proliferation of lobbyists and the professionalization of legislatures
- In my opinion, I would say yes, since most state legislatures propose or encourage the use of professionalism and competency in their day to day activities, as well as listening to the concerns of the public. The textbook highlights key features of professionalization, in that, “The proliferation of lobbyists and the professionalization of legislatures have meant that members in many states have their own resources,” (Smith & Greenblatt, 2017, p. 217). This is most commonly associated with rank-and-file members, as they are the legislators who don’t uphold leadership roles nor senior committee boards. “There are also two types of legislatures, which are professional and citizen legislators. Professional legislators participate full-time, allocate salaries, and enroll a substantial amount of staff members, whereas citizen legislators serve part-time roles, sustain their occupation, and hire a small staff members. One argument can be made, which is that some division is profound, on the basis of whether or not professional legislators really do a better job than their citizen legislator advocates,” (Smith & Greenblatt, 2017, p. 223-225).
According to a scholarly work that emphasizes legislative professionalism, “Legislative professionalism also shapes legislator behavior, legislative structure, policy outputs, and even the behavior of other political actors. Legislative professionalism influences the behavior of outside actors, as well, including interest groups (Berkman 2001) and governors,” (Dilger, Krause, and Moffett 1995, as cited in Edelstein, 2012, p. 4). As a matter of fact, professionalism has a direct correlation to the behaviors of the legislators, who manage the potency of its characteristics through the policies they formulate. “The level of legislative professionalism can also shape the internal structure of a legislature, as well as its policy outputs. While many studies examine the effects of legislative professionalism on political outcomes, the extent to which a legislature is professional is also a policy output,” (Edelstein, 2012, p. 1). To conclude, it is safe to say that as we continue to enrich our demographic diversity of the state legislature, we can eliminate any remaining disparities not just among racial bias, but on the checks and balances scale.
- In my opinion I feel the country is suffering from most of the political people that are within our governments. Granted this will vary from state to state, and which whether or not you are more conservative or liberal. There is usually a one sided result coming from the legislatures within this country depending on what they support, not what the people need. As much as they say they specialize in certain areas, they suffer from ebing professional and getting rid of their opinion and listening to what the state or country as a whole needs to keep it moving forward. I cannot say what the effects of more professionalized state legisaltures are because this is all opinion based. If you are more conservative, a great example would be what Texas and Florida has done to keep their citizens from being mandated by the covid vaccine. But if you are more of a liberal minded individual you will believe that the state legisaltures in New York or California are very professional based on the decisions they made in this current political climate. I agree with what the professor said that this discussion is very opinion based and there can truly be no correct answer for it. This will be based on what someone believes in and how they view what the legislatures have done.
- The picture is less or more complicated and challenging to balance or choose one. I think the main challenge to analyze is the relationship between state legislatures and on the individual states depends on their decisions. Since the 1960s,many state legislatures have become more professionalized. Legislative professionalization is typically involving two associated process increasing institutional resources and commitment among state legislations. I think the effects impacts the roles and influence the state legislation system of professionalism is how they carry out the law solely based on their decisions which can varies by states for example: as of April 14, 2021, marijuana is fully legal in 16 states and the Washington, DC the legalization of marijuana in some stated and not in other states due to different grounds such as in the chemotherapy of various diseases like California support its legalization, but Marijuana remains illegal and criminalized in seven states. This presents several complications and challenges to balance the professionalism to hold out the laws with differentiated viewpoints. Additionally, the level of legislative professionalism can also shape the internal structure of a legislature, as well as its policy outputs. While many studies examine the effects of legislative professionalism on political outcomes, the extent to which a legislature is professional is also a policy output,” (Edelstein, 2012, p. 1). In reflection to this question, for legislatures to be good, they must carry out the functions we expect of them in our system of representative democracy. The principal ones are balancing power, representing constituencies, and making laws. In considering whether legislatures are doing their job (and hence are good), we have to examine how well they are performing these three functions in order to balance a good. Legislature should come from legislators, legislative staff and concerned citizens to maintain professional in current political and administrative environments.
- If I were to think of my ideal local representative or state legislature there are a few things I would definitely be looking for. The most basic requirement for me would be that I believe he or she should have grown up or spent a lot of his or her time in the area they wish to represent. I believe this because I would like my representative to really understand and relate to the needs as well as the people who live in that area, and I would say that’s only achievable by living there giving that prospective legislature more of a vested interest in the position. I would also like for my representative to have been successful in a real job or there own personal line of work outside of the political stage being that I find it difficult to trust a career politicians who might focus on there re-election position and process rather then actually solving issues due to a need to remain as favorable as possible in the eyes of their constituents. I also don’t see a need to require any special education requirements to run or hold a public office because I just don’t believe upper level education is a determining factor in how well an elected representative will do at listening and acting as their constituents would want them too.
- In my opinion, legislative professionalism which is often captured by the salary of legislators, the number of days in the legislative session, and the number of staff employed by the legislature, influences the way in which legislatures conduct their work in a variety of ways. Most importantly, legislative professionalism is connected to policy outputs. More professionalized legislatures are associated with greater agreement between aggregate public opinion and policy outputs. Professionalism also enhances the responsiveness of state legislatures, increasing the extent to which policy outputs directly relate to citizens’ preferences. Furthermore, professional legislatures are also associated with policy innovation and higher legislator “batting averages” for passing bills into law. Also, legislative professionalism has significant consequences for policy outputs. Professionalism characterizes important variations in the environment in which legislation is passed at the state level, which affects policy outputs, which could be an important factor in explaining the likelihood that the Supreme Court overturns a state law. professionalized legislatures are shown to produce laws that are more congruent with state public opinion, this might also lead more professionalized legislatures to push constitutional boundaries in an effort to respond to voters’ preferences.