Monday, January 11, 2010

Policy diffusion

I had a state legislator from Denver come speak to my state politics class today.  After class, we were chatting about how he had to cancel on an earlier appearance because he needed to meet some agricultural lobbyists from DC. I asked him why agricultural lobbyists were flying all the way from DC to meet with a Colorado legislator who represents an urban district.

He explained that he is supporting legislation to create some sort of living wage for migrant sheep shearers in the state. He added that national agricultural lobbyists are desperate to stop this because they worry it will spread to other states. As he explained, he and other legislators get a lot of their policy ideas from looking at other states (in part by way of the NCSL). The language is already written, you can guess the policy impact, you know that it works, etc. National lobbyists are eager to stop state legislation they don't like because they worry about it going viral.

Thanks to Andrew Karch, I know a little bit about policy diffusion across states, but I'd never heard it described quite this way.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Thanks for pointing out Karch's book. One more thing for my reading pile.