Why state legislatures don't work (and how to fix them)

We need better media coverage, but also better electoral systems

This piece is written by Milan the Intern, not the usual Matt-post.

In polls, fewer than 20% of Americans can even name their state legislators. And even among those who do, many don’t know exactly what issues are being debated nor what kind of bills are being passed at their local statehouse (cards on the table, I don’t either).

Yet every now and then, statehouse politics break into the spotlight. Sometimes, this happens when somebody gets caught doing something bad. Most recently, Ohio Speaker Larry Householder and longtime Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan were forced out of office after being caught up in corruption scandals involving utility companies.

The other kind of story you hear is something like this anecdote from a Boston Magazine profile of former Massachusetts House Speaker Bob DeLeo:

After nearly six hours of voting, a member of the Democratic leadership announced that there would be three minutes for members to cast their ballots on an amendment that had just been presented.…

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