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AUSTIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE / Government / GOVT 2306 / What is the division of power?

What is the division of power?

What is the division of power?



What is the division of power?


● Division of Power 

○ Originally seen as a dual system federal government is now cooperative ○ Both states and local government pursue economic interests in foreign countries  ○ Federal, State, and Local Governments now all deal with picket fence federalism ● Federalism at Work 

○ Federal­State­Local relationships are not always good 

○ For example Obamacare 

■ U.S agreed to pay for 90% of costs while Texas pays for 10% to pay for  every Texan to have insurance

■ Government officials in Texas refused to pay because they were 

suspicious that the U.S. would not pay the agreed sum

What is federalism at work?

○ Federal Gov influences these areas of policy in Texas 

■ Helps pay State Budget 

■ Civil rights 

■ Disabled access to public buildings 

■ Remediation of poverty 

■ In charge of wars that could affect Texas interests 

■ In charge of national legislation that impacts Texan economics 


● Legitimacy 

○ Constitutions give a government legitimacy 

○ Citizens make a contract with their government in America 

■ Citizens allow government officials to be excepted from certain civilian  laws to carry out their duties (cops can speed we can’t)

What is the present texas constitution?

■ Citizens determine what is legitimate still (cops can’t speed for no reason) ● Organizing Government We also discuss several other topics like How do you find the purchase of raw materials?

○ Constitutions must organize government 

○ American States follow the national model of separation of powers 

○ Specific organizational provisions vary greatly from state to state 

● Providing Power 

○ Elastic Clause gives power to the states but incorporation of the bill of rights into  all states and inability to deal with socio economic problems is giving more more  power to the federal system than ascribed in the constitution

○ Laws of state have a heavy influence on local decisions 

● Limiting Governmental Power 

○ Citizens insist that a constitution must limit the government If you want to learn more check out Where do golden mantled ground squirrel live?
If you want to learn more check out What are the 4 steps that computers do in an ipo model?

○ In Texas the governor has significantly less power than other states. 

○  He may not relieve others of office except by causing the populace to wage a  public campaign against the board member


● U.S has had two constitutions the Articles of confederation and the constitution we have  today

● Texas has had 6 state charters or constitutions 

○ Coahulla y Tejas 1824­1836 

■ Rule under Mexico 

○ Republic of Texas 1836­1845 

■ Texans Declare Independence 

■ This charter parallels the U.S. Constitution but Texas is it’s own country ○ Statehood 1845­1861 Don't forget about the age old question of How is the study of epidemiology applied in disease prevention and control?

■ Texas is admitted to the Union 

■ Jacksonian Democracy constitution made which restricts voting to white  male landowners and allows new executive officers to appoint their own  people the minute they land in office

○ Civil War 1861­1866 

■ Altered version of last constitution to ensure slavery is allowed when  Texas joined the confederacy

○ Reconstruction 1866­1869 

■ Texas was forced to make the new constitution change to abolish slavery, make secession illegal, and accept war debt If you want to learn more check out How is kinship culturally constructed?
Don't forget about the age old question of State the seven sins of memory.

○ Radical Reconstruction 1869­1876 

■ Unionists and free slaves vote for a new constitution because all 

confederates are prevented from voting

■ Most forward looking constitution 

○ State of Texas 1876­present 

■ Least efficient Constitution so far 

■ Built for the democratic and conservative Texans who supported Grange,  a farmers organization

■ Curbed powers of government because Governor Davis had so much  power in Texas that he had dictatorial powers over the people


● General Features 

○ Today’s constitution is much like the original document of 1876 in spite of 483  amendments made since it was written

○ Protected Various Private interests 

■ So specific for example: Constitution says that Chambers county may  have 2­6 Justice of the peace precincts 

○ Texas Constitution is very unorganized and hard to read  

○ Amendments are necessary because the constitution is so restrictive ○ Only Alabama can claim a longer charter than Texas’ 93,000 word constitution ● Specific Features 

○ Texas organization of government is very similar to United States Constitution ○ Bill of Rights 

■ Article 1 of Constitution

■ Religious Freedom, separation of church and state, due process for  criminally accused, free speech, free press, protection for mentally insane are some of 30 rights in the bill

○ Separation of Powers 

■ Article 2 

■ `Very similar to national Checks and Balances 

● Legislative Branch 

○ Article 3 does these things: 

■ Establishes a legislative Body 

■ Sets  qualifications for membership 

■ Meeting times, congressional salary, organizes the legislature 

● Executive Branch 

○ Article 4 

○ Texas executive branch is very unique from U.S 

○ U.S only elects two executives pres and vice pres 

○ Texas elects the governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, commissioner of  general land office, Attorney General, Texas Railroad commission members ○ Texas is a plural executive 

● Judicial Branch 

○ Article 5 is Judicial 

○ Establishes 6 different types of courts 

○ Each level of court has overlapping jurisdiction with another court as to what  cases it can try

○ A judge can sometimes have absolutely no legal training because the  qualifications rely more on votes than experience

● Local Government 

○ Texas has Counties, Municipalities, and special districts 

■ Home Rule was a failed experiment in Texas counties that was dropped  in 1969

■ Counties are the Administrative and Judicial Arms of the State but they  are ineffective in Texas

■ Municipalities get to home rule effectively; the only constitutional 

problems they face are the tax­ceilings they have to comply with

■ Special Districts have taxing authority in places like school, water, and  hospital districts

● Suffrage 

○ Article 6  

○ Subject to frequent amendments to keep up with federal laws but shot with many  transitional laws that allow the state to catch up with federal laws

● Amendments 

○ Texas has only one way to propose an amendment 

■ Proposed during regular or special sessions 

■ Absolute   majority in house and senate ⅔ 

■ Governor may not veto amendments 

■ Amendment must be published in each county’s newspaper for three  weeks before voting

■ Half +1 of the voters must ratify for the amendment to pass 


● Need for Reform 

○ US constitution has only been amended 27 times (10 of those times are when  the bill of rights was created)

■ Texas has the fourth most state amendments in this country (483 


■ Illinois has only had 12 amendments because it has a  newer constitution ○ Reform Advocates want to change 

■ Biennial Texas Legislative session (make it more frequent) 

■ Judicial System (Streamlined, unified judicial system) 

■ Plural executive Branch (make it more singular like U.S. Executive office) ■ County government (Give county governments ordinance powers) 

■ Detailed provisions in the constitution (Remove constitutional details more fitting for statutory law

● Constitutional Politics 

○ Various Political Groups have a vested interest in seeing that certain pieces of  the constitution are not amended or are

○ It is easier to add an amendment than take it out of the constitution 

○ Attempts to reform the constitution entirely have failed because of the interest  groups and one time voters


➢ Constitution- basic law of a nation or state that takes precedence  over all other actions or laws of a government

➢ Constitutional Amendments- A change in a constitution approved  by both the legislative body and voters in Texas

➢ Reserved Clause- 10th amendment of U.S constitution reserves  powers not allocated to the Nation to the states and people ➢ Dual federalism- A division of powers between the nation and  states emphasizing each level’s independent operation like a layer  cake

➢ Cooperative federalism- Division of Powers emphasizing  cooperative and collective interaction between states and nation  like a marble cake

➢ Picket fence federalism- A refinement of the concept of cooperative federalism that emphasizes the role of bureaucracy and private  interest groups in policy implementation

➢ Separation of Powers- A system of assigning specific powers to  individual branches of government (Most of the time though these  branches share power in specific areas)

➢ Incorporation- An activity made by the U.S. Supreme Court to  protect citizen rights is made applicable to the state and local  governments

➢ Bill of Rights- A section of the constitution that lists civil rights and liberties of citizens while restricting the government

➢ Constitutional Revision- Making Major Changes to a constitution;  sometimes to entirely replace the document

➢ Checks and Balances- Each branch of government has some power  to limit the other branches

➢ Plural Executive- A system where multiple executive officials are  elected instead of appointed by the governor thus weakening his  powers

➢ Home Rule- The ability of cities over the population of 5,000 or  more to organize local government as the wish

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