and individual legislators. The division also performs reviews of agency rules and regulations as required by law under the administrative rule review process.
Budget and Fiscal Division
The Budget and Fiscal division staffs the Joint Appropriations Committee (JAC) and the Select Committee on Capital Financing and Investments. In addition, Budget and Fiscal staff provides support to other committees and individual legislators on budget matters and state expenditures. The staff develops information on revenues for the Joint Revenue Committee and prepares estimates of fiscal impacts for proposed legislation. The Budget and Fiscal Administrator serves as co-chairman of the state’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG). The Budget and Fiscal division is also responsible for overseeing legislative activities related to K-12 school finance reform and for school capital construction and is staff to the various committees charged with K-12 education responsibilities.
Program Evaluation Section
The Program Evaluation section conducts program and performance evaluations of state government programs to assure the effectiveness and efficiency of operations. Evaluations are overseen by the Management Audit Committee, which selects programs to evaluate and releases final reports. Topics considered by the Management Audit Committee for study by the Program Evaluation section may originate from Committee members, other committees or other legislators or the public.
The Research section conducts research and policy analysis on a wide variety of topics and responds to general research requests from committees and individual legislators. Typical research products include factsheets and research memoranda designed to succinctly summarize topics, as well as issue briefs and short reports which offer a more in-depth analysis of complex issues. The Research section also staffs standing committees, task forces, select committees, and other working groups.
Legislative Services Section
The Legislative Services section coordinates legislator training, media relations, legislative information management and civic education activities that promote understanding of and participation in the legislative process. In addition, staff provides operational support to the LSO staff, as well as to legislators regarding reimbursement for meetings, stationery, parking issues and other administrative details. These staff members are also responsible for answering many general questions from the public about the Legislature.
Information Technology Section
The Information Technology section provides computer support for the LSO staff, the session staff and the legislators. Computer support includes hardware and software purchase and maintenance, training, and application development. Technology staff provides support for the staff computers and the laptop computers provided to each legislator. The section is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Legislature’s bill drafting and tracking system and for maintaining the Wyoming Statutes database. Technology staff also maintains the legislative SharePoint system and legislative website, which allows the public access to a variety of legislative information, including the text of bills, committee and roll call votes during the session, and interim legislative committee activities.