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What is geographic?

What is geographic?


School: Texas A&M University
Department: Political Science
Course: State and Local Government
Professor: Dwight roblyer
Term: Spring 2017
Tags: Government
Cost: 50
Name: POLS 207 Exam 4 Study Guide
Description: This review covers chapters 9-13 from lectures up until Monday 11.27.17.
Uploaded: 11/27/2017
16 Pages 24 Views 31 Unlocks


What is geographic?


Legislative Branch

▪ Make laws 

o Constitutional laws: ex. Freedom of speech

o Statutory laws: made by the state legislature

▪ Signed by the governor

▪ Amend state constitution

o Length of constitution correlates with number of amendments

▪ Texas has the 2nd longest

▪ Weakens the governor by writing everything down

• Ties the hands of the governor

▪ Constituent services 

What is non-geographic?

o Help the people in order to gain votes

▪ Bring government funding to districts

o Get state to provide for local issues (Harvey)


▪ Geographic: location of where you live

o Heterogeneous: minorities, whites, rich, poor, farmers, industry Don't forget about the age old question of What is income taxes?

▪ Diverse population, disadvantaged people with every public policy o Homogenous: easier to represent

▪ Majority are the same

▪ Non-Geographic: not based on location

o Entrepreneurial

What is the governor's recruiting content?

▪ Career is the most important factor

▪ Districts based on vocation, interest policy

o Random selection

▪ Computer generated districts and representation

Legislative Apportionment

▪ Equal Population

o “legislators represent people, not trees” – Reynolds v. Sims We also discuss several other topics like Who is peter the great of russia?

▪ Census: used to determine approximate population to have in each district o Hard to be exact

o Legislators used to favor rural areas

▪ Must determine people per land area

o +- 1% = range


▪ create 150 house districts, 31 senate districts, and 36 congressional districts ▪ Speaker of the House and Lt. Governor appoint redistricting board  ▪ Redistricting board

o Draws districts

o Republican speakers choose republican board members

▪ Republican partisan bias

▪ Advantage partisans

o Job security increases when there are no challengers

▪ Over 90% of Congress is job secure

▪ Gerrymandering affects minority party

▪ Redistricting Considerations

o Race and ethnicity

▪ Voting Rights Act of 1965

• Racial gerrymandering illegal

▪ Fracturing

• Breaking minority groups into small pieces

▪ Packing or concentrating  

o Partisan gerrymandering We also discuss several other topics like What is contact force?

▪ States can redistrict whenever they want

▪ Legal if the only reason is partisan = noncompetitive races If you want to learn more check out What do ribosomes do?

One Person One Vote

▪ 3 districts (all 1000 people)

o district 1  

▪ 600 kids, 200 unregistered adults, 200 registered (strongest) 

o district 2

▪ 500 kids, 200 noncitizens, 200 unregistered, 100 registered

o district 3

▪ 900 felons, 40 unregistered, 60 registered (most power in people) Legislative Districting

▪ 40% Republicans 60% Democrats

▪ Districting Choices Don't forget about the age old question of What is economic agent?

o Majority draw lines to favor partisans

o 3 democrats, 2 republicans

o 5 democrats, 0 republicans

▪ Districting Requirements

o Lines must touch – contiguity

o Equal population +-1%

o Voting rights act – impact must not discriminate

▪ Shape must be compact – circle, square, or triangle – equidistant o Partisan gerrymandering = decrease in competition


▪ Unopposed

▪ Appointment – Governor appoints when a member of the legislature gets sick or retires o New member typically becomes incumbent

▪ Incumbent defeat – not likely, >90% job security

▪ Voluntary retirement – only opportunity for new members to get elected ▪ Members don’t run because

o Run for senate instead

o District doesn’t advantage member Don't forget about the age old question of Who preserves public order, informal control?

o Retire and become a lobbyist

o Legislator payed only $600 a month 

Bill to a Law

▪ Biannual legislative session: meets every 2 years

o Election on even years

o No longer than 140 days

o Determine House Rules, members/committees, chairs are determined, elect  speaker before the session starts

▪ Speaker is chosen by 150 people in the House, >76 members elect  


▪ Speaker selects committee members

▪ Speaker and Lt. Governor – very powerful > governor

▪ Bill drafted: right after elections

▪ Introduce Bill: when session begins

▪ 1st reading

▪ Speaker assigns committee

o 1st chance to die

o bad committee

o pigeon holding

▪ Committee Reports Bill as good/bad/maybe

o 33% survive committee

▪ Bill is put on calendar

▪ 2nd Reading

▪ Debated

o Normal members speak 10 min

o Sponsors speak 20 min

o More cosponsors more % of survival

o Filibuster in Senate – more powerful 

▪ Power to Amend

o Sometimes bill is changed so drastically, the original author votes it down ▪ After 3rd Reading – Vote

o Need majority to pass

o Most bills passed in different version from Senate

o House members want to please people – reelected every 2 years

o Senate more mature – longer term

o Lt. Governor and Speaker makes conference committee ▪ Majority from conference, each chamber to pass • 3 from House, 3 from Senate

▪ another chance to kill the bill

▪ Sent to Governor to Sign

o Governor can veto bill

o Another chance to kill bill

o Most bills passed in last days of session

o To override 2/3 vote of senate and house

o Governor will continue to veto same bills

o New governor to get bill passed after being vetoed ▪ If Signed Beaurocrats must administer law

o If unsure of meaning of law

▪ Attorney general interprets law to Supreme Court • If Supreme Court votes no, law dies

1. Draft Bill

2. Introduce Bill

3. First Reading

4. Speaker Assigns a  


5. Committee Reports Bill  

as good/bad/maybe

6. Bill is put on calendar

7. Second Reading

8. Debated

9. 3rd Reading

10. Vote on Bill

11. Conference Committee

12. Sent to Governor for Signature 13. Beaurocrats must administer law

Agenda of Active Bills

▪ Bills can only be submitted in first 60 days

o Emergency bills are approved by governor

▪ 49 states have 2 chambers, AL has one

▪ Governors can select items they don’t want and line-item-veto

o People can challenge the law to the Supreme court

Texas Legislative Work Load

▪ Every 10 years 500 more bills are introduced

▪ 25% - 22% of bills are passed

▪ bills are killed by the governor every time

Legislature Styles

▪ Citizen legislatures

o Short sessions, volunteers serve 1 or 2 terms

o Rural MT, ID, MS

o 85-day session

o 27% bills enacted

▪ Professional legislatures

o Complex, large states

o Meets year round, well compensated, constituent service, job to pass laws o CA, FL, PA, NY

o 137-day session

o 11% bills enacted, more bills introduced

▪ Hybrid legislatures

o Larger legislative session, semi-living wage, elements of both 

o TX, LA, WA, OR

o 90-day session

o 32% bills enacted

State Legislators

▪ 7800 legislators 

o 75% college educated

o 80-90% male – political socialization

o 75% born in district

▪ Legislative Professionalism Correlations with Members

o – with % bills enacted

o + with regular session length

▪ Legislative Professionalism Correlations with Policy

o + with tax burden

▪ Occupations of State Legislators

o Attorneys (22% - 14%)

o Full time legislators

o Small Business Owners

o Agriculture (decreasing)  

▪ Characteristics


51% of pop.

24% legislators






African Americans








Median Age

47 years

56 years

Min. age requirement

▪ Accurate Representation Correlations with Policy

o More woman = more revenue from property tax, higher per capita income and  long-term debt, increased TANF, decreased abortion restrictions

o More Latinos = higher per capita income and long-term debt

o More African Americans = higher property tax, decreased abortion restrictions o White = higher tax burden

Long Term Party Control

▪ Democrats: higher tax burdens 

▪ Republicans: lower tax burdens, lower long-term debt, lower TANF benefits, lower  education spending, more people convicted, higher enforcement, longer prison terms


▪ 1987

o 79% Anglos

o 13% Hispanics

o 8% African Americans

o 0% Asian

▪ 2007

o 70% Anglos

o 21% Hispanics

o 8.9% African Americans

o 0.5% Asian


Trifecta Control of Legislature and Governor

▪ House, Senate, and Governor share the same partisanship

▪ More unified republican states than divided and democratic

Recruitment of Governors

▪ Prior experience: exception – George W. Bush 

▪ Statewide office where all registered voters vote

▪ State legislature: Wendy Davis (not elected)

Gubernatorial Elections

▪ Partisan: declare partisanship 

▪ Contested: always opposed, does not run unopposed

▪ Incumbent advantage: person in office advantage over challenger  Governor’s Career

▪ Presidency: Reagan, Clinton, Carter, and Bush 43 were all governors 1st ▪ Federal cabinet: Rick Perry is the energy secretary

▪ US Senate

▪ Federal Judges: appointed by President

Governor’s Duties



(news) 9%


with Legislator  






Legislator 17%

Head of Party  


Institutional Powers of the Governor (constitutional) – weak in TX because Governor and Lt. Governor have separate tickets and the Governor cannot appoint judges (unless vacant).

▪ Appointment: friends, election campaigns, removal of people they appointed ▪ Tenure: no term limit = power, term limits weaken gubernatorial powers ▪ Managerial: head of agency, chooses board members

▪ Fiscal: gives agenda to legislature, budget, line-item-veto = can remove items  disliked

▪ Legislative: Senate and House pass bills, go to conference committee, Governor signs  or vetoes the bill

o Can call special legislative sessions (30 days)

▪ Agenda is created by governor

▪ Can call unlimited special sessions

▪ Governor is considered weak if special sessions have to be called

o Executive Orders have the power of law

▪ Reluctant to call executive orders

▪ Only enacted until a new governor is elected

▪ Better to persuade the legislature to create new law

▪ Rick Perry was the longest serving governor which made him the most powerful  through appointments

Governors’ Personal Powers

▪ Longer term, more power 

▪ Power of persuasion/threats (STRONG)

▪ Bush 43 never called special sessions – legislature was ideological

▪ Rick Perry – partisan legislature

Governor Institutional and Personal Powers

▪ No correlation

▪ Constitution is independent from personal powers

Correlations with Governors’ Powers

Stronger Institutional Powers

Higher per capita income

Increased TANF

Increased education spending

Increased revenue

Increased high school and college attainment Increased prisoners

High Governor Salary

Higher per capita income

More bills submitted in legislature

Legislature salaries increase


Legislative Professionalism

Longer length of legislative session

More staff

Negative correlation with governors’ salary

Executive Department

▪ Weak in Texas

▪ Governor: elected statewide, plural (multiple offices), decentralized

▪ Lt. Governor: elected statewide

▪ Comptroller of Public Accounts: independently elected, estimates state revenue every 2  years (biannual), powerful, governor bases budget off revenue

o A fiscal conservative estimates a small revenue

o $150 - $160 billion spent every 2 years

o ~ $80 billion a year

o investor and chief: surplus money used to buy treasury bills and invest o treasurer and chief: collects taxes

▪ Land Commissioner: only TX and AL 

o Public land is leased/rented to farmers, ranchers, oil and gas companies,  veterans (at a lower %)

o Independently elected

o Patrick Bush – dictated the park rangers to take care of the Alamo over  Daughters of Republic

▪ Attorney General: lawyer and chief

o Appointed by President

o Decentralized power

o Interprets law for beaurocracy  

o Consumer protector and chief

▪ Elected Executives

o Attorney General office

o Department of Agriculture

▪ In charge of weights and measurement, gas pumps

o Comptroller of Public Accounts

o General Land Office

▪ Appointed Executives

o Secretary of State office

▪ Records and seal of state

o Health and Human Services Commission

▪ TANF, Medicare, welfare programs

▪ Boards and Commissions

o Elected by people 

o State Board of Education

▪ Choose textbooks and curriculum

o Texas Rail Road Commissioner

▪ 3-man commission

▪ regulates cost of freight

▪ regulates oil and gas production

o Ex Officio Board

▪ Already elected for position once

o Appointed Boards and Commissions

▪ Appointed by governor

o Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

▪ Regulates majors offered and hours required

o Public Utility Commission

▪ Houston deregulated electricity, regulated electricity companies will fine  companies that do a bad job


▪ 54% male (overrepresented) / 46% female (underrepresented)

▪ white accurate representation

▪ African American overrepresented 

▪ Hispanic underrepresented

State Employment in Texas and the 15 Largest States by Function

▪ Larger states are more efficient 

o Less employees per 1000 people

o Less employees per hwys, hospitals, health services compared to other states ▪ Don’t process TANF applications fast enough

o More employees for corrections and enforcement in Texas


Dual Court System

▪ Federal courts

o Much fewer cases 

o 91 K criminal

o 303 K civil

▪ State courts

o Higher chance of going to a local court

o Only goes to federal court if you committed crime across multiple states o 79 million total cases, mostly criminal traffic violations

▪ Typical Configuration of State Courts

Trial Courts

Intermediate Appellate Courts

Supreme Court

Texas Courts System

Local Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction

Justic Courts Municipal Courts

County Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction

Constitutional County Courts County Courts at Law Statutory Probate Courts

State Trial Courts of General and Special Jurisdiction

District courts

State Intermediate Appellate Courts




Courts of Appeals








Civil Appeals Criminal Appeals








State Highest Appellate Courts








Supreme Court Court of Criminal Appeals



Criminal and Civil Cases: shown to have gone up, but were not adjusted for population Violent crimes have gone down, peaked in 1994

Property crimes have gone down

Crime % has gone down due to:

▪ Successful public policy 

o #1 priority for governors

▪ Change criminal justice system: increase sentencing 

▪ Roe v. Wade: by legalizing abortion, less unwanted children become criminals o Abortion increases, crimes decrease

▪ Public policy to discontinue leaded gas 

o Less leaded gas, less behavioral/developmental issues

▪ Economic conditions increase, crimes decrease

People in Prison

▪ # peaked in 2008 due to recession

▪ # in state prisons much higher than # in federal prisons

Prison Population since 1960

▪ spiked in the late 70’s

▪ more people in jail, lower crime %

Punishment and Crime Rate Correlations / Punishment % and Social Conditions / Punishment %  and Population Attributes Correlation

Positive Correlation


Violent crime and incarceration

Murder rate and incarceration

Aggravated assault and incarceration

Property crime and incarceration

Burglary rate and incarceration

Robbery and incarceration

Poverty and people in jail

Infant mortality rate and people in jail

Restrictions on abortion and people in jail % Republican and people in jail

Age adjusted death rate and people in jail # of people dying at every age and people in jail Gallup poll % conservative and people in jail % African Americans and people in jail

No Correlation

Rape rate and incarceration

State and local spending and people in jail % Hispanic and people in jail

Negative Correlation


Per capita income and people in jail

TANF benefits and people in jail

State and local tax burden and people in jail State and local revenue and people in jail Voter turnout and people in jail

HS/college graduation and people in jail Median age and people in jail

% Anglos and people in jail

Less people go back to jail (recent) in Germany

Wrongful Acts

▪ Criminal

o Robs a bank, goes to federal prison

o Robs a convenience store, goes to state prison

o 99% go to state prison 

o only 10% go to trial, 90% are plea bargain

▪ Civil

o Breaking contracts: divorce, child custody, food poisoning

o Out of 27 million cases, 99.8% are state 

Selective Incorporation

▪ Bill of rights, amendments which the supreme court heard and all the 50 states have to  use the same law

▪ Bill of rights created to stop federal government from taking people’s rights away ▪ Over time state governments took powers from people

▪ Gitlow v. New York: Freedom of speech

▪ States cannot choose to undermine people by taking away their writes ▪ Near v. Minnesota: freedom of press

▪ Amendment 5: rights of the accused

▪ Amendment 6: speedy trial

▪ Amendment 8: excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishment

▪ Mapp v. Ohio: exclusionary rule, cannot charge for things not on the warrant ▪ Gideon Wainwright: right to attorney

▪ Miranda v. Arizona: right to remain silent and have an attorney

▪ Equal protection under civil law: 14th amendment, everybody has the same rights ▪ 1954: Brown v. Board of Education: most important civil decision by Supreme Court o Cannot have segregated schools, Jim Crow laws

o Alabama had unconstitutional laws in the 60s

▪ Loving v. Virginia: outcome of Griswold v. Connecticut – right to privacy, interracial  marriage laws / miscegenation laws illegal

▪ Lawrence v. Texas: gay rights, sodomy laws

Texas Crime Punishment

▪ High crime rate, high incarceration %, highest executions

▪ If policy was working we would see lower crime and murder %

Execution Rates Over Time

▪ Putting less people to death because cost is high


▪ People put in jail, later found innocent

▪ Positive correlation, more people, more exonerations (innocent)

▪ Higher in NY and IL

▪ Less in FL

Exonerations in TX

▪ #3 in numbers

▪ highest is IL

EUDCATION, POVERTY, AND HEALTH: STATE AND LOCAL EFFORTS Can State and Local Policies Affect Education, Poverty, and Crime

▪ achieving peace depends on individual philosophy, socialization, experiences o conservatives 

▪ success in life is individual responsibility

▪ if you fail, it is your fault

o liberals 

▪ society fails if more criminals are created

▪ society must educate the people to create less criminals  

▪ as soon as Singapore gained independence they focused on education • need either natural resources or educated people

Beneficial Educational Attainment Correlations

▪ higher education, higher per capita income, higher life expectancy at birth,  ▪ higher education, lower poverty (very strong neg. correlation), lower age adjusted death  rate, less obese people, lower infant mortality %,

▪ age adjusted death rate = # of people dying at every age level

Topics below have not been covered as of Monday’s lecture.

Educational Attainment and Poverty Rate Correlations Over Time

Educational Attainment and Infant Mortality Rate Correlations Over Time

Non-Hispanic White Infant Mortality

Hispanic Infant Mortality

Non-Hispanic Black Infant Mortality

Educational Attainment and Violent Crime Rate Correlations Over Time

Educational Attainment and Property Crime Rate Correlations Over Time

Educational Attainment Measures

Correlations Between Contemporary State Spending Per Child in Avg. Daily Attendance and  Educational Attainment

Correlations Between State Spending Per Child in Avg. Daily Attendance Twenty Yrs. Earlier and  Educational Attainment


Poverty by Race/Ethnicity

Poverty by Age

Correlations Between Poverty and Public Assistance Spending Per Recipient Maximum Welfare Support for Children in Families with No Income in Texas Maximum TANF Benefits Leave Families Well Below Federal Poverty Level

Abortion Rates and Providers

Abortion Rates State of Residence and Occurrence

Abortion Policy Restrictiveness and Results Correlations

Abortion Policy

Abortion Policy and Rate Correlations with Population Values Measures

Teen Birth Rate

Values and Policy

Values and Results

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