National Conference of State Legislatures

Relatively few state legislative seats were up in 2013 and the only major change was in functional control of the Virginia Senate, where the Democrats eked out control. Republicans, however, continue to dominate the legislative branch across the country by controlling 26 state legislatures, compared to only 19 held by Democrats. Only four states have divided legislative control, representing near historic lows of split control. 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments commends the National Conference of State Legislatures on 40 years of exceptional service to the states; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments celebrates the tireless efforts of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ leaders, members, management and staff in advancing and sustaining the role of the states in our federal system.

The 2010 state legislative elections brought major change to the state partisan landscape with Republicans emerging in the best position they have had in more than 50 years. Voters shifted majority control to the GOP in 20 legislative chambers. By the time the proverbial smoke had cleared in early March of 2011, three more chambers had moved to Republican control due to special elections and party switches by sitting legislators. Republicans emerged with control of 26 state legislatures compared to only 15 held by Democrats, with eight divided between the two parties.

State eNews Issue #40 | February 18, 2010
The road to fiscal recovery for states will be bumpy, say top executives of the nation’s leading state service organizations, but they believe the slog will bring transformational changes to state governments.

Legislatures are the engines of representative democracy in the American states. They are the arenas in which the processes for choosing policies, setting priorities and reaching settlements among conflicting values and interests take place. This essay points out trends and directions in which state legislatures are moving, the significant issues confronting them and offers a framework for thinking about the current condition of state legislatures.