Test 2 Material
Test 2 Material 2312-002
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Lecture 11 There are 2 key positions in a Texas legislature The rst one is the lieutenant governor Most political scientists consider the lieutenant governor as the most powerful and most in uential player in TX politics Dan Patrick is our current lieutenant governor The lieutenant governor is formally classi ed as one of that plural executive Most of his responsibilities take place within the legislature The LG is the president of the state senate but he is not a state senator The Lieutenant Governor oversees the state senate He plays a similar role that a vice president does in the US senate he oversees the proceedings But he is not a state senator The Lieutenant governor s position is a state wide office So all of the voters in TX have the ability or are given the right to vote for this particular position The Lieutenant governor is a 4 year term There are no limits on the number of terms the Lieutenant Governor can serve Before Governor Perry became governor he was the lieutenant governor The LG is formally a member of the plural executive However his main role is to oversee the state senate Some of the LG s responsibilities include appointing all of the committee chairman We ve got a number of standing committees in both the house and the senate And these standing committees are divided on topics So we have a standing committee on higher education business regulation transportation There are house and senate committees So the LG appoints the committee chairman for each one of those senate committees In addition to appointing the committee chairman the LG will also hand out all of the committee assignments for our 31 senators Every senator serves on at least one committee If you are a senator you will receive your committee assignments from the LG He will determine who sits on which committee 753 There is an informal seniority system at work So if you ve been serving in state senate for a while then typically the LG will allow you to sit on a committee that you want to sit on 853 The LG is also responsible for referring bills to their committee Each bill is referred to a committee within a chamber It s the LG who makes that decision as to which committee a bill is referred to One of the more interesting authorities that the LG has is that he really has complete control as to who gets to speak on the senate oor If you would like to speak on the oor of the senate within that chamber you must be recognized by the LG rst This is why you need to maintain a good working relationship with the LG LG is probably the most in uential when it comes to policy making here in TX The LG has a counterpart in the house called the speaker of the house Our current speaker is Joe Straus The responsibilities between the LG and the speaker are very similar What is different is how they become the speaker and the LG So remember with the LG this is a state wide of ce and every voter in TX has the right to vote for the LG s position For the speaker of the house Joe Straus the way he rst got to be a house member is that he was just elected by the voters in his house district So if he represents house district 17 the majority of voters in that district elected him to be their house representative That s how he gets to the house How you become a speaker is that once we have elections when we reconvene that the beginning of a legislative session the members of the house will elect one of their own to serve as speaker So it is only up to the 150 members of the TX house to determine who the speaker of the house will be That is not a race that any of us get to vote in This is just a race for house members one of their own will serve as the speaker for the house 1156 The Speaker of the house kind of oversees the house of representatives He does get to vote on legislation because he is a house member The SH will appoint all of the house committee chairman For all of our house committees the speaker determines who the chairman s going to be The SH also gives out the committee assignments for our 150 house members Again there is this information seniority system at work So if you re a long time house member typically the speaker will hold you to at least 1 committee that you would like to serve on 1336 One difference between the speaker and the LG is that if you want to speak on the oor of the house you do not necessarily have to be recognized by the speaker He does not have such control over the microphone in the house as the LG does in the senate The first step is to introduce your bill The need to have a house member or a senator come up with an idea that they would like to see enacted into law So they have to write up a bill And they have to introduce that bill into the chamber Only lawmakers are allowed to introduce bills Only house members can introduce bills into the house and only senators can introduce bills into the senate Once you ve written up a bill you re a house member you ll give that bill to the house clerk If we re talking about the senate we re going give our bill to the senate secretary And the house clerk and the senate secretary are responsible for giving our bills their number When they re numbering these bills they just go in sequential order Lawmakers only have the rst 60 days of a regular session to introduce bills They procrastinate As they reach the deadline the number of bills being introduced increases dramatically Once a bill has been introduced it s given it s first reading on the floor This is done typically by some clerk who s interning at the state legislature that semester When they read the description of the bill when the bill has its rst reading on the oor it s just a very brief description So first we have to introduce the bill and then it gets its first reading on the chamber oor The second step is the bill to be referred to committee or committee referral 1710 This is where the LG and the speaker really come into play Once we have our rst reading of the bill the the speaker if it s a house bill has to determine which house committee to refer this bill to If it s a senate bill the the LG determines which senate committee to refer this bill to And we re talking about standing committees We call them standing committees These are regular permanent committees They are divided on topic We ve got a committee on correction tourism elections emergency preparedness natural resources higher education insurance technology We ve got all of these different standing committees So you might think the LG and the speaker it should be fairly clear to them as to which committee a bill should be referred to If these committees are divided on topic then you understand the topic of the bill You match them up Let s say we have a bill that s going to add some regulations to the natural gas and oil companies that eXist in TX We are introducing this environmentally friendly bill we want to include new environmental regulations for natural gas and oil drilling companies So after the bill gets its first reading let s say it s a senate bill After the senate bill gets it s first reading and the LG has to determine which committee to refer this bill to does he refer the bill to the environmental regulations committee Or does he refer he refer the bill to the business regulation committee This is where politics come into play So the LG and the speaker of the house they know who chairs each committee because they appointed them They know who sits on each committee because they appointed them So if the LG or the speaker is in favor of the policy and in favor of the bill they are going to refer this bill to a committee where it has a better chance of survival If the speaker or the LG is opposed to the idea of this bill and they want to see it fail they will probably refer it to a committee where it more likely to die where it is not going to survive this process Just in determining which committee to refer a bill to really impacts the survival rate of a particulate bill Once our bill has been referred to committee let s talk about what happens when the bills are in committee Committees are like mini legislatures When a bill is in committee this is where we get into all the wording and the language of the bill We really analyze what it means and how it will impact TX TX businesses for instance When a bill is in committee it might be marked up Markedup simply means altered revised changed The committee members may take out certain provisions of a bill They might add in new wording They might rewrite the bill entirely The committee chairman in a committee has quite a bit of authority of their own The CC for each committee gets to determine the agenda for their committee So the CC will determine when we are going to debate or when we are going to discuss the bills that have been referred to our committee Committee chairman s may decide to table a bill or to pigeonhole a bill If a bill is tabled or pigeonholed by the CC and the CC is the only one with this authority but if a CC decides to table a bill or pigeonhole a bill then what we re saying is that we re going to put any discussion on the bill just on hold inde nitely Everybody understands that once a bill has been tabled they we are never going to discuss it it has died in committee 2318 Once the committee members have had the opportunity to get into the details of the bill they really understand this bill maybe the committee chairman decided to hold a public hearing This happens on more controversial bills This is called a committee hearing The committee chairman is the one who determines whether or not we re going to have a public committee hearing The whole point of these committee hearings is to bring in outsiders to gather or to gain more information in regards to the bill Maybe you ll have lobbyists representing interest groups come in and speak on the bill Or maybe you have citizens come in and tell us why do or don t think why the bill is a good idea Or maybe you have experts come in Scienti c or medical experts come in and provide more insight in regards to what the bill discusses Once all the discussion on a particular bill is nished within committee they take a little vote just amongst the committee members Just the committee members take a vote here What we do with these votes is determine what type of report to issue to the other members of the chamber If the majority of the committee members support the bill the way it is written at that time with all the changes and marking up that they ve done if a majority of support is present in the committee then we issue a favorable report If a majority do not support the bill the way it is written at that time we have an unfavorable report The only other option is just no report If a bill has been tabled then we never vote on on it so there s no report issue The reason that we have these reports is so that we can inform the other members of our chamber of what kinds of changes we ve made to that bill and whether or not the members of the committee think it s a good idea to move forward Up until this point the only people that really are fairly knowledgeable about the bill are the people that sit on that committee So we need to inform the other lawmakers as to what are feelings are about that particular bill The only way for a bill to move on from this step in the process is for it to be issued a favorable report If a bill gets an unfavorable report it s dead in the committee There s no report issue for a bill it s dead If our bill actually gets a favorable report then it moves on to the next step which is some floor action There s this one odd step however In the house they have a calendar committee The calendar committee in the house determine the schedule of floor debate in the house They determine which day we are going to debate a particular bill How much time we re going to give to that debate This only happens in the house though Of course the calendar committee has a committee chairman And the calendar committee chair can table bills So even though a bill gets a favorable report in committee it might get tabled in the calendar committee and it never gets scheduled for oor debate We only have to worry about the calendar committee in the house chamber In the senate they do not have a calendar committee In the senate there are only 31 senators So our senators have unlimited debate privileges In the house there are 150 members We have to establish some rules for debates so things do not get out of control Our senate is so small that we allow them unlimited debate privileges Which leaves the senate susceptible to the filibuster So when we open the entire chamber up to the floor debate now we re allowing all of the members of the chamber to participate in the debate So all of the house or all of the senate depending with which chamber we re working with in In the senate though again they do not have these rules set up by the calendar committee so in the senate you might have a libuster The whole purpose of a filibuster is to kill a bill The point is to aggravate the other members of your chamber to an extinct that they just get up and leave for the rest of the day Let s just say somehow in our TX legislature my bill that is introducing new regulations on oil and gas companies has made it to the oor of the senate And I am a Republican senator So I get up and I make every logical argument that I can as to why the senators should oppose this bill They should vote against it These new regulations are bad for TX businesses it makes it very dif cult for them to operate with all these additional regulations these new environmental regulations aren t saving any lives so it is really unnecessary to inconvenience these companies to this extinct So I make every logical argument I can think of And you know only 5 hours have gone by So then I go to any illogical argument that I can think of You know why not I have the oor Nobody can interrupt me At some point 7 or 8 hours have gone by There are not enough senators listening to you There are certainly not enough senators to take a vote on the bill If we never get to vote on the full oor then the bill is dead The whole point of the libuster is to kill a bill If you are the libuster you re not allowed to take breaks The TX senate holds the longest record for a libuster ever 42 hours Back in the 70s You only have to worry about a filibuster happening in senate This cannot happen in the house Once we have oor debate once we allow all the law makers in the chamber to throw their 2 cents into the debate then we will actually take a vote as a full chamber So the whole house or the whole senate will vote on a particular bill Either favor it or against it You only need a majority of support for a bill to move on Simple majority 50 plus 1 vote 3513 If a bill passes one chamber let s say we introduce a bill into the house and it goes through this process We introduce it it goes to committee it s voted favorably out of committee it goes to the oor vote and it passes the oor vote in the house You are halfway through the process because now the bill has to go through senate and go through the entire process of the senate Bills have to pass both chambers before they ever go to the governor s desk So if a bill starts in the senate works its way through senate we vote in favor of it on the senate oor then it goes back to the house and the process starts back on the house This is a very long process And we don t have a whole lot of time in our TX legislature they only meet for 6 months every other year 3602 So we need to speed up this process a little So what happens a lot of the time is that you ll have a house member and a senator get together and they ll write a bill together Maybe have a house republican and a senate republican and they get together and write a bill And they make a copy of that bill and the senator takes it over to the senate and introduces it into the senate The house members take it over to the house and introduces it into the house This way the bills are trucking along in each chamber simultaneously Even if the senate passes their version and the house passes their version is it the same bill any longer No You had senators putting their markings on it and house members changing this version We can t have 2 versions of the similar law That means a lot of confusion for a lot of people So this is where our conference committees come in Conference committees are temporary committees They set them up for a speci c purpose and then once that purpose is ful lled they dissolve So if we ve got a house version of a bill and a senate version of a bill the LG and the speaker will identify a few folks to serve on a conference committee And the CC of course it has a chairman which is elected by the LG the CC is supposed to take this house and senate version of the bill and mush them together as best they can So they come up with this 3rd nal draft of the bill But this 3rd nal draft that was written by conference committee is that the draft or the version of the bill that was passed in the senate or the house No And bills have to pass both chambers before they move on to the governor So when a bill comes out of conference committee it goes back to the house and the senate oor for one last nal vote And they aren t making any more changes you have to vote for it they way it comes out of conference committee CC have a chairman And of course the committee chairman can table the bill Lecture 12 In TX we have a part time legislature It is classi ed like this because our law makers only meet for 6 months every other year We have regular biennial legislations J anJune on odd numbered years You can contrast this part time legislature legislative organization that we have here in TX with a full time legislative organization like the national congress Many of the states their state legislatures have a full time legislature where the members of the legislature meet on a regular continual basis Think of national congress They spend the majority of their time up in Washington debating particular policies They occasionally will take a few weeks off several times in the year to travel back to their home districts and meet with voters and business leaders But the majority of their time is spent up in Washington That s a full time legislature One of the bene ts of the part time legislature is that we get away with paying them pretty small salary They only make 7200 a year Their 7200 per year is for the years they actually serve in a legislative session and also the years that we do not hold legislative sessions In addition to their small salary each legislator is given a certain amount of money for their home district For our state house members they are given a budget of 8500 a month to maintain and upkeep an of ce within their home district They are provided with a budget to keep an of ce running throughout the year not just through the legislative session Senators get a much larger budget But remember we have fewer senators Senators get 25000 a month to run their district of ce We have to pay rent to have an of ce And an of ce in Austin or Dallas is going to cost a lot more than the district representative for some district out in West TX where the land is pretty cheap and rent price is pretty cheap In the past certain lawmakers will set up their district of ce and then they ll hire their signi cant other as the of ce manager and provide that of ce manager with a very large salary which ends up back in the hands of the lawmaker Legal requirements for a house member Have to be at least 21 years old resident of state for 2 years resident of house district for 1 year 150 house members in TX 2 year terms We only hold our general elections every other year Next year we will have the primaries in the spring and then we ll have the general election next November 2016 We have general elections every 2 years We have the general presidential elections that are going to happen next year 2 years later in 2018 we have the midterm general elections So every time we have a general election all 150 house members are up for reelection because they only serve those quick 2 year terms On the senate side you must be at least 26 to run for a state senate seat Resident of the state for 5 years Resident of senatorial district for 1 year 31 senate members 4 year terms For senators some of their terms are staggered So it s not like every 4 years all of our senators are up for reelection Next year in 2016 half of them will be up for reelection And 2 years later the other half All of our house members and our senators are elected from single member districts That means there is 1 house representative that is elected for each house district and there s one senator elected from each senatorial district Also it s only the citizens who live in a particular district that get to vote for that particular house member or that particular senator You only get to vote for the races in your districts The majority of our lawmakers have jobs outside of the legislature Legislators do not have the luxury of taking a break from their private jobs to work 6 months in the legislature A third of our state representatives are from the profession of law They are practicing attorneys in their private lives This can cause a con ict of interest Let s say you are a house member down in the Houston area And you have been elected by house district 32 You re the house representative for district 32 But you are also an attorney in your private life and you work at a big law rm And at your law rm there is an oil company that has you on retainer Often times attorneys are hired on retainer a client will pay a particular fee and that way if that client needs any legal advice or counseling or legal representation they ve already got somebody that they ve paid In your private life you are working for this law rm and you re representing this oil company Let s just say your down in Austin serving during the regular legislative session and there s a bill being debated that would increase the number of regulations for the oil drilling companies Well let s say the people of your district want you to vote in favor of this bill that will add additional regulations to the oil companies But at the same time you know that that corporation that you represent in your private life as an attorney would really prefer if you voted against the bill What do you do Who s paying us the most Ideally as a representative in your public life as a lawmaker you should probably do what your voters want what the constituents want Because you re acting in your public life as a lawmaker But think of all the different pressures that lawmakers have to deal with They try to satisfy the voters also have their full time jobs that they have to worry about What if you vote in favor of this bill and then you get red when you back to your job because you ticked off one of the major clients at your rm You ve got the mortgage payment that you re concerned about you don t want to wreck your job Maybe you vote in favor or against particular bills because certain interest groups want you to vote in favor or against And you want to make sure that you maintain allies with different interest groups organizations so that when you re up for reelection in a couple of years you ve got some campaign funding coming from those interest groups Maybe you behave in a certain way as a lawmaker just to make a ruckus on the media Just to get your name out there Maybe you introduce a wacky bill that you know is going to get a lot of media attention because it s so bizarre You don t want it to pass but you re doing this to increase your media attention so you can increase your name recognition and hopefully that will assist you in the reelection process down the line There are many different reasons and motivations for why lawmakers behave the way that they do It would be nice if they would ideally do what the voters want but that s kind of naive of us to not consider all the other pressures that lawmakers have to deal with The legislature can be called into special session at any time Typically the legislature is called into special session after the end of a regular legislative session over that summer The governor has the authority to call a legislature into special session The governor also gets to set the agenda for that special session So typically what we see is that since our lawmakers are constrained with this short amount of time that they get to actually legislate because of our parttime legislature status maybe there are particular policies or bills that the governor was promoting during his campaign or maybe just particular policies that the governor is supportive of And the legislature didn t get around to discussing those particular bills because of the limited time that they have So maybe the governor is calling them into special session just to focus on the policies that he s advocating for The governor has quite a bit of in uence during these special sessions since he s the one who gets to set the agenda There is a time limit for those special sessions limited to only 30 days There is a possibility of being called into backtoback special sessions 135 dollars a day for 181 legislators those costs add up pretty quickly It is something to consider as a tax payer that anytime the governor calls the legislature into a special session there is an additional increase for tax payers Different ways that we can view representation We have descriptive representation and substantive These perspectives deal with how you as an individual feel you are being represented by your lawmaker and what kind of representation is important to you as an individual voter So with substantive representation this is when you feel like you need to be represented on the issues on your political values your political ideology your particular positions on certain issues You re being represented on the substance of the matter Descriptive representation is this idea that we are being represented on a demographic level So you and your lawmaker might share certain demographic characteristics with one another Professor Hom s state senator is an older black man They do not share many demographic characteristics with one another She s a woman he s a man he s black she s white Horn is not necessarily represented in a descriptive way with her state senator But he is a democrat fairly liberal democrat When it comes to substance or policy Horn does feel like he represents her wants needs and concerns They think about the issues in a similar fashion They share an ideology with one another If we do not see the characteristics of the population being re ected in the lawmaking population the level of distrust towards the government increases We kind of get into this position of us and them Us this very diverse group of Texans every color under the sun whole lot of age ranges income levels and then we look at the law makers and you see that our lawmakers are mostly white middleaged men that are lawyers with graduate degrees Our response is that they don t represent us they don t look like us Do they understand our wants needs and concerns Because they are living a different lifestyle than I am It is important for young people to see lawmakers or to see people in a position of power that look like them For a lot of young black kids in America until Obama was elected president yes there was a possibility that you could get elected president but it never happened before in this country So don t necessarily discount descriptive representation But it s just 2 different ways to look at representation Redistricting happens every 10 years Because populations change People move around We ve seen a large in ux in our population in TX over the last couple of years because our economy hasn t been hit so hard so we ve seen a lot of new people moving to TX People move around within a state as well We move a lot within our state We want to make sure that districts maintain some level of equality If we look at our house districts there are about 145000 people that live in each house district Looking at our senatorial districts there s about 675000 people who live in each senatorial district But remember we only have 31 senate districts They re going to be much larger in size at least in regards to population versus the house districts Every 10 years the federal government conducts a census They come around and ask us how many people live within our household 201020202030 State lawmakers the following year are responsible for the redistricting process So in 2011 we did redistricting 2021 2031 It is the state law makers who are responsible for redrawing the district maps and taking into account the population changes since now we know we ve got new information where people are living and what the density is like for certain areas So they have to do redistricting every 10 years They are responsible for redistricting 3 maps The state senatorial districts state house districts US congressional districts This is why is is not only important to vote in presidential elections but to also vote in your state elections Because state lawmakers control the districts for the US congress That s why state legislators are very important They have quite a bit of control over the outcome of national elections 3851 Gerrymandering is this idea where district lines are drawn in a way to give a certain political party an advantage Drawing the district line in a particular way to give a political party an advantage In TX there are more republicans than there are democrats You ve got you urban center And typically we see more democratic support in urban arenas Then as we get into the suburbs there is more of a mixture And then in the rural we see more support for republican candidates Just by drawing the district lines in this particular way we ve got 4 different districts here we end up with one democratic district and 3 republican districts Because we ve kind of maintained all of the democrats in the center in that urban setting And we ve got 3 republican districts We talked about how if you have majority of democrats in a district it s very likely that the democratic candidate is going to win And same with republicans Over here by drawing the district lines this fashion we ve not moved any of the dots we ve only moved the district lines but we end up with 2 democratic districts and 2 republican districts Over here we end up with 4 republican districts because we ve kind of broken up the political power of the democrats living in this urban area In this last example just by drawing the lines in this fashion you maintain only 1 republican district and 3 democratic districts even though you have more republican dots So gerrymandering can have quite an in uence on election outcomes When your party is in power the year that we do redistricting you do as much as you can to gerrymander in favor of your own party Because again once we create these maps we use them for 10 years So we re trying to maintain success for our party for the next 10 years So democrats if they have ability they will seek out pockets of wealth across the state Because we know that wealthy communities tend to be more supportive of republican candidates Democrats will look for pockets of wealth and will try to draw district lines right through the middle of them to break up the political power of those wealthy voters who support the other guys Republicans the strategies that they will use in gerrymandering is they will look for pockets of minority voters Minority voters tend to be more supportive of democratic candidates Well if you re a republican candidate you re going to try and break up that political power of minority communities so drawing district lines through minority communities Republicans will also look for urban settings too Because urban settings tend to be more supportive of democratic candidates Republicans will look for minority pockets and also urban areas and they will try to dismantle the political power of those liberal voters by drawing district lines through those district communities And that s gerrymandering Gerrymandering takes place all over the country Gerrymandering takes place when they are redistricting our senatorial maps state house maps and also our US congressional map Some states have implemented a third party independent commission who is responsible for redistricting their state to alleviate some of this concern of gerrymandering Some states have done that but TX has yet to do that Lecture 13 Governors in TX are elected during the midterm election years We have our primary elections party primaries those always take place in the spring And then we have general elections every 2 years in November Half of those general elections are considered presidential election years So next year in 2016 as you are well aware there s a presidential election that is coming up We ll be electing a president and all of our state house members and a number of our state senators in that year The other kind of general election is called midterm election Those are the general elections that take place in the middle of the president s term The last time we had midterm elections was Nov 2014 We won t have them again until 2018 in a couple years Well our governor elections in TX take place during these midterm election years When we were talking about the state constitutions those 2 important versions of the state constitution in the 1869 version we extended those governor terms from 2 years to 4 years And then in 1876 when we rewrote the constitution again as a reaction to EJ Davis we shrunk those governor term to 2 years And we have been working with 2year governor terms all the way up until 1972 when we decided to extend those governor terms back to 4 years So since the early 70s we ve been working with 4year governor terms in TX And there s no limit to the number of terms that you can serve We still have 4year govemorterms and no term limits And we hold these governor elections in the midterm years In 72 when we reformed the length of the governor term we decided that holding governor elections in the midterm general election was more bene cial to the citizens of TX because honestly when there s presidential elections going on the media does not seem to give any attention to state level politics and who is running for state of ce So if we hold our govemor s election during those midterm years we don t have to worry about a national presidential race happening at the same time there s more focus on the media on the state level candidates the candidates who are actually running for governor there seems to be more interest amongst the voters as to whom is running on the state ticket because there is no national election going on Greg Abbott is our current governor The only way to remove the governor from office is through a formal impeachment process This is a 2step process Reasons to be impeached Official misconduct Incompetence Failure to perform your job duties So the impeachment process starts in the state house of representatives That s the rst step it starts in the house What if the members in the house will need to introduce a motion act that brings formal impeachment charges against the governor You need to introduce an act that is making a claim about why the governor needs to be impeached So one of the members of the house will need to introduce a motion explaining why he or she would like to impeach the governor Then the house will take a vote And we only need a majority of support to impeach the governor at the house level Just a simple majority 50 plus 1 vote Being impeached does not mean that you re getting kicked out of office Being impeached only means that there have been formal accusations against you You ve got a majority of the house members do support this claim that you did X Whatever it is Impeaching just means we are formally accusing you of a certain act Then we move to the senate The senate is our second step And the senate is going to act as the trial court The Senate will decide if you are convicted of your impeachment charges The house determines if they impeach you The senate determines if you re convicted of those impeachment charges Now in the senate the standard is a little higher Because we are actually talking about conviction rather than just accusation In the senate you need a 23 super majority to convict the governor of those impeachment charges If you are the governor and you are then convicted of these impeachment charges then we remove you from office That is when you have to step down You are removed from of ce but you are also disqualified from ever holding a government office in the state of TX again Let s say there are formal criminal laws that you have broken in this process and that s why you are being impeached If we have to deal with any violations of law criminal law then we take of those accusations in a regular court of law once you have been removed from of ce Let s say the reason you re being impeached is because we think you re involved in money laundering And so we impeach you by the house the senate convicts you and then you are removed from of ce Once you are removed from office and are stripped of your political power then we send you to a regular court of law to deal with the criminal charges So the Senate only acts as a trial court in regards the impeachment and the conviction They do not deal with any actual criminal violations Let s talk about this line of succession here So we ve got the governor The governor leaves the lieutenant governor steps in We ve talked about how the LG is the president of the state senate kind of oversees the state senate Probably the most powerful guy when it comes to TX politics Because he has so much in uence over the legislative process So we don t want to leave this position vacant for too long So in order to fill the LG s seat our senators will get together just our 31 state senators and they will elect one of themselves to serve as the LG for the remainder of that term So we actually have a senator that steps in Which then leads a vacancy in the senate seat We talked about how if there s a vacancy in a legislative position then we ll hold a special election to ll that vacant seat So then we actually have a special election to fill this vacant seat So let s say when our senators get together to vote on who s going to become the LG They elect senator Smith from senatorial district 17 So senator Smith becomes the LG Which means that senate district 17 no long has a senator So we ll hold a special election but only the voters of senatorial district 17 will elect that senator Because why should any of us have an input as to who the senator of district 17 should be if we don t live in that district This is how we ll all of those vacant seats The lieutenant governor becomes the governor one of our senators steps in for the LG and then we hold the special election to finally ll that vacant legislative seat Bene ts of being governor In TX our governors earn 150000 a year The members of a governor s professional staff Some of the folks that help the governor to perform his job One of the real key positions in the governor s of ce are his legislative liaisons The governor will have several LL that work on the staff These legislative liaisons Think of them as personal lobbyists for the governor They lobby the legislature on behalf of the governor They kind of act as this communication link between the governor and the members of the house and the senate The governor can t write a bill and then walk over to the capital building and introduce that bill on the senate oor Only senators and house members can introduce bills into the legislature So the governor has this nice policy idea that he would like to see implemented in TX he s going to have to call on a member of the legislature in hopes that that member that legislator will write up the bill for the governor Sort of on behalf of the governor So he uses his legislative liaisons to seek out a lawmaker who s willing to sort of assist him in his efforts In the end the governor will owe that legislator a favor There are some bargaining tactics that are used here But those legislative liaisons are there to act as that communication link between the governor s office and our legislatures Another group of folks that works for the governor is going to help him prepare the executive budget The executive budget is not the actual budget that becomes law in TX The executive budget is more like the dream budget according to the governor If the governor could write the budget all on his own and have complete control over the budget that s what the executive budget resembles Exactly what the governor wants to see The executive budget is prepared by the governor and his staff members And then the executive budget the dream budget of the governor is presented to the legislature And they take it into consideration when they re writing our state budget If you re a more popular governor you ve got high approval ratings it seems like everybody in TX just loves you will then the legislator is just going to consider your executive budget more seriously But let s say you re a governor that has very low approval ratings and the people of TX are just like counting the days till your term is over so they can get somebody new in the office Yes you can give your executive budget to the legislature and they re just going to set it aside Being popular as governor in TX is handy for you It s easier to get favors done that way Other staff members will help the governor with his appointments The governor still has hundreds of appointments that he has to make in a term There are 225 different state agencies and state departments You ve got the TX Department of transportation the state department of health These are generally called bureaucratic agencies The top official at these government departments is typically an appointed off1cial Think of it as a president of a corporation The director of a state department is an appointed position And the governor makes those appointments So if you have to appoint 200 people you probably don t know 200 qualifying candidates So members of your staff will help to create short lists for the governor So maybe the governor only has a list of 510 qualified candidates for each appointment that he has to make So there are staffers that not only serve as legislative liaisons not only work on the executive budget but you also have staff members who are there to help with the appointment pI39OCGSS There s about 200 folks that work in the governor s of ce When you think about the legislative process the governor only has a say in the very last step of the process It is not until bills are presented on his desk that he has an opportunity to sign them into law or to veto them So a lot of that in uence early in the legislative process comes from the Lieutenant governor And that s why a lot of political scientists argue that the LG s position is more powerful and more in uential when it comes to policy in TX because they have so much in uence during the legislative process The governor is just the last guy the last step in the order Governor veto powers in TX are limited to the regular old ordinary veto He has the veto power So if the legislature places a bill on governor Abbott s desk he can veto that bill But veto s can be overridden The standard to override a governor s veto is that supermajority 23s from both chambers 23 majority from the house and in the senate TX Governor s also have the use of the item veto Sometimes this is known as the line item veto But the use of the item veto is limited to appropriation bills An appropriation bill is a bill that gets passed which designates government dollars to different departments and projects This is how we spend government money We allocate it to different projects throughout the state So lets say the legislature has written an appropriation bill Let s say we ve got highway funding Y And for highway funding the legislature has designated 75 million dollars in the budget And then we ve got state departments X they need a 50 million dollar budget this year And then we ve passed a new law creating new after school programs for lowincome kids in TX So afterschool program C And that s going to cost the state 5 million dollars We prepare our appropriation bill and we hand it off to the governor The governor thinks the 5 million dollars for an after school program is expensive We ll cut that out We can use the item veto to just veto certain things out of the appropriation bill The appropriation bills are important because this is how you fund government The appropriation bills are important that s why they allow the governor to use the item veto so if he s satis ed with l or 2 or a few of the items on here he hasn t vetoed the bill in it s entirety but he was just simply dissatis ed for a few items we can just go through and mark those using the item veto Let s say that when he sees the appropriation bill and the legislator has designated 5 million dollars for the after school program and governor Abbott still believes that that is too much money but 3 million dollars would be a reasonable amount That is called a reduction veto Some states do allow their governors to use the reduction veto We do not in TX We can only use the regular veto and the item veto but only using the item veto appropriation bills The item veto might be the most powerful tool that the governor has at his disposal Because if he doesn t approve of a particular program he can use the item veto to just defund that program Occasionally as the governor sometimes just threatening to use the veto is all you need to do Let s say the legislature is working on senate bill 75 And the governor would like certain provisions on senate bill 75 changed So he talks to his legislative liaisons and have them go over to the senate and let those senators know that hey if you don t make these changes that the governor wants he s going to veto this bill when it hits his desk Sometimes just threatening the veto is enough to get the policy changed that he wants to see The other option for the governor in regards to legislation let s say they give him a bill and set it on his desk And then for 10 days he does nothing Doesn t touch it sign it into law doesn t veto it After those 10 business days That policy automatically becomes law without his signature Why would he do that If the governor knows that this bill is going to become law why not just sign it So if that policy goes awry he doesn t have to claim any responsibility So it s a way he can kind of distance himself from the policy His military powers As the governor you are in charge of our state militia You re the commander in chief of the TX militia We have 2 units The Texas national guard and the TX state guard As the governor you re going to appoint a general who oversees the militia for you So you will appoint a general a high ranking military official to over see the TX militia It s that general with military expertise who will actually be giving orders to the state militia The governor does have the authority to declare certain areas of the state under martial law Typically this happens after riots It s also usually in reaction to a natural disaster When people evacuated their homes in Austin due to wildf1res the governor declared that area under martial law It sent in the state militia to protect the property of those folks because we didn t want looters getting into those folks home while they ve been evacuated The govemor s pardoning powers Or lack In TX the governor used to have extensive pardoning powers This was back before the mid 30s We found out that ma and pa Ferguson were selling pardons That s a problem So in 1936 we reformed our pardoning laws and we created the board of pardons and paroles Now the governor is required to have approval from the board of pardons and paroles before a pardon can be issued It s the board of pardon and paroles who determine who gets pardoned and paroled in TX That s no longer up to the governor One power that the governor does have is to issue a 30day reprieve for death row inmates The governor could issue a 30day reprieve a 30 stay of execution for inmates on death row Now he can only do that once per death row inmate Lecture 14 The governor is the head of the executive branch in TX But he s only one member of the plural executive Most of the members of the plural executive are elected But the rst one we are going to cover is actually an appointed position and this the Texas secretary of State The Secretary of State is appointed by the governor With any governor appointees the senate must approve those appointees We want to make sure that the governor isn t just appointing folks that are big campaign donors We want to make sure that government appointees are quali ed candidates so we do allow the senate to approve them Senate approval has the super standard of 23s super majority So any governor appointees must be approved by the senate by a 2 3s majority The secretary of state is our chief election officer in the state So they maintain all of our voter registration records They are responsible for sending out our voter registration cards once every other year Also collect and maintain the official voting results after an election across the state Technically the lieutenant governor is a member of the plural executive an elected member of the plural executive Yes most of his responsibilities take place within the legislature he does oversee our state senate acts as the president of the state senate But is not a state senator And if the governor leaves midterm for whatever reason the LG steps in and nishes the remainder of that govemor s term So technically the LG is classi ed as a member of the plural executive So most of his responsibilities to do take place in the senate in the legislature Another member of the plural executive is the attorney general The attorney general s of ce is a 4 year term And with most of ces that will be discussed today these re statewide of ces which mean that all voters across the state have an opportunity to vote for these positions The attorney general s office is a state wide office The attorney general they oversee the AG s of ce which houses about 4000 employees Now most of those employees are attorneys and they re working on different legal matters throughout the state But the AG itself oversees all of those attorneys that work in that of ce If the state of TX is involved in a case at the supreme court level then the AG will represent the start of TX at the supreme court So remember when we were talking US v TX where we nally outlawed the use of poll taxes in any state or local elections It was the AG in TX who represented the state in that particular court case The AG s office is pretty good about working our matters of child support enforcement When Abbott was AG he made it a priority for the AG s of ce to work on child support enforcement The AG has also used as a delay tactic within the legislature sometimes when a particular legislator does not agree with a bill that is being debated at that time they will request an AG s opinion on that bill They say that we re really unsure about the legality of this bill is it really a constitutional kind of policy that we could implement Not really sure let s have the AG clarify that for us And so they ll send a bill over to the AG and have the AG write up a report on that bill An opinion on that bill and whether the bill has any legal problems attached to it Well our legislator only meets for 6 months every other year So they got these short little terms Well first of all it takes a little time to send it over to the AG s office and then it takes more time for him to write up this opinion so really this is just used as a delay tactic so we don t discuss the bill until we receive it back from the AG Generally you can think of the AG as the chief attorney for the state of TX Then we got the commissioner of the general land of ce 4 year term State wide of ce The CGLO oversees all of our state owned land Often times people will rent that state owned land This is a way for us to generate revenue through the land that we possess So the land commissioner is responsible for colleting those rents Sometimes companies will want to drill for oil or natural gas on state owned land And so we will lease out that land for them to do that George P Bush is the current land commissioner In addition to your regular responsibilities as land commissioner you also sit as the chair for 2 different land boards the veterans land board and the school land board The veteran s land board was established after WWII In this state board it is responsible for granting lowinterest loans to veterans so they can purchase a lot of land The school land board there s about 20 million acres of public school across TX the SL oversees those acres Sometimes companies will rent land that is technically part of the school land and they ll drill for oil and natural gas and a percentage of their pro ts goes back to the school land board That money is supposed to be used for public education funding After some research we have discovered that sometimes in the budgetary process those dollars nd their way to other places in the budget even though it is supposed to go to the permanent school fund Comptroller of public accounts The comptroller is elected 4 year terms There are no term limits for all of these of ces The CPA think of them as the state s treasurer They manage all of our state deposits They are responsible for collecting all of the different taxes that we collect here in TX They manage our expenditures as a state The most important responsibility for the CPA is to certify our biennial revenue report When our state legislature writes our state budget they write a budget that is a 2 year budget Since they only meet once every other year they have to create a 2year long budget biennial Well by law states cannot pass unbalanced budgets States can only spend the amount of money they believe are going to bring in taxes So the comptroller when they write this biennial revenue report they have to forecast how much revenue they foresee TX collecting in the next 2 years It is dif cult Yes they use current trends to predict the amount of revenue that we re going to bring in over the next 2 years but you can t always foresee changes in the economy Well the state of TX is very reliant on sales tax revenue So when the economy is good and we all have disposable income we go out and we spend our money we buy things So the government gets accustomed to certain amounts of revenue coming in Because traditionally our spending habits don t change all that much from year to year But when the economy takes a turn for the worst or takes a dive we stop spending our money at the same kind of rate We hold on to any extra money maybe we are concerned about job security so we start putting money back into the savings account in case we need it for a rainy day We don t go out to eat as often We keep some of our money closer to us and we re not spending as much money This negatively impacts states particularly TX because we are so reliant on sales tax revenue So there s no way for the comptroller of public accounts to forecast that the economy is going to take a dip and people aren t going to be spending as much money So the comptroller tries to give the best most accurate forecast they can as regards to how much revenue they are going to collect over the next 2 years And they write that into the biennial revenue report Once that report is completed it goes over to the state legislature and that indicates to the members of the state legislature that this is how much money you have when you re writing the budget that you re working on right now There is a direct connection between the comptroller and our budget It all comes down to this biennial revenue report How much money do they have to spend Because TX cannot adopt a budget that exceeds our forecasted revenue Then we got the commissioner of agriculture 4 year term State wide of ce Elected position The AG commissioner oversee the department of agriculture they run the department of agriculture in TX The commissioner of agriculture is responsible for implementing and enforcing any agricultural laws So they deal with things like food inspection and animal quarantine laws Pest control Regulate what kinds of pesticides can be used on food products Some of the traditional duties of the AG commissioner are to regulate the weights in scales across TX When you go and buy gas you go and you pump gas into your car and it says that ve pumped 5 gallons of gas Do you ever wonder if you truly receive your 5 gallons of gas The agriculture commissioner is responsible fro regulating the accuracy of our gas pumps and also the weights at the grocery store So the next time you go and pump gas you ll notice that there is a sticker on each gas pump that says the department of agriculture it has the commissioner s name on there There is some consumer protection built into the system The department of agriculture has employees that go out across the state of TX and verify that gas pumps are pumping accurately and that we re not getting ripped off The scales at the market are also checked by the department of agriculture on a regular basis All of these are part of the plural executive All except the secretary of state are elected officials But the plural executive also includes 2 state boards The rst one is the state board of education The SBE is run by a 15member board all 15 of these board members are elected by single member districts 4 year terms If these folks are elected by single member districts think of this in the same context as your state house members or your state senator There are 15 state board education districts in the state of TX and each state board of education district represents one voting board member There is also a commissioner of education The CE is appointed by the governor The commissioner is a non voting member so they don t get to vote Only the elected board members get to vote The commissioner does not get to vote The commissioner just kind of acts as an overseer of the board meetings and sort of a representative of the governor They typically promote the govemor s opinions at the board meetings The state board of education regulate k12 education across TX They oversee curriculum reform determine what kind of teacher evaluations we re going to use What kinds of standardized test we re going to use Which textbooks we re going to buy The TX railroad commission is the most powerful state board in all of TX The railroad commission is run by a 3 member board There s 3 folks they re elected But they re elected to the stagger 6 year terms We also rotate the chairmanship of the board So everyone who serves on the TX railroad commission gets to serve as the chair in the last 2 years of your 6 year term First 4 years you re just a railroad commissioner but the last 2 years of your term you serve as the chair of the railroad commission What makes the railroad commission so signi cant is that they are responsible for the regulation on oil and natural gas in TX They regulate the production of oil and natural gas So if you want to drill for natural gas and oil in TX even if its on your own land you have to have approval from the TX railroad commission Also if are trying to drill a stateowned land you not only need the approval of the land commissioner but you also need the approval of the railroad commission They are the ones that grant these leases We call them oil and natural gas leases They also regulate how much you can produce on your lease The Public Utilities commission PUC The PUC is a state agency or department but it is not classi ed under the plural executive it s one of the 225 state agencies that we have here in TX The PUC they are run by a 3 member board with 6 year staggered terms The difference is the PUC board members are appointed by the governor They are not elected The big difference between the railroad commission and the PUC is that the PUC members are appointed by the governor not elected by voters The PUC regulates electricity in TX 3 electric grids in the US One grid services the east coast and the Midwest one that serves the west coast and mountain region the last one services TX What is unfortunate about the situation is that we end up paying higher prices for electricity because there s less competition on our grid There s way more electric companies on these other 2 grids So the competition is much higher out there They produce more electricity to drive the costs down The PUC regulates how much electricity each company can put on the grid They have a control over the electric prices in TX Lecture 15 An interest group is an organization that attempts to in uence government policy The whole point of an interest group is to in uence government policies We hear a lot about interest group activity at the national level but interest groups tend to target state legislators state lawmakers to in uence state level policies There were a couple of grassroots organizations that were created There was one organization that popped up that was in favor of building cowboys stadium And so they would talk to members of city council and also local residents discuss the bene ts of cowboy stadium being built here There was this one organization that was promoting the building of the Cowboys stadium and they talked about all the great things it will do for the city of Arlington But then there was another grassroots organization an interest group organization that targeted the same folks City council members the mayor local residents And talked about how building cowboys stadium in Arlington is really not all that great for us It s going to take a lot of taxpayer money There 2 local grassroots interest groups that popped up just over the issue of whether or not to build cowboy stadium Interest groups are active at the state level not just the national level These interest group organizations are sort of selfish They are only concerned about a particular set of interests Most often times interest groups are concerned about getting policies passed that are bene cial to all of society Interest groups are trying to in uence the government to pass policies that bene t their organization or the members of their organization So they kind of have the sel sh interest they re not concerned about what s good for the whole They are concerned about what s good for their organization Their members There are good things The whole idea behind interest groups is that you ve got like minded folks sort of coming together around a particular cause and using their power of numbers to in uence government policy That s how democracy is truly supposed to work People with similar ideas or values they group themselves together and they use that power of having so many people think like that so many like minded individuals to in uence the government to pressure the government for certain kinds of policies that hopefully the government respond by passing those policies Interest group organizations are typically wellfunded organizations They ve got full time lobbyists that work for them And those lobbyists are there to make connections with different lawmakers and attempt to in uence the opinion of those lawmakers Interest groups also have enough funding to produce their own research Often times they do their own independent research This is really helpful in a state like TX because we have a part time legislature Our lawmakers only meet 6 months every other year and we don t give them a very large salary either So our lawmakers don t necessarily have the time or the resources to conduct their own independent research So because we live in a part time legislative state our lawmakers tend to be even more heavily in uenced by interest groups because they have so much data and information to provide One thing that we have to be concerned about when we re talking about research that s done by these interest group organizations is that it could be biased data Interest groups have a particular agenda that they re trying to promote If you re a good researcher you can get a study to say whatever you want it to say So lawmakers and citizens needs to be aware that yes these interest groups do have a lot of great data and good information but it could be biased information The interest group might only promote particular ndings that support their agenda They have a lot of research Our lawmakers are very reliant on that research here in TX Interest groups also educate the members of their organization If you re a member of an interest group you probably get a newsletter every so often that keeps you informed about what s going on within the organization But also what kinds of bills are being debated at the national or even the state level that have to do with that organization So they do provide a lot of information to citizens In just giving them all the data about bills that are being debated at the time that they might be concerned with Interest groups are also pretty good at mobilizing the electorate during the campaign season Again if you re a member of an interest group before election day typically you ll get a phone call or two Hey I m a representative with RNA national ri e association you re a member I m just calling to remind you that elections are coming up next week Make sure you get out and vote by the way in our newsletter we identi ed that we are supporting as an organization So as a member of our organization you might want to think about voting for those particular candidates So there are some really great things about interest groups They do a lot of research They get people together to pressure the government for certain policies They educate our lawmakers educate members of society mobilize people during elections So it s not all bad there are some good things about interest groups as well Political scientists have identi ed 3 different kinds of bene ts or explanations as to why people join interest group organizations The rst one is the solidary incentive This solidary incentive refers to the warm fuzzy feeling you get deep down when you re part of a group So your opinion is validated because you ve got a whole bunch of folks just like you That second one is the material incentive Some of these bene ts are direct bene ts So if you re a member of AAA you might get discounts on vacation packages or when you have a blowout on the highway somebody comes and saves you Those are those direct benefits But then you get those indirect benefits as well if you re a member of an interest group organization The fact that your organization has paid lobbyists who meet members of the state legislature in attempt to in uence their behavior and they re representing your opinion representing your values and your beliefs you are indirectly benefiting from that lobbyist being down there in Austin making connections with our lawmakers Many of these interest groups require membership fees dues make you pay to be part of it Why do that do that It shows a certain level of loyalty to an organization when you re having to pay to be a member KERA PBS and NPR are publically funded media outlets They get a lot of their funding from the government But the majority of their funding comes from view and listener donations So if you re not paying you re sort of freeriding it So one of the reasons that these interest groups require membership fees is to alleviate the free riders Only the people paying membership get the bene ts of that organization The third one is a purposive incentive This purposive incentive refers to your principles acting on your principles When you hold a political idea or value so tightly so close to your heart that you feel like you need to be an active participant to change You re joining an interest group because you don t just want to sit back and be a passive observer and watch what government does just to see what happens in the end You want to be an active participant With the abortion issue you ve got folks on both side of that issue that are joining interest groups because of this purposive incentive For our pro life individuals they are very concerned with the wellbeing of the unborn And feel that certain rights should be granted to the unborn And on the other side those that are pro choice they feel very strongly about a woman s right to choose what she feels is best to do with her own body So they feel very emotional maybe about these issues So they join because they re acting on their principles Typically people who are a part of an interest group are of a higher socioeconomic status and who have achieved higher levels of education The same type of people who vote are the same types of folks who actually join these interest groups And some people are concerned about that If the way of participating in our democratic system is by voting and by joining these organizations and that s only happening with a small fragment of our population can we really make the claim that our democracy is representative of our population Or maybe our democracy is only representative of people who are participating in the government process Different lobbying techniques Direct lobbying and then indirect lobbying With most of these direct lobbying techniques you have the lobbyist making a direct connection with the lawmaker So again with direct lobbying the majority of these direct lobbying techniques you have lobbyist A lobbyist is a representative of an interest group and they re making direct connection with the politician or law maker So one of these direct lobbying techniques is just setting up meetings with politicians Requesting and meeting with the politician himself or maybe a member of his staff or chief of staff At this meeting you want to make the politician aware of the organization s position Maybe it s the organizations position on a particular bill that is being debated at that time Or maybe its just the position in general of the organization The subtext of this meeting is that as an organization we re pretty powerful We have lots of members campaign dollars to go around and if you ignore our wants needs and concerns we will either actively campaign against you the next round of election or we won t donate for your campaign when you re running for reelection Having our lobbyists testify at committee hearings is another direct lobbing technique When we talked about the legislative process a coupe of weeks ago Professor Horn mentioned that on occasion the committee chairman will schedule a public hearing on a particular bill And we ll invite experts to come in and speak to the merits of the bill invite lobbyists and speak to merits of the bill This is an opportunity to not only impact 1 law maker or in uence 1 law maker as a lobbyist but now you have a whole committee that is present to hear what you have to say about this bill Maybe you support it for reasons X Y and Z Or your organization opposes it for explanations A B and C You not only have the opportunity to in uence one law maker but a whole committee of law makers That s another opportunity of direct lobbying We ve also seen in the past that lobbyists will write legislation bills and since a lobbyist can t introduce a bill in the house or senate oor and then call a lawmaker you have a good relationship with and you like hey I wrote up this bill I am going to send it over to you If you like it if you agree with it why don t you just introduce it into your chamber Remember you re running for reelection next year and we ve got campaign dollars This might be concerning for some folks to know that lobbyists are actually writing some of the bills that have been introduced into some of our legislature To sort of quell any of those fears understand that within the legislative process there are many opportunities for bills to die Often times when we re debating bills we change them mark them up rewrite it in it s entirety There are checks in place to protect the citizens The last one slightly different is fundraising With fundraising Professor Horn knows that we re not seeing this direct connection between the lobbyists and the lawmaker but because money in American campaigns is so significant you have to put fundraising under the direct lobbying category A key way that interest groups try to in uence members of the legislator is through their campaign donations This is done though PACs PACs are political action committees Think of it as the department or division of an interest group that is concerned with granting campaign donations Not every interest group has a PAC There are many interest groups that just don t want to get into the business of campaign donations They are not trying to attempt to in uence the policy through this route But there are many interest groups that they say hey it works really well so we re going to use it Not every interest group has a PAC But every PAC is connected to an interest group You might believe that membership payments that you make to join an interest group that some of those dollars are used for campaign donations That is false What will typically happen is during the election season you might get an email requesting to make a donation to the RNA PAC We are supporting these candidates So you make your contribution and send it into the RNA PAC And then the RNA PAC will bundle those little individual donations that we ve made into much large more sizeable donations that they give to the candidate At the national level for presidential and congressional elections the amount of money that PAC s can donate is quite limited For those types of elections PACs can only donate about 5000 per candidate per election But when we talk about state level candidates states get to come up with their own regulations on PAC donations In TX we have some of the most lenient laws regarding PAC donations In TX if a PAC wants to donate to a legislative candidate or an executive candidate PA Cs are not limited at all in the amount of money they can donate in to a candidate s campaign It s in the donations of the PAC donations that turn off a lot of people because it involves where the loyalty of our lawmakers fall Do I please the people or the interest groups that helped me out With indirect lobbying you re really going to use the members of your organization instead of your lobbyists One technique that is used are writing petitions Signing petitions So maybe this interest group creates a petition and they send out an email to all of the members and they say hey we re going to tell those lawmakers in Austin to vote in favor house bill 75 so sign this petition And then we ll present that petition to the lawmakers How much validity does that petition carry The one benefit of indirect lobbying over direct lobbying is that with indirect lobbying you re able to show broader support As opposed to direct lobbying Another indirect lobbying technique instead of having you re your lobbyist testify at that committee you have a member of your interest group testify that that committee hearing Maybe the message sounds a little more genuine or pure when it s actually coming from a citizen instead of a lobbyist Letterwriting campaigns are another indirect lobbying technique Maybe you get an email from your interest group organization that says we are going to do a letter writing campaign write your house member state senator and tell them to vote in favor house bill 75 and all the good things house bill 75 will do for TX And if you don t have time to write out your own letter we ve attached a letter to this email just print it out and sign your name at the bottom Public demonstrations are another indirect lobbying technique You get all the members of the organization to some public park with just signs and banners make a ruckus call the news media Lecture 16 Lobbying refers to trying to in uence policy Your more traditional lobbyists are called your inhouse lobbyists Your in house lobbyist is a full time traditional employee of the interest group organization They work solely for one interest group organization We also see contract lobbyists in TX They are lobbyists that are hired on contract by a particular interest group organization The terms of these contacts can vary There s no standardized contracts Depending on the contracts these lobbyists might represent only one interest group organization or maybe they re allowed to represent several interest group organizations Some interest groups might want this contract lobbyist to represent them and solely them But sometimes their contracts will allow the contract lobbyist to have several interest group clients You might be a contract lobbyist for just 1 legislative session 6 month time period The term length on those contracts do also vary And of course so does the pay We have seen that some of these contract lobbyists can make upward to a 100000 for a 6 month contract We do notice that lot of these contract lobbyists are former members of the state house or state senate You re paying for their networks The governor is not the only entity with legislative liaisons Bureaucratic agencies state departments also have legislative liaisons Bureaucratic agencies are the ones who actually implement law once it s passed They implement policy And in often times the legislative liaisons from these Bureaucratic agencies will try to in uence members of the house and the senate while bills are being debated so they can provide them with some expert knowledge as to how the reality of how this law will work out in the real world Legislative liaisons are also there to lobby on behalf of their agency for more funding There s only so much state funding to go around And state agencies are trying to get as much of the funding high as they possibly can They want to increase their budgets every opportunity they can Part of the reason they want to have an increased budget is because that shows significant for a state agency The larger your budget at the state agency the more significant you are as a state agency So you can provide more services hire more employees give better bene ts to employees through a larger budget Citizen lobbyists is a dues paying member of an interest group organization They are just very dedicated to the cost They are volunteering their time to lobby for the organization The Hobbyist lobbyist is the last one Your hobbyist lobbyist is not affiliated with an interest group They re just taking this role of lobbyist on their own Independently Usually not all that successful because they are working on their own Our more formal in house lobbyists are contract lobbyists or legislative liaisons when they get about this job of lobbying this responsibility of lobbying do you think there are particular law makers that they target Or they just try to lobby as many lawmakers as they can The Texas Iron Star is a visual concept that is developed by political scientists who study TX government and they use it sort of visualize the key components in policy making here in TX We just discussed how the speaker of the house and the lieutenant governor have quite a bit of in uence in their own chambers The speaker of the house and the LG are 2 points on our Texas Iron Star Interest groups also play a very in uential role They are constantly trying to lobby members of each chamber as well as the speaker and LG to see the kinds of policy changes they would like to see enacted here in TX Bureaucracy also comes into play as well Not only these bureaucratic agencies not only do they have legislative liaisons that are trying to in uence our lawmakers during the legislative process but bureaucrats are responsible for implementing laws while they are passed The last point on the iron star goes to the governor That s because the governor has the authority to either sign a bill into law or to veto The Texas Iron Star is a visual concept for us to use so we can understand the different components of policy making we can recall those different pieces Let s say we have a house member that introduces a bill that says that all hazardous waste must be dispose of at a safe distance from cities So as this bill is working its way through its chambers you re going to have in uence from interest groups support or oppose You might have bureaucratic groups trying to in uence the process as well You might have legislative liaisons from the TX commission on environmental quality that are also meeting with house members and senators to encourage them to support the bill Eventually the governor has to sign or veto it Now we have this law That s kind of vague First of all what is considered hazardous material What s a safe distance from cities Often times when legislators write laws they re kind of vague They ve got holes or gaps And it becomes the job the bureaucrats who implement that policy to fill in those gaps and to clarify that vagueness If we have this law and hand it off to our corresponding bureaucratic agency our state department the TX commission on environmental quality They are responsible for implementing this policy But they are aware it s kind of vague There is a hierarchy in bureaucracy You ve got your front line bureaucrats and then top tear bureaucrats Directors of these state agencies Typically the directors of state agencies are appointed by the governor So if the TX Commission on Environmental Quality receives this new policy that they have to enact those top tear bureaucrats the people who run the agency they will determine what those de nitions are They will de ne hazardous material It s bureaucrats who define some of these provisions within the law But bureaucrats are not elected Some of them higher bureaucrats are appointed by the governor but the rest of us are just hired employees and we work for the state and it seems a little problematic that we ve got unelected of cials that are exerting so much in uence over policy Because when you think about it aren t the really de ning policy in regards to how we live that policy Yeah Because they re de ning how that policy is going to be enacted in reality not just in the abstract sense which is what our house and senators are working with Bureaucrats typically have a bit of expertise within their eld Folks who work through the TX commission of environmental quality a lot of them are environmental scientists They are experts within their eld So maybe it s a good thing that we allow those bureaucrats to kind of define law or clarify the vagueness of a law because they really know their stuff
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