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POLS 2312 Test 3 Study Guide

by: M.G

POLS 2312 Test 3 Study Guide POLS 2312-001

Marketplace > University of Texas at Arlington > POLS 2312-001 > POLS 2312 Test 3 Study Guide
GPA 3.85

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Study Guide
State and Local Government
Kimberly Harper
Study Guide
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This 11 page Study Guide was uploaded by M.G on Wednesday April 6, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POLS 2312-001 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Kimberly Harper in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 89 views.

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Date Created: 04/06/16
Matching Section Legislative ● Article 3 ● Functions ○ Oversight ■ Impeachment ○ Law­making ○ Representation Judicial ● Article 5 ● Functions ○ Law­interpreting ○ Convictions Executive ● Article 4 ● Powers of the Executive Sphere ○ Appointments ○ Removal ○ Military ○ Law Enforcement ○ Budgeting ○ Executive Order ○ Proclamation ○ Economic development ● Powers of the Legislative Sphere ○ Veto ○ Line­item veto ○ Post­adjournment veto ○ Message ○ Special sessions ● Powers of the Judicial Sphere ○ Clemency ○ Pardon ○ Reprieve ○ Appointment and Removal Sample Questions for Study ● What duties fall under all three categories? ● What duties fall under only the judicial branch? ● What duties fall under only the legislative branch? ● What duties fall under only the executive branch? ● What article corresponds to each branch? ● What function responds to each branch? Questions may ask: Match correct term ● Responsible for oversight ● Includes law­interpreting ● The power of veto…. ● The people vote for: Multiple Choice Districts and Redistricting ● Single­member districts ○ One member per district solely committed to knowing their  constituency ○ More minority representation. ● Redistricting  ○ TX has ~27 million legal residents ○ All of W. TX is one district (Except El Paso) ○ Districts are drawn in really odd shapes due to gerrymandering ■ Gerrymandering ­ drawing lines to include or  exclude minorities to influence voting. ○ Done every ten years to map out where everyone is in order to  have districts with an equal population. ○ There are 150 TX House districts ■ Used to be multimember ■ Now single­member ○ There are 31 senatorial districts ■ Always single­member districts ○ ~40 of 181 legislators are women ● Gerrymandering [Definition] ○ Drawing the boundaries of a district, such as a state senatorial or  representative district, to include or exclude certain groups of voters and thus  affect election outcomes ● Single member district [Definition] ○ An area that elects only one representative to serve on a policy  making body, such as a city council, county commissioners court, state House, or  state Senate ● Multimember district ○ A district in which all voters participate in the election of two or  more representatives to a policymaking body ○ Perks of the Legislative Branch ● Cannot be arrested when attending or going to/from legislative sessions for the  purpose of attending ○ Exception: charged with treason, felony, or breach of the peace ● Cannot be held liable for slander for any statements made in a speech or debate in  the course of a legislative proceeding Legislative Powers ● Oversight ○ A legislative function that requires reports from state agencies  concerning their operations; the state auditor provides information on agencies’  use of state funds ○ Administrative and Investigative ○ Sunset advisory commission ■ Every 12 years agencies and the bureaucracy are  reviewed ○ Senatorial courtesy ■ Appointments made to a specific senator’s district  will be approved by that senator or the other 30 senators will block the  appointment ○ Impeachment ■ Jim Ferguson was the only TX governor impeached ■ Goes through both chambers ■ House = Grand Jury ■ Senate = Trial and sentencing ■ Brought by a simple majority of house members  present ■ To be impeached, the Senate must convict with ⅔  majority ● Law­making/Policy Making ○ Constitutional Amendment Legislative Committees ● Where tasks are delegated to a group of people ● Once done, the committee can go. ● Substantive ○ House ○ Topic/Subject oriented ○ Appointed by the House Speaker, this committee considers bills  and resolutions related to the subject identified by its name and may recommend  passage of proposed legislation to the appropriate calendars committee ● Standing ○ Senate ○ Topic/Subject oriented ○ A Senate committee appointed by the lieutenant governor for the  purpose of considering proposed bills and resolutions before possible floor debate and voting by senators ● Procedural ○ These House committees consider bills and resolutions relating  primarily to procedural legislative matters ● Special Interim ○ A Senate committee appointed by the lieutenant governor to study  an important policy issue between regular sessions ● Select ○ This committee, created independently by the House Speaker, may consider legislation that crosses committee jurisdictional lines or may conduct  special studies ● Conference ○ A committee composed of representatives and senators appointed  to reach agreement on a disputed bill and recommend changes acceptable to both  chambers Legislative Sessions ● Special sessions last for 30 days ○ Can be called back to back ● Regular sessions last for 140 days ○ Every other year (odd # years) ○ Begins on second tuesday in January each odd­numbered year Legislative Influences ● Constituents ○ The folks back home, the voters ● Governor ○ Has power over the legislation ● Judges ○ Give judicial opinions on constitutionality ● Attorney General ○ Same as judges, also approves redistricting ● Comptroller ○ Financial advisor for the state ○ The state accountant ○ Can force a 4/5ths vote of both chambers ● Lobbyists ○ Lobbying the legislative branch to influence the laws ● Research organizations ○ Do research for each chamber ● Media ○ Ultimately influences the constituents Impeachment ● Jim Ferguson was the only TX governor impeached ● Goes through both chambers ● House = Grand Jury ● Senate = Trial and sentencing ● Brought by a simple majority of house members present ● To be impeached, the Senate must convict with ⅔ majority Names of Legislative Leadership ● President of the Senate is the Lt. Gov. ○ Dan Patrick ● Joe Straus ­ speaker of the house Executive Powers ● Powers in all 3 spheres ○ Executive ■ Appointments  ● After 6 years, the Governor will have been able to appoint all positions ● 2/3rd senate confirmation ● Recess appointment ○ Where someone is  appointed when in recess ● Patronage ○ Yes-men → supporters, big donors, political backers ○ Most appointments in  TX are patronage ● Merit  ○ Credentials ■ Removal ● Can remove appointments with ⅔  confirmation ■ Military ● Oversees the TX army and air  national guard ● TX state guard  ○ Strictly for TX’s use,  cannot be put into use by the federal government ● Martial law was last enacted in TX  in the 1940s ● Pulled in for disaster relief ■ Law­enforcement ● Includes TX DPS ● Includes highways, traffic, drivers’  licenses ● Includes the Texas Rangers ○ Special task force of  law enforcement for fugitive retrieval ○ Historically wrapped  in scandal ■ Budgeting ● Line­item veto ○ Itemized veto  ■ Pork­barrel politics ● A legislator’s tactic to obtain funding for a pet project that will usually specially benefit that legislator’s  district ■ Executive Order ● Proclamation ○ Calls legislative  branch back ○ Declares disaster in  order for aid ● Informal Powers ○ Stem from a governor’s popularity with the public ○ Based on tradition, symbols, and ceremonies ○ To enact change based on a personal interest like bicycling,  nursing, etc Economic Development ● Rainy­day (economic stabilization) fund ○ TX’s savings account ○ We pulled $295 million out into our economic ‘wine and dine’  fund (Texas Enterprise Fund) ○ This was done at the same time we slashed education funding ● Emerging Technology Fund ○ $200 million into the ETF ○ Used as a ‘slush’ fund ■ 2 mil for upgrading a display to LED Special Sessions ● Usually called to resolve an issue that could not be resolved during the regular  session, such as abortion ● Unlimited # of 30 day sessions until the issue is resolved Plural Executive ● Created due to E.J Davis having too much power ● All of these positions are elected statewide and serve for 4 years ○ Governor ­ Greg Abbott ○ Lt. Governor ­ Dan Patrick ○ Attorney General ­ Ken Paxton (?) ○ Comptroller  ■ Usually held by a female ■ The state accountant ■ Can require a ⅘ vote in both chambers on  budgeting bills ○ Commissioner of the General Land Office ­ George P. Bush ■ Oversees 200 million acres of land  ○ Commissioner of Agriculture ■ Practicing farmer ■ The elected official who heads the department of  agriculture, which promotes the sale of agricultural commodities and  regulates pesticides, aquaculture, egg quality, weights and measures, and  grain warehouses ○ Secretary of State ■ Chief elections officer who is appointed for a term  concurrent with that of the governor ■ Must be confirmed with 2/3rds senate approval Features of the Judicial Branch ● Article 5 ● Law­interpreting ● Civil law ○ Between two civilians ■ Divorce ■ Wills ■ Contracts ○ Preponderance of evidence ● Criminal law ○ Criminal offense against society ○ Prosecuted by the government ○ Beyond a reasonable doubt ● Misdemeanor  ○ Minor charge ○ Traffic ○ Noise ● Felony ○ More serious charge ○ Results in jail time ● Jurisdiction ○ The court’s right to hear a case ○ Appellate courts do not have new trials ● Court Records ○ Kept by a stenographer ○ Kept by audio/video device ● Laws ○ Can’t be organized and reviewed with the large amount of new  laws Issues of Crime and the Prison System ● The poor receive a lower quality of defense and are convicted at higher rates ● 45% of prisoners don’t have a high school diploma ● ⅓ are functionally illiterate ● At least 1/3rd ­ 90% of people commit crime under the influence of drugs ● 17% in the justice system deal with mental illness ○ Probably lower than actuality ● 100,000­150,000 juveniles enter the system each year ● Recidivism rate is 50% Issues with Capital Punishment and Exonerations ● Moratorium on death penalty lifted in 1980’s ● Death penalty sentences are not used as much because ○ Innocence ■ Over 140 people on death row were later exonerated ■ 337 exonerated through DNA evidence ○ Life without parole sentence availability ● Concerns about execution of innocent people ○ 140 people have been released from death rows based on evidence  of innocence ○ 12 released from TX ● The passage of punishment laws that provide for life without parole ○ In 2011, only 8 individuals were sentenced to death, compared to  48 in 1999 before the option was available ● The cost of prosecuting death penalty cases  ○ Upwards of 3 million per case (including incarceration) ○ Only $500 thousand for a life without parole case (including  incarceration) State Courts Outline ● Starts in the lowest courts ○ Municipal ■ Exclusive jurisdiction over municipal issues ■ Justice of the Peace ● Marriage ● Warrants ● Coroner (Small counties) ■ Small claims ● Judge Judy stuff ● Claims under $10,000 ● Civil issues ○ County  ■ Must maintain a court record at this level. ■ Drug courts ■ Veterans issue courts ● Judge is veteran ● ¼ homeless are veterans ■ >15% of judges at the county level are attorneys ■ Probate  ● Will issues ○ District ■ Divorce ● Everything is split down the middle ○ Appellate ■ Trial De Novo ● New trial ● At the appellate level, a review  occurs. ○ Supreme Court of Texas ■ The final stop in the state for civil and juvenile  issues in the state. ■ First in the bifurcated fork ○ Court of Criminal Appeals ■ Last stop for death penalty cases ■ Second in the bifurcated fork ○ State Bar ■ Lawyers must be certified through the state bar ■ Lawyers must volunteer time to be a public  defender ■ US Constitution 6th amendment ● Right to an attorney  ● Justice gap to the poor ■ US Constitution 8th Amendment ● Cruel and Unusual Punishment Cases ● Roper v Simmons ○ Younger than 18 at time of crime cannot be executed for the crime ● Atkins v. Virginia ○ Cannot execute those who are intellectually disabled ● Baze v. Rees ○ Upholds constitutionality of lethal injection Numbers of Legislative Branch ● 150 in the House ● 31 in the Senate ● Roughly 40 women of the 181 legislators Issues with the Innocence Project ● 140 exonerated and perp was found ● 337 exonerated due to DNA evidence ● 70% of people exonerated are minorities ○ 6th amendment is right to attorney ● Over 2 dozen taken off of TX death row  ● Recidivism rate is about 25% ○ Those release will re­offend in 3 years ○ Some people prefer to go back into the system because they can’t  function in society


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