In part one of our attempt to tear our eyes briefly from the presidential horse race, we discussed the interesting fact that several other countries have elections this year, too. Today, we turn our attention to the 50 states. No, we won’t be discussing the politics of bickering over primary dates or methods of assigning electors to the Electoral College. Our topic is another responsibility that falls to states, something nearly as important, if far less sexy: determining and implementing policy in most of the areas that affect U.S. citizens’ lives.
The January issue of Governing—a monthly magazine published by Congressional Quarterly—includes a helpful summary of the ins and outs of the major policy issues states are facing this year. Immigration reform, water shortages, same-sex marriage, the death penalty, health care, housing... you know, the central domestic policy debates and problems of our time.
The piece is a great primer on the issues. It also serves as a good reminder that it’s probably at least as important to know who your state representatives are, and what votes are coming up for them, as it is to study up on the complicated delegate math in the neck-and-neck Democratic primary.