Library DrawingThe CONNector

NOVEMBER 2001Volume 3 Number 4

Luncheon Celebrates Collaboration Between Two Government Branches

Steve Mirsky, Supervisor of the Bill Room

Graphic of place settingOn September 26, the Bill Room at CSL hosted its annual Legislative Staff Luncheon in Memorial Hall at the Connecticut State Library. This event was organized to commemorate the collaboration between two branches of government (the Legislative and Executive - CSL is part of the executive branch) and also to foster and celebrate the important working relationships that the Bill Room and the State Library has with key legislative staff in the General Assembly. The two branches work together to inform and educate the public about the legislative process and to improve access to the legislative process.

Among the attendees at the luncheon were Ann Clark, Permanent Assistant House Clerk and State Library Board Chairperson; Vita Hardy, Permanent Assistant Senate Clerk; and Lawrence Furbish, Director of the Office of Legislative Research. Staff members were also invited from the offices of Legislative Information Technology, Legislative Management, and each of the Joint Standing Committees of the General Assembly. The luncheon provided the opportunity for everyone attending to see some new faces as well as reaffirm longstanding friendships.

The event began with a greeting by Kendall Wiggin, State Librarian who gave an introduction to the State Library's current objectives and key resources that make our agency's mission unique and useful to other state agencies and the general public. Next, Steve Mirsky, Bill Room Supervisor, thanked everyone for attending and announced plans to begin working on a project with the CT General Assembly's Information Technology Services. One key objective mentioned was the posting of official copies of legislative transcripts online on the CGA website. Starting with the 2002 legislative session, these electronic transcripts would be complete with citations and page numbers that court personnel and the general public frequently request.

Finally, Steve Mirsky introduced Neeru Ohri, guest speaker and member of Toastmaster's of Hartford, and she proceeded with a humorous speech on the 10 steps that need to be followed to prepare a good speech. As guests dined on lasagna and salad, Neeru drew chuckles and occasional bursts of laughter. Mirth and good conversation was had by all and marked the luncheon's success.

The Bill Room at CSL has a long history of working closely with the Legislature. The Office of Legislative Management has sponsored the Bill Room Legislative Intern every year since 1981. Each session Cheryl Fox, librarian/indexer at CSL, works from one of the original copies of the bills (which are hand delivered to her several times a day as they become available) and creates the on-line subject index for the legislative website. The Legislature publishes this annually in paper as The Legislative Record Index. She works very closely with Lois Sullivan of the Legislative Commissioner's Office and Paul Alderucci of the Legislative IT Department.

Jean Kincaid-Ross and Richard Scholz, Bill Room staff who index the transcripts, provide much valuable feedback to the legislative staff by catching typographical errors and other mistakes. They interact daily with Sandra Forte of the Legislative Management Office, Tim Kehoe of the Senate Clerk's Office, Anita DeLorenzo of the House Clerk's Office and Vicky Beauregard of the Legislative IT Department.

Mario Colagiovanni and Beth Barrett, IT professionals at CSL, also attended the luncheon. Together with Roger Schyns and Tim Putnam of the Legislative IT Department, they keep the computers in the Bill Room at CSL connected to the Legislative Intranet.

The attendees had a good time, renewed working relationships and are looking forward to next year's luncheon.

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