We've Lost That Family Feeling: The Changing Norms of the New Breed of State Legislators

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The article presents an assessment of the extent to which the informal rules of legislative behavior have been modified by a generation of the new breed of state legislators. The article contends that institutional and individual changes have led to various internal reforms in the legislature. Many of these internal changes were intended to accommodate the new breed and their legislative agendas and political ambitions. To do this, the formal rules were changed in many legislatures, with the result that the power structure became more fragmented. Given these changes in the institution, the individuals, and the formal structures, one may reasonably expect that there have been corresponding changes in legislative behavior and norms. The article argues that a series of external pressures on the legislative system necessitated adaptive changes in state legislatures. Legislatures are not immune to societal forces. The first half of this century was a period of rapid growth, increased urbanization, and technological change. Reapportionment began to change the legislative landscape. Gradually, the old breed of state legislator began to be replaced by some of the new breed.

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