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POSC Chapter 3 notes

by: Kailey Mathews

POSC Chapter 3 notes POSC 2306

Marketplace > West Texas A&M University > POSC > POSC 2306 > POSC Chapter 3 notes
Kailey Mathews
GPA 4.0

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These notes cover chapter 3 in class lecture
Texas State & Local Government
Melissa Henderson
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kailey Mathews on Thursday September 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POSC 2306 at West Texas A&M University taught by Melissa Henderson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Texas State & Local Government in POSC at West Texas A&M University.

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Date Created: 09/29/16
POSC 2306 The Texas Constitution in Perspective Early Texas Constitution  The Texas Republic o First constitution after independence from Mexico o Texans limited the terms of their presidents to three years o Prohibited state elected officials from being elected to consecutive terms o Included separation of church and state  Forbade clergymen of any faith from holding office o Adopted some provisions from the Spanish-Mexican law o Established a unitary form of government Homestead- an owner-occupied property protected from forced sale under most circumstances Community Property- property acquired during marriage is owned equally by both spouses Common Law- the process under which law is developed based on judicial rulings and customs over time Constitution of 1845  Restricted the power of the legislature o Only allowed to meet once every two years  Limited state debt to $100,000  Established the Permanent School Fund  Established the use of a long ballot long ballot- Results from the independent election of a large number of executive and judicial officers Constitution of 1861  Constitution was basically the same as that of 1845  Only difference in the new constitution: prohibited the emancipation of slaves  Texas had become one of the Confederate states Constitution of 1866  Nullified secession  Abolished slavery  Renounced Confederate war debts  Reconstruction Act of 1867: U.S. Congress voided the new constitution Constitution of 1869  Centralized state power in the hands of the governor  Lengthened the chief executive’s term to four years  Allowed the governor to appoint all major state officers  Provided annual legislative sessions  Centralized the public school systems Governor E.J. Davis-  Created a large, corrupt, and abusive government  Accumulated massive state government public debt  Law and order collapsed  Took control of voter registration  Intimidated unsupportive newspapers  Arrested several political opponents  Was loyal to the confederate The Constitutional Convention of 1875  Led to what is known as Texas’ constitution today  Texans determined to strip power away from the state government by writing a new constitution  Strengthened local government  Cut salaried for governing officials  Placed strict limits on property taxes  Restricted state borrowing  Stripped most of the governor’s powers  Reduced governor’s term of office from four to two years The Texas Constitution Today  Reactionary Document o Directed more toward solving the problems arising from Reconstruction than toward meeting the challenges of generations to follow  87,000 words in length  mended more than 500 times  nine times longer than the U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights  Guarantees right not given in the U.S. Constitution  Prohibits discrimination because of gender  Guarantees victim’s rights and access to public beaches Separation of Powers Separation of powers- power is distributed among at least three different branches of government Checks and Balances- Requires that each branch have the opportunity to influence the others Legislative Branch  31-member Senate (4 year terms)  150-member House of Representatives in Austin (2 year terms) Bicameral- two houses of a legislative body  Texas state legislator salary of $7,200/year (really low amount) o Most hold outside jobs  California state legislator salary of $90,526/year  New York state legislator salary of $79,500/year  No legislative term limits Biennial Regular Sessions- legislative sessions held once every two years (on odd years 2015,2017 ect…) Special sessions- A legislative session called by the Texas governor who also sets its agenda  Governor convenes special sessions to consider only the legislative matters he or she presents providing him or her with a powerful legislative advantage Filibuster- extended discussion by a legislator on the floor with the goal of delaying or blocking a final vote on a bill (12 ½ hour for abortions in Texas) Deadwood- Texas Constitution has Inoperable constitutional provisions that have been either voided by a conflicting U.S. constitutional or statutory law or made irrelevant by changing circumstances


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