The bitter partisan gridlock facing Congress really isn’t a problem in Tennessee. Or California. Or North Dakota.
The same voters who re-elected the Republican House and Democratic Senate also swept in one-party rule in a whopping 45 state legislatures, up from 41 in 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
What’s more, 25 states have veto-proof majorities, meaning that one party has enough legislators to override a gubernatorial veto if they choose. That may not be a problem, given that in 22 of those states, the same party that controls the legislature is also in charge of the governor’s office.
Just four states — Iowa, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Virginia — kept divided legislatures, the lowest benchmark since 1944. Nebraska has a unicameral, nonpartisan legislature.
The phenomenon represents an incredible show of unity from a state perspective and a worrisome sign of Balkanization at the national level. Illinois and Indiana may share a border, but not much else. Illinois has a veto-proof Democratic majority, while Indiana has the same thing on the Republican side.
“There’s polarization at the state level that we haven’t seen in recent history,” said Karl Kurtz, director of the Trust for Representative Democracy in the Denver office of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“I think it’s a reflection of the growing polarization of our society. The fact that you had only 10 battleground states in this presidential election — there’s this standing decision that voters of most states have made to vote for one party or another, and that’s playing out at the legislative level as well,” he said.
The result could be a nation that, at least for the next few years, tests the limits of federalism and the states’ traditional role as laboratories of democracy. Americans may find marriage laws, tax rates and drug enforcement changing dramatically as they cross state lines.
Read more: Cure for gridlock? One-party rule - Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/22/denver-mdash-the-bitter-partisan-gridlock-facing-c/#ixzz2D2B1NRZ6
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