The Hawaiʻi speaker will serve one year as vice president, ascend to president-elect the following year, and then become president at the Legislative Summit in 2020. NCSL leadership alternates between parties every year.
“I appreciate the opportunity to serve as vice president and look forward to working with my colleagues from around the country,” said Saiki. “NCSL has afforded legislators and staff an unrivaled opportunity to learn from the experiences of other states, exchange ideas and come up with policy solutions that can help propel our respective states and, ultimately, our entire nation forward. I also look forward to working with our Washington office to ensure federal policies are in line with state priorities.”
Hawai’i State Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi said Saiki is a great choice for the leadership position.
"Speaker Saiki has been very active in the NCSL and knows how the organization works," Kouchi said. "His strong planning, communication and leadership skills will be a great benefit to NCSL and will attest to the proficiency of Hawai’i's State Legislature."
Saiki has served as the speaker of the Hawai‘i House of Representatives since May 2017. He had previously served as majority leader. He has also been an active member of NCSL and served on the Task Force on State and Local Taxation as well as the NCSL Executive Committee.
Saiki was born in Honolulu. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and his J.D. from the University of Hawai‘i's William S. Richardson School of Law.
Senator Toi Hutchinson of Illinois became the 46th president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) at the annual Legislative Summit in Los Angeles. Hutchinson, a Democrat, succeeds Republican Senator Deb Peters of South Dakota.
Other officers elected were:
- Wisconsin Speaker Robin Vos (R), president-elect. Under his leadership, the Legislature has approved one of the largest tax cuts in Wisconsin history and became the 25th right-to-work state in our country. He is also proud of the bipartisan work in the Assembly where more than 90 percent of the bills passed receive bipartisan support. His speaker's task forces have developed important legislation on topics including mental health, rural schools, Alzheimer's and dementia, urban education and youth workforce readiness.
- Jon Heining of Texas’s Legislative Council, staff chair. Heining has worked for the Texas Legislature in a variety of positions since 2003, first as a bill analyst and attorney to the lieutenant governor and since 2006, with the Texas Legislative Council. He is currently responsible for drafting legislation, addressing personnel issues, reviewing analyses of legislation, drafting contracts, providing advice regarding ethics and open records law, answering press calls and assisting with certain parliamentary issues, just to name a few. He has been on the Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee (LSCC) for five years, and has chaired numerous other LSCC subcommittees. He has also served on the NCSL Executive Committee since 2014.
- Martha Wigton, Georgia House Budget and Research Office director, staff vice-chair. Wigton has worked for the Georgia General Assembly since 1991, first in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office as executive assistant for policy and budget and later as chief of staff. Since 2011 she has served as director of the House Budget and Research Office where she provides policy and fiscal analysis to 180 members as well as furnishes the professional staff for all 38 legislative standing committees. Wigton has been an active member of NCSL since 2011, having served on numerous NCSL committees. Most recently she has served on the NCSL Executive Committee.
Since 1975, NCSL has served as the bipartisan organization serving the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.