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Matthew Fellowes, Virginia Gray and David Lowery, "What's on the Table? The Content of State Policy Agendas," Party Politics, 12 (January, 2006), 35-55.

First Paragraph:
Political scientists have tried to understand the content of public policy agendas at least since Schattschneider (1960: 68) claimed that 'he who determines what politics is about runs the country, because . . . the choice of conflicts allocates power'. Such efforts are important given that the content of national policy agendas varies considerably over time, perhaps illustrating fundamental shifts in the concerns of citizens or at least changes in the ability of some to have their grievances and/or aspirations addressed by decision-makers. Indeed, recent evidence from studies of the national policy agenda suggests that this power is increasingly being allocated to new, postmaterialist policy areas, such as issues associated with environmental and civil rights concerns, at the expense of older materially-oriented policies, such as those concerned with taxes and transportation. Berry (1999), for instance, reported from a sample of Congressional hearings that post-materialist agenda issues increased from 35.60 percent of the total agenda in 1963 to 71.20 percent of the agenda in 1991. Similarly, Baumgartner and Gold (2002) found that the proportion of 'new' policies considered in the Supreme Court and in Congressional hearings increased at a nearly linear rate between the late 1940s and the 1990s.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1. Average number of bills in 22 state policy areas and average proportion of post-materialist bills in state legislatures, 1995-1999
Table 1. The number of bills in 22 state policy areas, 1995-1999
Table 2. The proportion of post-materialist issues on state policy agendas, 1995-1999
Table 3. Rank order of states by post-materialist proportion, 1997-1999
Table 4. Tests of post-materialism hypotheses, 1997 and 1999

First Paragraph of Conclusion:
Our analysis probed the sources of spatial variation in the prevalence of postmaterialist policies on state agendas using several standard hypotheses tested previously at the national level. To do so, we generated new data on the content of state legislative agendas that should prove useful to a number of scholars and any number of research projects. For our purposes, we found that states were much less focused on post-materialist issues during the second half of the 1990s than their national counterpart. Instead, the majority of the content of nearly every state legislative agenda remained materialist policies, such as taxes and transportation. Although post-materialist issues comprise at least a quarter of the agenda in nearly every state, states have collectively not followed the lead set by national institutions.