Changes in Professionalism in U.S. State Legislatures

Legislative Studies Quarterly, XXV:327-43

State legislatures in the United States have changed in many ways since the drive for reform began in the 1960s. Using a modification of Squire’s legislative professional index, this analysis demonstrates that a higher degree of professionalism is a general, but not a universal, trait of state legislatures. Disparities among state legislatures have increased, with some being no more professional today than they were 30 years ago. On the other hand, states that have removed legal restrictions on legislative sessions, whose populations have grown larger, and whose neighbors have more institutionally advanced assemblies have developed more professional legislatures.

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