Legislative Branch

The balance between the powers of the majority party and procedural rights of the minority in legislatures is an institutional issue not often discussed beyond the walls of state capitols.

 

The balance between the powers of the majority party and procedural rights of the minority in legislatures is an institutional issue not often discussed beyond the walls of state capitols.

Rhode Island Governor Chaffee signed L3C Legislation into law on June 13, 2011 with the legislation to be effective July 1, 2012. HB 5279 was sponsored by Rep. Christopher Blazejewski.

In April, Blazejewski stated that “With many students graduating from our colleges and universities with a focus on entrepreneurship and community service, Rhode Island is well-positioned to become the Silicon Valley of the social venture movement,” said Representative Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence, East Providence). “As a tool for...

While women continue to make gains in terms of their participation in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government, more progress is needed before they will reach parity with their male counterparts.

 

A distinctive set of legislative rules in North Dakota, including allowing all bills to get a vote on the floor, reflect the state's commitment to openness. 

The state of Nebraska long ago chose a different model for its legislature, a single-chamber legislature that remains unlike any other in the United States.

The number of legislative committees in Minnesota will be significantly reduced over the next biennium, a move that leaders say will save the state money and free up lawmakers to spend more time with constituents.

Democrats have been on a roll in legislative elections and increased their numbers again in 2008. Buoyed by the strong campaign of President Barack Obama in many key states, Democratic gains last year leave them at their best political position in legislatures in well over a decade. Democrats control 24 legislatures, Republicans control 14 and 8 are divided between the two parties.

Using data from 17 state legislatures, we provide an overview of some of the changes in the representation of women, Latinos and African-Americans over the past 30 years. We find that there is variation in the pace at which diversity in state legislatures manifests. We also find that racial and ethnic diversity is more evident among women than among men, and that gender diversity is more evident among African-American and Latino legislators.

In the limited November 2007 election, voters delivered once again for Democrats although Republicans made gains in one key Southern state. Democrats won control of two state legislative chambers and have the majority in 23 state legislatures, more than they have held since 1994 —the year that Republicans drew to parity with Democrats at the state legislative level. Incremental gains in 2007 added to big wins in 2006 give Democrats a healthy lead in both total legislative chambers controlled and total legislative seats.

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