PIERRE - A South Dakota legislative panel has decided to have an outside agency review the operation of the Legislature's professional staff.

The National Conference of State Legislatures, a nonpartisan organization that represents state legislatures across the country, will conduct the review.

Some legislative leaders have suggested that the South Dakota Legislature should hire additional staff, including partisan staffers who would work for Republican and Democratic lawmakers. The staff of the Legislative Research Council is now nonpartisan. Each staffer works in a specific area of expertise.

Sen. Ryan Maher of Isabel says the review will look at the performance and organization of the Legislature's staff. Maher says a consultant has said that there is a right way and a wrong way to organize partisan staffers.

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