NCSL: Birds of a Feather

The National Conference of State Legislatures' feature on innovative caucuses around the country offers praise for legislators in MAP's State Network, including Future Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Eric Johnson (D-TX) and Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-PA).

A new wrinkle is the formation of bipartisan legislative groups modeled along the lines of the Young Texans Caucus, and part of a network called State Future Caucuses, whose stated goal is to “break through partisan gridlock and create a more constructive governing environment for the next generation.” In Maine, where there are now 13 legislators under age 30, the newly established Youth Caucus works to broaden education, training and employment opportunities for the state’s young people. Similarly, the PA Future Caucus, established last year by and for Pennsylvania’s under-35 legislators, has set its sights squarely on working across the political divide to get things done. The tendency of millennials to vote and otherwise engage in politics at a lower rate than older citizens, says Representative Nick Miccarelli (R), the new caucus’ co-chairman, is not so much political apathy as “an expression of frustration at the lack of progress and results.” He listed measures to address the related problems of soaring college tuition costs and high levels of student loan debt as the top items on the caucus’ agenda. Although many legislative caucuses meet infrequently and focus their efforts on a handful of issues, others put together ambitious agendas, issue news releases, maintain websites and make use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media.’
— Suzanne Weiss, NCSL

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