The Governorship and State Legislature - Week 7 - POLS 2312
The Governorship and State Legislature - Week 7 - POLS 2312 POLS 2312-006
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sera (Notetaker) on Friday October 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 2312-006 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Daniel D Sledge in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see State & Local Government in History at University of Texas at Arlington.
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Date Created: 10/07/16
Note taker: Sera POLS 2312 Governorship and State Legislature Election of John Tower (1961) A Republican won LBJ’s Senate seat in Texas (barely) for the first time since Reconstruction This was due to: o Growth of urban/suburban middle class o Political influence of newcomers to Texas o Division within Democratic party o Arguments against one party custom Federal Intervention: The Civil Rights Act (1965) Caused alienation of white voters from the Democratic Party Mobilization of African-American and Hispanic voting strength John Tower voted against the Civil Rights Act Johnson(D) v Goldwater(R) (1964) Goldwater won Arizona (his home state) and the Deep South (which began defecting to the Republican party during this time) All other states chose Johnson Goldwater, who was kind of a crazy militaristic guy, argued that the federal government could not tell states and localities what to do Realignment? Shifting image of National Democratic party and National Republican party Backlash against liberalism of Democratic party, growing association of Democrats with minority rights and labor unions Underlying changes in Texas economy The New Republicanism 1978: Bill Clements becomes first Republican governor in Texas in 105 years 1980: Ronald Regan elected president – political heir of Barry Goldwater 1982: A Democratic Sweep over every state level office in Texas o The Democratic Party was able to hold on so long in Texas because it remained the same appealing southern party is had always been; it did not grow more liberal like it did in other places Texas Demographics Non-Hispanic Whites: 43% - most vote Republican Hispanic: 38.8% - mostly vote Democratic Black: 12.5% - mostly vote Democrat Note taker: Sera POLS 2312 Asian: 4.7% - mixed between the two parties (Vietnamese tend to vote Republican, others vote Democrat) Expressed Powers of the Presidency Military o Congress is given the constitutional authority to declare war o The President, however, is the Commander and Chief of the Army and Navy Diplomatic o The President receives and appoints ambassadors and other public ministers Judicial o Has the power to grant pardons for federal offenses and appoint federal judges Legislative o Gives information of the State of the Union and what he wants them to do o Veto power The Governorship: A Stepping Stone to the Presidency People argue that a governor knows how to run a government and can therefore run a country This isn’t true “The Texas Constitution does not establish a form of government in which the governor can control the executive branch.” – Dolph Briscoe, TX Governor 1973-1979 Texas has one of the weakest governorships in the country The Plural Executive The plural executive limits the powers of the governor Independently elected officials which limit the power of the governor: o Attorney General – the state’s top lawyer; whenever a lawsuit is filed by or against the state, the attorney general’s office handles it o Comptroller of Public Accounts – tax collection, accounting, estimating revenue for the state, custodian of state funds and revenue o Commissioner of the General Land Office – administers use of state-owned lands; authorizes exploration of publican lands, impacting hundreds of millions of dollars in economics activity in oil and natural gas royalties o Commissioner of Agriculture – enforces all of the state’s agriculture laws o Railroad Commission (3 members) o State Board of Education (15 members) Much of the governor’s power is informal and based upon his capacity to persuade Other elected officials have their own bases of political support State governments are fragmented, unlike with the presidency The Lieutenant Governor President of the state senate Appoints senate committees and then assigns bills to specific committees Note taker: Sera POLS 2312 Joint Chairman of Legislative Budget Board One of the most powerful Lt. Governors in the country Appointive Powers of the Governor: Major Offices Adjunct General (head of TX National Guard) Secretary of State (record keeper/election officials) Director of Housing and Community Affairs Direction of the Offices of State-Federal Relations Commissioners of Education Insurance, Health, and Human Services Appoints thousands of members of minor independent agencies, boards, and commissions Individuals can only be removed by 2/3 vote of state senate Judicial Powers Nearly all judges are elected But governor can appoint people to vacancies if an elected judge steps down with support from 2/3 of Senate (which can happen quite often) Governor can only grant clemency following a recommendation from the Texas Board of Pardons (which is appointed by the governor) Can only grant one 30-day reprieve in death penalty cases The Limits of the Governor’s Power February 2007: Governor Rick Perry issued an “executive order” mandating that female schoolchildren be vaccinated for HPV prior to being allowed to attend 6 grade Lt. Governor Greg Abbot declared that this was something Perry could not do The State legislature passed a bill stating Perry could not do this This would have been okay if the State Legislature had allowed it since it does fall under Police Powers, but they set a precedent that this was not within the governor’s power o In a 1905 Supreme Court case Jacobson v. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jacobson was ordered to be vaccinated for smallpox by the state during an outbreak. The Supreme Court declared he did not have the right to get smallpox and spread it around to everyone; this does not fall under personal liberty because a contagious disease is not personal Rosemary Lehmberg and Vetoes Lehmberg was the Travis County DA and head of the Texas Public Integrity Unit which prosecutes public officials Lehmberg was arrested one night for drunk driving and demanded to be released because of her position Perry threatened to veto $7.5 million dollars from Travis County if she did not resign, which she did not Perry was indicted on two coercion felonies for his veto threat, but was not convicted Note taker: Sera POLS 2312 Veto bargaining/threat – threatening to veto certain legislation unless some part of it is changed or unless something the governor wants is done (like people resigning from their office) Checks and Balances By a 2/3 vote in both chambers, the legislature may override a governor’s veto o Post adjournment veto – it is rare for the legislature to override a governor’s veto because the governor usually does not veto it until the legislature has ended their session which they cannot call themselves back into The State House may impeach a governor and the State Senate may convict a governor Texas State Legislature Fairly similar to the US legislature Bicameral (like every other state, except for Nebraska) House: 150 members, 2-year terms Senate: 31 members, staggered 4 year terms The House is more responsive to what the general public wants in order to be re-elected after their short term The Senate is a little less responsive to the public (immediately at least) because they do not have to be as concerned about re-election Legislature Sessions Regular sessions last 140 days, including weekends, every two years Begins second Tuesday in January odd number years, last until May/early June Special Sessions: The governor can call an unlimited number of 30-day special sessions in which they choose what will be discussed 46 states have annual legislative sessions unlike Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Texas (which is the odd one out of these 3 other low population states) Speaker of the House (Joe Straus) Elected by House majority Speaker appoints committee chairs and members Presides over sessions Refers bills to committees The Lieutenant Governor (Dan Patrick) Elected to a 4-year terms in a general election Appoints committee chairs and members Presides Refers bills Great deal of agenda setting power in the legislature Note taker: Sera POLS 2312 Committees Chairs and members are chosen by the Speak or Lt. Gov Shape legislation in a specific policy area Legislative Salaries State Salary Per Diem (per day in session pay) California $95,291/year $173 New York $79,500/year $139 Florida $29,697/year $135 Pennsylvania $78,315 $163 Texas $7,200 $168 Texas politicians are paid less in order to guarantee that money-hungry people do not serve in the state legislature Rick Perry in 2011 running for President: “Congressman are overpaid, over-staffed, and away from home too much” o Perry wanted to make US congress look like the Texas state legislature by cutting their pay, staff and time in Washington cut in half o However, this is a flawed idea (in Washington and in Texas) because it guarantees that only wealthy people who can afford to move their lives to Austin (or Washington) and can survive off of the salary, can serve in legislature o Rick Perry in 1989 as a State Representat“I really don't know how people in the insurance business or the real estate business do it. That's one reason I voted for the pay raise [for state legislators]. I think all the people of Texas ought to be able to serve.” Informal Qualifications of State Legislator Income/Occupation Education Gender