A Report on Legislative Professionalism for the State of New Mexico

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As polarization and gridlock continues to grip national politics, Americans are increasingly looking to states to remedy the nation’s most significant challenges. The burden has fallen to the states to address complex issues such as health care, immigration, infrastructure, energy, and the environment. Perhaps the federal government’s continued inaction compared to state governments’ action, is one reason why Americans trust their state government far more than their federal government. But this wasn’t always the case. In the 1960s, state governments— particularly their legislatures—were in crisis. Few legislatures had the capacity to address the daunting issues (particularly civil rights and poverty) that were creating massive political, social, and economic unrest in our states and cities.

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