The Office of Legislative Services (OLS)
operates under the jurisdiction of the Legislative
Services Commission, a 16-member bipartisan panel
with equal representation from each house. The commission
establishes general operating and budgetary policies
for OLS, appoints its primary officers (executive
director, legislative counsel, legislative budget
and finance officer and director of public information)
and delegates authority for day-to-day operations
and personnel actions to the executive director. As
nonpartisan employees of the Legislature, members
of the OLS staff are prohibited from engaging in political
activity or taking a public position with regard to
any matter before the Legislature.
Type of Services
The Office of Legislative Services is an agency of
the Legislature established by law to provide professional,
nonpartisan staff support services to the Legislature
and its officers, members, committees and commissions.
The services which are available include:
legal and fiscal research and analysis
note preparation committee
| district office
rental and supply
of bills and legislative documents
computer data-base management
public information programs
general administrative services
personnel program management
Nature of Assistance
By law, all communications
between legislators and OLS are confidential. The
Office will not disclose to a third party the nature
of an assignment nor the name of the legislator requesting
the information or research unless so authorized by
the legislator. Similarly, drafts of bills and other
research products will not be released except upon
specific direction of the legislator.
The Office has no
authority to formulate legislative policy and may
only undertake bill drafting or research assignments
upon the initiative of a legislator or committee.
In assisting a legislator in the preparation of a
bill, OLS will provide guidance for technical form
and may offer suggestions as to content and legal
or constitutional issues, but the final decision regarding
the bill's substantive provisions rests with the legislator.
Requests for Assistance
While a legislator
may contact any member of the OLS staff for assistance,
the Office recommends that requests for research and
bill drafting be made directly to the Central Management
Unit (609-847-3880). Requests for other services should
be directed to the appropriate OLS unit as described
in this directory. For information concerning committee
activities, a legislator should contact the committee
Although OLS does
not provide research assistance to the general public,
it does maintain a toll-free information service in
New Jersey (800-792-8630) through which the public
(as well as legislators) may inquire as to the status
of a bill, the calendar of events, legislative rosters,
legislative procedures and other general information.
For Hearing Impaired users: Dial 711 for NJ Relay.
The Office will also assist other State and local
government agencies to the extent that resources allow.
Organization of the
a result of a 1986 reorganization, the separate divisions
that housed the legal, research and fiscal functions
were eliminated and the three staffs were integrated
within ten sections organized by subject area. These
sections report through the Central Management Unit
to the Executive Director. Other OLS functions are
established in units: Legislative Counsel, Legislative
Budget and Finance, Public Information, Administrative,
Data Management, Human Resources, and the Office of
the State Auditor.
The Office of Legislative
Services is housed in the State House Annex, except
for the Office of the State Auditor, which is located
at 125 South Warren Street in Trenton.