This thesis examines Minnesota’s Health and Human Services legislative committees through
seven biennia, from 1995 to 2008 to better understand the successes and challenges within the
current chemical dependency treatment system. Examination is carried out through the use of
individual and aggregate ideological data. Trends in both median and mean polarization reveal
the level of partisanship between bodies over time, while standard deviation that of homogeneity.
Beyond partisanship, three contrasting theories are used to analyze potential legislative strategy.
Polarization and theory are then used in used conjunction to observe appropriations and policy
output. Analysis suggests strong relationships between legislation and polarization, homogeneity,
and the applicable strategic theory. This research proposes that legislative committee
appointments may indicate and predict a given session’s political climate, strategy, potential
committee output and its likelihood of passage.
Revelations in Policy Stability: Political Climate, Legislative Strategy, and Chemical Dependency Treatment Policy in Minnesota, 1995-2008.
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