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POLS 2622: State and Local Government — Home

Resources for researching development of public policy via a state's proposed and existing legislation, committee/commission work, news coverage, public polling, and court decision involving specific areas of policy.

Researching state government action on public policy

This guide organizes some resources for tracing a state's action on a public policy issue, as evidenced by the actions of individual lawmakers, the legislature as a whole, and the courts.

  • What are the current state laws in the policy area? When were these laws enacted, and who (individual legislators, committees) was responsible for shaping the legislation?
  • What bills have been introduced recently in the policy area? Who sponsored the proposed legislation, and what was the fate of the bill? Who sponsored any recent hearings on the issue, and who testified for or against the legislation?
  • How have political parties, party leaders, state government boards and commissions, and individual legislators responded to the need for action in the policy area?
  • Have state or federal court decisions had an impact on legislation, or a push for legislation, in the state?
  • How have local media covered the issue?


The resources included in this guide will be a valuable addition to the information you will readily find from:

  • searching the content of the state legislature's website (see this directory from .  These (e.g. Massachusetts) provide biographical information of legislators and links to their sponsored legislation, information about hearings, links to committees and commissions.
  • searching party platforms. These (e.g. Texas GOP) provide the parties' stated values and agenda


Please feel free to contact me with any questions!