ERIC Number: ED400068
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
State Legislative Leaders: Keys to Effective Legislation for Children and Families. A Report.
State Legislative Leaders Foundation, Centerville, MA.
In 1993, the State Legislative Leaders Foundation launched a research project, "State Legislative Leaders: Keys To Effective Legislation for Children and Families." This report documents the findings of the project involving 177 of the most influential Republican and Democratic state legislature leaders from all 50 states. For more than a year, these leaders were interviewed by a bi-partisan team of pollsters on a wider range of issues relating to children and families. Also surveyed, by detailed written questionnaire, were 167 child and family organizations that participate in state-based legislative activity. The responses and comments of these organizations have served as a frame of reference against which to compare and contrast the views of the state legislative leaders. The key findings were: (1) legislative leaders' primary focus is managing the legislative process and the state budget, but they are increasingly speaking out on major policy issues; (2) child and family issues are generally important to state legislative leaders, however their importance varies from state to state; (3) state legislative leaders learn anecdotally about issues, not systematically, so their knowledge is often limited to their own districts and what others draw to their attention. Most leaders are unfamiliar with the current status of children and families in their districts or states and with effective policies and programs; (4) leaders see numerous individuals and organizations advocating different, often conflicting, legislative agendas for children and families; (5) child/family advocates are perceived as liberal and Democratic, whereas increasingly the leadership in state legislatures is moderate or conservative and Republican; (6) leaders are unaware of any cohesive, effective grassroots constituency for children in their states; (7) most leaders are unclear about child/family advocates' roles and are not predisposed to work closely with them; (8) some strategies promoted by child/family advocates are viewed by legislative leaders as irrelevant or counterproductive; (9) child/family advocate groups do not have the training, funding, and flexibility to develop and implement effective strategies; and (10) state legislative leaders need to become more pro-active in seeking out information on child and family issues. (KDFB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: State Legislative Leaders Foundation, Centerville, MA.