The structure of legislatures reflects historic values about how the respective states are best governed. Part-time chambers are home to citizen legislators who – by design – do not quit their day jobs and stay connected to the communities they serve. In hybrid legislatures, the workload expands in doing the public’s business but outside work is still the norm. In full-time legislatures, members are expected to dedicate the lion’s share of their time and attention to state business. Pay and staffing levels are commensurate with the span of duties.
Lawmakers in California's Assembly will hit the campaign trail this year, touting their votes on all manner of bills. Can we believe them? What they say may not be a true reflection of the stand they took when the bill was being debated.
A slew of retirements could lead to significant turnover in the Illinois state legislature.