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January 15, 2014

One Party States Ease Up After Flurry of Activity

New York Times: "Across the country, in many, though not all, of the states under single-party Democratic or Republican control, lawmakers are stepping back this election year, steering away from the divisive battles on abortion, gun control, collective bargaining and large tax cuts that have marked recent sessions in state capitols."

"This is a striking change from the past few years, when 36 states -- more than at any other time in the past 60 years -- came under single-party control: 23 Republican and 13 Democratic. Far from being gripped by the partisan gridlock that has paralyzed Washington, these states have been humming legislative laboratories, trying out their party agendas and pulling the nation on two quite different policy paths."

"The lowered ambition amounts, in some cases, to a declaration of victory, as is the case with abortion restrictions in Ohio and providing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants in California. But it also reflects political concerns among some legislators and governors up for election that they at times claimed an unfounded mandate with this aggressive period of legislating, according to analysts and elected officials."


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