Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Rick Combs plans to retire from his position at the end of January, with a replacement expected to come on board in February.
During a legislative interim meeting on Friday, state lawmakers voted to proceed with an in-house, outside recruitment process for Comb’s replacement, with a meeting expected in February 2020 to select a replacement director.
Combs, who did not return a Thursday email seeking comment, was initially appointed to the position of Legislative Counsel Bureau director in 2012, taking over from longtime former director Lorne Malkiewich (himself appointed in 1994).
The Legislative Counsel Bureau is a nonpartisan service agency designed to give state lawmakers assistance in bill drafting, research and other governmental services both during and in between legislative sessions. Divisions in the bureau include an audit division, legal division, research division, administrative division and fiscal analysis division. In addition to overseeing the divisions, the director is responsible for the registration and oversight of lobbyists, dealing with media requests, training new legislators and overseeing maintenance of the legislative building and grounds.
Under the timeline approved by lawmakers, the job posting will be officially advertised starting next week, and the same panel of lawmakers will meet again in February 2020 to interview finalists and vote on recommendations for a new director to the full Legislative Commission.
Combs told the committee he was pushing his retirement date back to the end of January (as opposed to the first few , and said he would be around to help legislators regardless in the interim period before they select a new director.
“That is when I will cease being an employee, but what I will be is a lifelong person who cares about the LCB,” he said. “So even after that date, if there’s something that needed from me from either the folks at LCB or you all, I will make myself available.”
According to the job posting provided to lawmakers, the LCB Director’s current annual salary is $167,000 with an employee/employer-paid retirement plan, or $147,000 under an employer-only retirement plan.