The Clinic – Episode 8: The Staff/Sponsor Relationship (transcript)

Today we have a very special episode of The Clinic.  In  addition  to  Keri  and  Michelle,  we’ve  got  the  legislative  staffer  who  they’ve  been  working with very  closely,  Carli  Olson,  in  Assembly Member  Maienschein’s office  joining  us. The conversation focuses less on AB 1784 and the legislative process and more on the relationship between the legislative staffer and bill sponsors.

Keri, Michelle, and Carli give insights into their relationship and communication strategies in order to ensure their bill’s success. Carli also tells us what she looks for in a bill sponsor such as willingness to adjust bill language, successful interpersonal relationships, and level of commitment to the bill passage.

One of the main obstacles in the staff/sponsor relationship can be managing amendments to the bill. Luckily, Keri, Michelle, and Carli have demonstrated an effective way to avoid tension and disagreement through maintaining open communication and respect. Keri and Michelle also explain that when they propose amendments and they are denied, they trust in the expertise of the legislative staff and the Assembly Member. The same is also in the reverse, Carli states that while she has done research on the subject, Keri and Michelle are experts and can provide insight to any questions Carli or Assembly Member Maienschein have.

Once again, a special thank you to Carli Olson for her candor and an insight into how she works with bill sponsors.

The Clinic is going to be taking a break for the next few weeks. As you remember, AB 1784 is currently sitting in the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s Suspense File. The deadline to move those bills isn’t until May 25, so we likely won’t see any action on the bill until after that date. We’ll be back with you as soon as there’s some movement.

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode!