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POLS 2306 Exam 2 Study Guide

by: Cindy Cattey

POLS 2306 Exam 2 Study Guide POLS 2306

Cindy Cattey
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
GPA 3.6

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This study guide covers the textbook review for chapters 7 and 8, as well as a summary of the lecture notes. Topics Covered: -State legislative process -State legislators -Governors
State and Local Government
Dr. Paula Arledge
Study Guide
Government, political science, State Government, State legislators, legislation, Governors
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This 10 page Study Guide was uploaded by Cindy Cattey on Saturday October 8, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POLS 2306 at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi taught by Dr. Paula Arledge in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 39 views. For similar materials see State and Local Government in Political Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

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Date Created: 10/08/16
Exam 2 Study Guide Chapter 7 EX OFFICIO: AD HOC COMMITTEES: • Board members • Designed to address one specific issue • Hold a position automatically because • Temporary and disbanded when their they also hold another office function is complete o ex: Legislative Redistricting Board is made up of the lieutenant governor, the speaker JOINT COMMITTEES: of the house, the attorney general, the comptroller, the commissioner of the • Includes senators and representatives General Land Offic • Helps create legislation that is considered by both chambers CRACKING: • Makes passage of bills easier and faster • Gerrymandering technique in which concentrated political party voters in DISCHARGE PETITION: one geographical location are split into • A means of bringing a bill to the floor for several districts consideration without cooperation of • Minimizes their voting power the leadership • Used when a committee refuses to put PAIRING: a bill on the Committee’s agenda • Placing two incumbent officeholders in the same elective district through BLOCKING BILL: redistricting • First bill placed on the senate calendar • Ensures that at least one will be in each session defeated, usually helps the majority • Usually never considered by the full party’s incumbent represent the new senate district • Purpose is to stop floor consideration of any other bills DESCRIPTIVE REPRESENTATION: • Idea that elected bodies should CHUBBING: represent the ethnic and social • Debating earlier bills for the maximum characteristics of their constituents, in allotted time and stalling so the house addition to their political views doesn’t get around to bills they • This attempts to help keep legislative ultimately object to bodies diverse o ex: asking the bill’s sponsor trivial questions, proposing amendments, etc INTERIM COMMITTEES: • Meets between legislative sessions • Consider proposed legislation before the next session, address challenges that come up between the biennial regular sessions Exam 2 Study Guide Chapter 8 QUOROM: • Original duty was protecting citizens • To take official action, both houses from unfair railroad practices, but they require two-thirds of the total have been stripped away and given to membership to be present the depts. of Transportation and Public o ex: debating, amending, and voting on Safety legislati n • Current duties include regulating intrastate wheeled carriers, and CLOTURE: regulation of oil and gas pipelines and • procedure for ending a legislative oil well drilling/production debate and taking a vote SPOILS SYSTEM: SUNSET ADVISORY COMMISSION: • Elected officials hire campaign workers • Recommends keeping, abolishing, as public employees reorganizing, or giving a new scope of • Replaced in the nat’l gov’t and many authority to an agency states by the civil service/merit system • Created with the Texas Sunset Act • TX still uses the spoils system (1977) in response to the public perception that government spending HIERARCHY: was out of control • Chain of command eventually leading to • Five senators, five representatives, and a single individual with ultimate two public members authority over the organization • Estimated savings because of the • TX bureaucracy follows the basic commission: $945.6 million administrative principle of hierarchy BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION: only for the elected administrator or an appointed board, but has no single • Consist of influential citizens, politicians, individual with ultimate power and members of interest groups • Measure public acceptance of proposals IRON TEXAS STAR: • Model to explain the relationships SENATORIAL COURTESY: between political actors in TX that make • Tradition of allowing a senator to reject public policy happen the governor’s appointment of a Special Interest Groups political enemy from the senator’s district • Other senators show courtesy by Lieutenant Governor, refusing to confirm the appointment of Legislative Institutions, Senate Standing Governor the political enemy Committees TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION: • Established by the constitution, elective • Three members, six year terms, chair Speaker of the House, Boards, position rotates so each member is the Legislative Institutions, Commissions, chair during their last two years in office House Standing Administrators Committees Exam 2 Study Guide Chapter 8 OMBUDSMAN: • “Ombudsperson” • an official who takes, investigates, and mediates complaints about government bureaucrats or policy • originated in Sweden in 1819 • established in TX by governor Ann Richards in 1991 CONTRACT SPOILS: • politicians award contracts to their political supporters and contributors in the business community WHISTLE-BLOWERS: • government employees who expose bureaucratic excesses, blunders, corruption, or favoritism • often punished for their actions, even though TX has a whistle-blowers law that prohibits governments from acting against such employees Lecture Notes Exam 2 Key ideas Definitions Court Cases Legislatures (9/19/16) • Functions o Legislation (monopoly on lawmaking power) § Limitations: Law must be consistent with state and federal constitution, governor has veto power, Political tests (what the people of the state are willing to accept) o Conflict Resolution: battles between interest groups asking for laws that are favorable to themselves o Oversight (bureaucracy): keeping an eye on bureaucratic agencies to make sure they are following through with the legislation’s intent (investigating committees do most work) § Zero based budgets: agencies submit new budgets annually, not incremental § Sunset laws: sets a time limit on the existence of an agency or program o Constituency Service: doing good things for the people in your district (key to reelection) o Represent state in federal system (amending the US constitution and preserving geographic integrity) o Adjudicatory functions: a function that is similar to those performed by the courts (impeachment process, judging qualifications and discipline of members) § Impeachment process: 1) Charges are brought in lower house 2) Trial is held in the state senate (HOR is usually the prosecutor) 3) Senate votes on impeachment o Executive functions: a function similar to what is done by the governor (shared appointment) State legislators’ characteristics (9/21/16) • “Second Rung Elites” (economic class) o Second rung: above average socioeconomic status, but they haven’t been in the state for a long time • Flexible occupations o Must be able to take time off of work o Lawyers dominate state legislature § Taught to read laws, represent clients, and negotiate in law school o Agriculture sends a lot of legislators • Not representative of the population as a whole o Minorities and women are severely underrepresented o Influence of female legislators § Issues: more focus on education, healthcare, and public welfare § Inclusion: tend to hire more women and minorities in their legislative staffs § Governing approaches: more consensus-oriented and willing to compromise Legislature Design Lecture Notes Exam 2 • Bicameral: Senate tends to focus on bigger issues, HOR focuses on smaller issues (smaller districts, nuts and bolts issues) • Size (larger state = larger legislature, usually) o TX § Senate = 31 members ¨ 30 elected from senate districts st ¨ 31 member is the lieutenant governor (part of the exec branch, but his most important job is leading the leg.) § HOR = 150 members • Terms o TX ® No term limits (can stay as long as members of the district keep voting them in) § Senate = 4yrs § HOR = 2yrs • Qualifications o TX Constitution has no substantial barriers House Senate Age 21 26 Residency (yrs in 2/1 5/1 state/yrs in district) Citizenship US US o Political qualifications are much more stringent to be a serious contender § Longer district residency § Occupation: in a rural district, you need to know something about agriculture o Districts: geographic regions in the state § Courts say that all members of state legislature must be elected in districts § TX (average sizes) ¨ House = 160,000 constituents (people in the district) ¨ Senate = 800,000 constituents CLASS CANCELLED (9/23/16) Out-of-class writing assignment CLASS CANCELLED (9/26/16) Districting Problems (9/28/16) • Malapportionment: voting districts unequal in population o Legislature ® census (redraw is required after every census) § State legislatures abandoned this for decades o Rural ® urban migration: urban groups were very underrepresented o 1940s: urban people went to the Sup Ct and demanded redistricting (ruled that it was a “political question”, and not acceptable for judicial review) o Baker v. Cars (1964): New Sup Ct ruled that gerrymandering was a large issue Lecture Notes Exam 2 § One person/one vote: every person’s vote should count the same, districts must be substantially equal to fulfill this § 10% differential: there can be no more than a 10% difference between the largest district and the smallest district to be constitutional • Gerrymandering: drawing districts to favor a particular group o Political purposes: splits up political parties, acceptable o Racial purposes: NOT acceptable o Latin Americans v. Perry (TX) after 2000 census § L.A. claimed that the state leg. drew districts to discriminate against Hispanics § This made it harder to elect Hispanic candidates (democratic) § Ruled that this was actually political, not racial o Shaw v. Reno (SC) § Wanted to send a black member to the national legislature, so they drew an irregular district § Ruled that this was racial, and not acceptable Legislative types • Professional: In session all year, members are not expected to have other jobs, less turnover, more knowledgeable • Citizen: part-time • Hybrid: In session longer and paid better than citizen, but less than professional Legislative leadership • TX has a “no party style” ideology (this is different than other states) • House ® Speaker is the most powerful person in the HOR o Recorded majority vote: you know who voted for who § Occasionally, minority members will vote with the majority to stay in favor o Powers: appoints members and assigns bills to committees (you want to stay in his favor so your bill will go to a supportive committee) • Senate (TX) ® Lt. Governor presides over senate o Elected through the exec branch (statewide vote) o Half of the states elect a president of the senate instead Legislative Process (9/28/16) • Sessions (leg. must be meeting to pass laws) o Regular: set in state const. § TX ® 2 Tuesday of January for 140 days in odd-numbered years o Special: between regular sessions § TX ® only the governor can call these, they last 30 days § Some leg. can call through a majority vote (not true in TX) Legislative Process cont’d (9/30-10/3) 1. Introduction of bills Lecture Notes Exam 2 o A bill must be introduced by a member of the leg., many are written by lobbyists 2. Readings of bills o Once it has been read, it’s assigned to a standing committee by the Speaker 3. Standing committee: a permanent (exists through all elections), one-house (either HOR or Senate) committee o Subcommittee: small group assigned by a chairman to deal with a bill before it is brought to the floor § Hearings: interest groups send representatives to testify before committees about the bill § “Markup of the bill”: changes to the bill after hearings § Bill is sent back to the entire committee to either report out or kill o Other committee types § ad hoc: one-house committee, created for a temporary purpose § interim: one-house committee, meet b/t leg. sessions to deal with issues § joint: temporary, two-house committees; only purpose is to resolve differences regarding legislation 4. Placement on calendar o chairman of the calendar committee (one of the most powerful positions) § The earlier your bill gets on the calendar, the better chance it has to pass § Not first-come-first-served, chairman has discretion when to schedule things 5. Debate on floor o House limited § To get on the floor, you have to go to the Speaker of the House to ask for permission to speak on the bill o Senate unlimited § Any senator can speak for as long as they want § Filibuster: trying to talk a bill to death to prevent a bill from passing 6. Vote o Proposition 11 (2006): required recorded votes on bills in legislature 7. Conference Committee (temporary, 2-house committee to resolve differences in legislation) o Bicameralism requirement: must pass in both houses in state leg. in exactly the same form 8. Final Passage: In TX, when the bill goes for final passage, no changes can be made during the discussion of the bill 9. Governor o Signing: they have a great deal of power over the legislature o Law w/o signature: Gov does this when he doesn’t want to support the law, but he thinks it has enough leg. support to override his veto o Veto: Sends bill back to legislature with a reason for veto (gubernatorial veto) § 2/3 vote to override in both houses, same as Congress § Father’s Day Massacre: Rick Perry wanted to show that he was not afraid to veto § Limited line item veto: can veto specific lines in a bill (limited to monetary lines) Lecture Notes Exam 2 Influences on state legislators o Political Party o Competitive v. Non-competitive states § Competitive: party influence is the greatest o Interest groups • Lobbying (lobbyists work for interest groups) • Revolving door: Some of the most successful lobbyists are former legislators • Other states • Federal gov’t o occasionally, a state will pass a law that goes against federal policy, as a matter of principle Governors o Decentralized exec branch: little or no control over the other members of the executive branch because they are independently elected o Early weaknesses: early govs were disliked because of Royal English govs, so they weren’t given much power o Legal qualifications (TX): found in the state constitution • Age: 30yrs • Citizenship: US • Residency: 5 yrs Governors’ Political Qualifications (10/5/16) • Gender ® male. o Women ¨ Widow’s Route: wostn succeeded their husbands after death ¨ “Ma” Ferguson: 1 female gov of TX, her husband was the only gov ever impeached from office, but he was still popular with the public, so they elected her ¨ Ann Richards: 2 female gov, our last Democratic gov. • Race ® white o There have been more women in office than minorities • Prior Experience: Virtually all govs have had some gov’t experience • Age: Average is now 40-60yrs old • Political party/ideology o In TX, you need to be a Conservative Republican to run for gov • Media qualifications: A gov candidate must sell themselves through the media • Money: Have to have money to spend on the campaign (a lot comes from interest groups) Governor Cont’d • Terms o TX ® 4yrs (same as most states) § No limits: gov can serve as long as constituents will elect him Lecture Notes Exam 2 o Gov is one of the most difficult roles in gov’t because he can’t control his branch (elected positions) o Staff Loyalists: gov is the only person who hires and fires them • Duties § Political appointments § Leg. liaison: day-to-day contact person between the gov and legislators § Head exec offices: appoints members of his staff to gov’t positions so he has a connection to those offices Roles of Governor (10/7/16) • Chief Administrator: more than any other person, he makes sure things get done. o Appointment/removal o Fiscal/management: passes state budget o Supervision: governor is elected statewide § Pet fields: Governor’s main focuses • Legislative: govs play a big role o Address: he can speak before the leg. o Special session: he can call the leg. into session o Veto: threatens a veto if he doesn’t like a bill o Executive orders • Party leader: gov is the leader of the party in state o appoints party chairman (works as his representative when he can’t appear, usually someone he agrees with) • Adjudicator: similar to what is done in courts o Board of Pardons and Parole: this agency deals with pardons/paroles, takes power away from gov (as he may misuse it) • Military commander: mobilizes the troops o Appoints adjutant general whom the national guard answers to • Chief of State: symbolic role, symbol of the state of TX • Removal: charged ® trial ® maybe impeached o Impeachments o Recall: removal from the office via recall election o Disability: mentally or physically unable to be gov o Defeat (at the polls) Study Guide Exam 2 Key ideas Definitions Court Cases Executive Branch (10/10/16) • Decentralized o Within the states, power is divided up in the executive branch o Officials are individually elected, so they are not accountable to the governor o Internal check § No one person has ultimate power, and this controls the power of the government • Problems with decentralization o Political competition: many people in the state exec branch are using it as a stepping stone to higher positions (like governor) o Telescopic views: officials are only concerned with the interests of their parts of gov’t o Lack of accountability: citizens only really know the gov’s name, so he is blamed for everything o Undue interest group influence: multiple pathways for interest groups to access officials • Insuring accountability o Open meeting laws: the TX Const says that most gov’t meetings are open to the public and press o Open records laws: officials must keep records of communications dealing with their agency o Whistleblowers: reveal gov’t misconduct o Ombudsmen: a gov’t employee who works directly for the public, expected to make any problems public • Lt. Gov Dan Patrick: primary role is to preside over the senate o Separate election or team? § About half of the states elect the gov and lt. gov as a team § The other half elect them separately (including TX) • Attorney general: most powerful person in the state, second only to the gov. o Role: all legal, a “lawyer by definition” § Interpretation: interprets constitutional and state law § Representation: represents the state in court § Supervision: supervises the law enforcement agencies of the state • Treasurer (TX calls it a “comptroller”): responsible for funds necessary to run state government • Secretary of state: Supervise elections (most important duty); only person in the exec branch that the gov appoints in TX


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