POSC Chapter 3 notes
POSC Chapter 3 notes POSC 2306
Popular in Texas State & Local Government
Popular in POSC
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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