Five legislative chamber leaders — in Texas, Alaska, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Tennessee — recently won their leadership positions with bipartisan support, Governing Magazine reports.
That trend is intriguing in the state capitol in Lansing for two reasons.
First, rigid partisanship is to blame for much of the gridlock the past two-plus years between the Michigan House and Michigan Senate and their leaders, with some (not all) Senate Republicans especially guilty of playing the ideologue game.
Second, the rising buzz (if not yet fully exercised power) of a new bipartisan caucus in the Michigan House inspired, in part, by the Michigan’s Defining Moment Public Engagement Campaign. Capitol correspondent Tim Skubic recently explained in Dome Magazine… The Bipartisan Freshman Caucus has been formed with 26 Democrats and 18 Republicans. They believe they were sent to Lansing to change the culture — i.e. stop all the partisan bickering and work cooperatively for the citizens and not necessarily for the two political parties. They’ve even signed an agreement that binds them to bring back “integrity and professionalism” to the House, promote “civility and camaraderie even when we disagree,” and they want to be remembered for steering the state “away from economic calamity and unnecessary bickering.”
Freshmen legislators don’t remain freshmen for long. Current House Speaker Andy Dillon won his leadership post after only one term. Imagine if the new bipartisan caucus can define itself by a tough vote or two and steadily grow its strength… They could run the place…