The Office of Legislative Counsel has operated in state government for more than a century to assist the Legislature, the Governor, and other state officers by providing nonpartisan legal services supporting the legislative process.
Beginning in the 1970s, at the request of the Legislature, the OLC began to implement computer capabilities to support the process of drafting and printing legislation. Since then, the office has delivered an array of technology services to improve the efficiency of additional business processes and expand public access to legislative information.
Legislative Counsel Bureau
Attorneys in the office, with the assistance of highly trained support staff:
- Draft bills, constitutional amendments, resolutions, and proposed amendments to those measures
- Render legal opinions on issues of constitutionality, statutory interpretation, and other legal matters
- Provide counsel to the Members and committees of the Legislature
- Represent the Senate and Assembly in litigation
- Prepare contracts for services to the Senate and Assembly
- Provide various legal services to the Governor
- Assist in the preparation of an initiative measure when requested to do so by 25 or more electors
- Assist judges in the drafting of legislation
Other legislative support services provided by the office include the following:
- During each legislative session, the office's Indexing Unit prepares an index of pending bills (the Legislative Index), and tables identifying sections of existing law affected by pending measures.
- At the end of each legislative session, the Indexing Unit compiles and indexes the state publication of the session laws, including the "Summary Digest of Statutes Enacted"; produces a compilation, for the bills that were enacted into law, of the Legislative Counsel's Digests; prepares an analysis and index of the bills; and publishes a table of the sections of law affected by the bills.
- Preparation and publication for various state agencies of specific code compilations.
Legislative Data Center
The Office of Legislative Counsel operates the Legislative Data Center, which provides Technology Services to the Legislature and processes legislative measures. In addition, since 1994 the Legislative Counsel has maintained an internet site for public information on legislation, which includes information regarding pending legislation and existing law.
The OLC’s Administrative Branch supports OLC legislative lawyers, Data Center technical staff, other employees, and agency management with a variety of business services. The services include:
- Accounting and budgeting
- Business services, courier services, and facilities management
- Equal employment opportunity
- Human resources and wellness
- Legal files handling
- Legal support
- Professional development and training
Workplace Conduct Unit
Consistent with the Legislature’s “Policy on Appropriate Workplace Conduct: Creating a Culture of Respect, Civility and Diversity,” the OLC established the Workplace Conduct Unit (WCU) on February 1, 2019, as an independent unit reporting directly to the Legislative Counsel. The WCU employs qualified, trained investigators, who are fair and respectful of complainants, witnesses, and respondents. The investigators conduct prompt, independent, and objective investigations of allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct by legislative employees, legislative Members, or third parties, based on a person’s protected class.