Legislative Action Is a Real Thing

Outfits on both the political left and right in the U.S. have been beefing up their digital news coverage of America’s statehouses, where lawmaking is both meaningful and sometimes quick. Just such political action was spotlighted in last week’s New York Times article (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/09/us/michigan-democrats-right-to-work-lgbtq-guns.html) on the Michigan legislature after last November’s electoral sweep of the state by Democrats. Elections do matter. Reapportionments matter. Judicial choices that oversee balloting matter. Yet coverage in the state capitals has rarely been a media strong suit–particularly in the broadcast sector–and that’s only gotten sparer as the nation’s daily newspapers have withered. (A good, mostly-neutral national roundup of what does appear can be found at pluribusnews.com.) One reason the action at this level of government can be brisk is that many legislative sessions have compressed calendars, a vestige of when America mostly had part-time, citizen legislators. If the states are the U.S. laboratories of democracy in the federal system–an aphorism that Washington too often ignores–it’s a shame not to know what they’re cooking up.

Published by timwferguson

Longtime writer-editor, focusing on topics of business and policy, global and local.

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