The concept of legislative professionalism has existed for more than four decades and plays an integral role in state politics. Legislative professionalism encompasses numerous aspects including public opinion on law and policy formulation, provision of resources to the legislature, equipping, staffing, and efficiency of state government on expenditure and equitable distribution of resources, to highlight, but a few. Based on this assertion coupled with broadness of this concept, scholars have found it difficult to provide precise and concrete definition of legislative professionalism. However, William (78) defines legislative professionalism as the extent or degree in which, legislatures has authority of its members, provide sufficient resources in terms of finances and staffing to enable its members execute their roles, responsibility, and duties like other full time employees, and formulate policies and regulations, which guide lawmaking process within the organization.
In essence, legislative professionalism focuses on three key issues namely; enumeration of legislators, provision of adequate resources to the legislatures, and time available for the members to execute their official duties as envisioned in the state constitution. Square (67) associates legislative professionalisms with the America Congress because they meet their members in numerous sessions, motivate their members through better enumeration programs, and provide adequate resources to the members; an idea that enhances efficiency, accountability, transparency, and professionalism.
Legislative professionalism remains an imperative component in state politics because it determines individuals, who qualify to serve in office, enhances efficiency and productivity of the members, formulate policies and regulations, which enhance accountability and integrity of the legislatures, and ensure the state government uphold rule of law in executing its responsibility (Grisson 80).
Legislative professionalism is dynamic and some states have record tremendous change in it whereas others have recorded minimal change in the last few years. For instance, New York is ranked the leading state in legislative professionalism, followed by Michigan, California, and Massachusetts respectively. New York has implemented effective policies and regulations, which promotes professionalism. Based on this assertion, it is evident that New York State integrates legislative professionalism in its operations.
Grisson, jason. "Local Legislative Professionalism." American Research Journal 1.4 (2008): 45-90. Print.
Squire, Pererill . "state politics and policy quaternaly ." Measuring state professionalism 7.2 (2007): 67-78. Print.
William, Cassie. Legislative Professionalism and Republican Gains in Southern State Legislatures. New York: New Society Publishers, 2009. Print.