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 to
provide permanent staffing resources for the legislative branch of government. The
LSO was created by Act of the Forty-First Legislature, Chapter 113, Session Laws
of Wyoming, 1971. 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.
The LSO provides research and bill-drafting services, including pre-filing and distribution
of proposed legislation prior to legislative sessions. It is also responsible for
revision and recompilation of the laws of Wyoming; preparation of copy and contracting
for the printing and publication of all revisions, compilations, session laws, journals
and digests; and accounting for all legislative expenditures, supplies, and properties.
In addition, members of the staff prepare administrative rules reviews and reports,
conduct oversight evaluations of executive agency programs, conduct fiscal studies
and budget analyses, coordinate legislative activities related to school finance,
and provide general research and information services to the Legislature.
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, help identify possible solutions to
address those issues, and provide information about the pros and cons of those solutions.
The Office serves the public by providing services to the legislative branch of
government. Thirty-two staff members work within the LSO. The services provided
to members of the Wyoming Legislature by the Office are described below.
This 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
This section staffs the Joint Appropriations Committee (JAC). The section also provides
support to other committees and individual legislators on budget matters and state
expenditures. The staff develops information on revenues and prepares fiscal notes
for proposed legislation. The section manager also serves as co-chairman of the
state’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG).
Staff from the Program Evaluation Section conduct evaluations of the effectiveness
and efficiency of state government programs. This section’s work is conducted under
the direction of the Management Audit Committee (MAC). Topics are selected by the
committee, although all legislators can suggest potential program evaluation topics
for the committee’s consideration.
In November of 1995, the Wyoming Supreme Court declared the entire Wyoming K-12
school finance system unconstitutional. In response to the Supreme Court ruling,
LSO created a School Finance Office to coordinate legislative activities related
to K-12 school finance reform and for school capital construction. This section
serves as staff to the various committees charged with K-12 education responsibilities,
in addition to staffing the Education Committee. Staff coordinates K-12 legislative
activities between the Legislature, the State Department of Education, local school
districts, and education consultants.
LSO information technology personnel provide computer support for the LSO staff,
the session staff, and the Legislature. 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 and distributing
the Wyoming Statutes on diskette to the public. Technology staff also maintain a
legislative intranet and a website on the Internet, 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.
In 2003, the Legislature created additional research capacity within the LSO by
authorizing two general research positions. These staff provide policy analysis
on a wide variety of subject matters and respond to general research and information
requests from committees and individual legislators. LSO also provides research
services for legislators using analytical mapping services available from the Legislature’s
geographic information system (GIS). In addition, the Legislature employs a legislative
information officer, who coordinates legislator training, media relations, legislative
information management, and civic education activities that promote understanding
of and participation in the legislative process.
In addition to providing staffing support to the LSO, administrative service staff
provide information to legislators regarding items such as reimbursement for meetings,
stationery, parking issues, and other administrative detail. These staff members
are also responsible for answering many general questions from the public about
LSO Staff Organizational Chart