11 years working at Carolina
WHAT’S A TYPICAL DAY LIKE IN YOUR JOB?
Our office has been summarizing legislation since 1935. When the N.C. General Assembly is in session, our staff of six tracks and summarizes bills when they are filed and again when they are changed. In a typical session, that can be more than 1,000 bills. We make these bill summaries immediately available on our Legislative Reporting Service website (lrs.sog.unc.edu), which also includes the Daily Bulletin. Our website is always available, for free, to University and government employees across the state. My job is to manage workflow throughout the day, and I also edit every summary that is written for legal accuracy.
HOW DOES YOUR WORK SUPPORT CAROLINA’S MISSION?
For more than 80 years now, we have been serving the state by informing local governments, state agencies and citizens about the status of legislation and the content of that legislation. This enables them to then take than information and better understand and engage with the legislative process.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?
It’s fascinating to see how the thousands of bills proposed each year get narrowed down to the few that actually become law — only about 20 percent. It’s really interesting to see which bills have the momentum to make it all the way through and to listen to the legislators debate.
HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK IN THIS POSITION?
While I was in law school at Carolina, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career that focused on public service and later I became particularly interested in the General Assembly and the legislative process. I was fortunate enough to find a job as a temporary attorney at the Legislative Reporting Service. In November of 2007, I became director of the office.
WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Every once in a while, we get bills that are a little bit more fun. For example, there have been bills to designate the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk as the official Woolly Worm Festival of North Carolina and to adopt the bobcat as the official state cat. I enjoy these bills because they are often suggested by elementary school students. They give students a way to get involved in the legislative process and also help people realize how unique our state is.
Carolina People is a regular feature in each issue of the Gazette that asks one of your fascinating colleagues five questions about the work they do for the University. Do you know someone with an interesting or unique job at Carolina? Please email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and put Carolina People in the subject line.