Conference Committee Structure and Majority Party Bias in U.S. States

How representative are conference delegations in state legislative chambers? I argue that differing conference rules across state legislative chambers influence majority party control over conference delegations. With an original data set encompassing all state-level conference committees from 2005 to 2016, I compare the observed policy preferences between conference delegation and majority party medians when the majority party unilaterally appoints and when the minority party has influence over conferee selection. My results show that in state legislative chambers where the minority can influence conference appointments, delegations are ideologically biased away from the majority party. These findings underscore how majority parties are limited when minorities have procedural rights.

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License CC BY
Type Journal Articles
C-ID POLS 110 - American