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POLS 2306 Week 5 Notes

by: Cindy Cattey

POLS 2306 Week 5 Notes POLS 2306

Cindy Cattey
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
GPA 3.6

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Notes from 9/28-9/30 (class cancelled 9/26) Topics covered: -Districting problems -Legislative types -Legislative process
State and Local Government
Dr. Paula Arledge
Class Notes
Government, political science, legislature
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cindy Cattey on Sunday October 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 2306 at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi taught by Dr. Paula Arledge in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see State and Local Government in Political Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

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Date Created: 10/09/16
Lecture Notes Week 5 Key ideas Definitions Court Cases Class Cancelled (9/26/16) Districting Problems (9/28/16) • Malapportionment: voting districts unequal in population o Legislature ® census (redraw is required after every census) § State legislatures abandoned this for decades o Rural ® urban migration: millions of people left rural districts to go to work in cities § urban groups were very underrepresented, so they didn’t get what they needed § ex: AL did not redistrict form 1900-1960 o 1940s: urban people went to the Sup Ct and demanded redistricting § ruled that redistricting was a political question” § Political question: issue that should be dealt with by another part of gov ’t, not the courts (not acceptable for judicial review) o Baker v. Cars (1964): New Sup Ct ruled that gerrymandering was a large issue § One person/one vote: every person’s vote should count the same , districts must be substantially equal to fulfill this § 10% differential: there can be no more than a 10% difference between the largest district and the smallest district to be constitutional o Malapportioned districts are always unconstitutional • Gerrymandering: drawing districts to favor a particular group o Political purposes: splits up political parties, acceptable § Historically done to favor the majority party in the state § Makes it more difficult to win if you are a member of the other part y o Racial purposes: NOT acceptable § Cannot draw lines to split up ethnic groups o Latin Americans v. Perry (TX) after 2000 census § L.A. claimed that the state leg. drew districts to discriminate against Hispanics § This made it harder to elect Hispanic candidates (democratic) § Ruled that this was actually political, not racial o Shaw v. Reno (SC) § They wanted a majority black district to send a black member to the national legislature, so they drew a district along the highway (crossed the entire stat,e very irregular shape) § Ruled that this was racial, and not acceptable Legislative types • Professional o Most common in states with large populations o In session all year o Members are not expected to have other jobs, so they don’t focus on anything else (less turnover, more knowledgeable) o ex: CA leg. meets 10/12 months of the year, earn $92,000 Lecture Notes Week 5 • Citizen o Part time o NH meets 140 days a year, 400 members, paid $200 over 2 years • Hybrid o In session longer and paid better than citizen, but less than professional o TX is this type Legislative leadership • TX has a “no party style” ideology (this is different than other states) o Political party is less important than ideology (beliefs and attitudes) o Coalitions b/t members with similar ideology (working together across party lines) o Not a sharp split like the nat’l gov’t • House ® Speaker Joe Straus (Moderate-R), most powerful person in the HOR o Recorded majority vote: all leg. members vote and you know who voted for who § This is how Straus was elected § Occasionally, minority members will vote with the majority to stay in favor o Powers: appoints members and assigns bills to committees (you want to stay in his favor so your bill will go to a supportive committee) • Senate (TX) ® Lt. Governor presides over senate o Dan Patrick is Lt. Gov. (Very Conservative-R) § Elected through the exec branch (statewide vote) § Half of the states elect a president of the senate instead, elected by the members of the senate Legislative Process (9/28/16) • Sessions (leg. must be meeting to pass laws) o Regular: set in state const. § TX ® 2 Tuesday of January for 140 days in odd-numbered years o Special: between regular sessions § TX ® only the governor can call these, they last 30 days § Some leg. can call through a majority vote (not true in TX ) Legislative Process (9/30/16) 1. Introduction of bills o TX leg. receives thousands of bills ever session o A bill must be introduced by a member of the leg. § Must be introduced to HOR by a rep, must be introduced to senate by a senator o Some bills are written by leg., many are written by lobbyists 2. Readings of bills o Once it has been read, it’s assigned to a standing committee by the Speaker 3. Standing committee: a permanent (exists through all elections), one-house (either HOR or Senate) committee o There is a S.C. for every issue (agriculture, transpo, educ, etc) Lecture Notes Week 5 o Subcommittee: small group assigned by a chairman to deal with a bill bef ore it is brought to the floor § Hearings: public hearings are scheduled ¨ a schedule is published; interest groups send representatives to testify before committees about the bill § “Markup of the bill”: changes to the bill after hearings § Bill is sent back to the entire committee with two options: ¨ Report out: send out for further steps in the law making process ¨ Kill: most are killed in standing committees, usually done by pigeonholing (sitting on it and not doing anything, this term is antiquated and not really used outside of TX) o Other committee types § ad hoc: one-house committee, created for a temporary purpose ¨ primary purpose is to investigate accusations against state agencies § interim: one-house committee, meet b/t leg. sessions to deal with issues ¨ ex: TX has to create a 2-year budget, and a lot can change in that time. If oil and gas goes down, there is less revenue, so they recommend where to make cuts § joint: temporary, two-house committees; only purpose is to resolve differences regarding legislation 4. Placement on calendar (HOR and senate have calendars that say when a bill comes to the floor) o Todd Hunter (CC Rep): chairman of the calendar committee (one of the most powerful positions) § The earlier your bill gets on the calendar, the better chance it has to pass § Not first-come-first-served, chairman has discretion when to schedule things 5. Debate on floor o House ® limited § To get on the floor, you have to go to the Speaker of the House to ask for permission to speak on the bill (time limit is 10 mins) § If everyone was allowed to speak as long as they wanted, nothing would get done o Senate ® unlimited § Any senator can speak for as long as they want § Filibuster: trying to talk a bill to death to prevent a bill from passing ¨ nat’l gov’t doesn’t require you to talk about the bill, and senators can tag-team ¨ in TX: must talk about the bill, only last as long as the senator can talk ¨ must stay on their feet in the small space by their desk, but they can adjourn for lunch and give the floor back to the person talking when they give bac k ¨ Wendy Davis (TX) spoke against abortion for 23 hours ¨ Bill Meier (1977) spoke for 43 hours (the record) and the bill still pas ed 6. Vote: until 2006, you didn’t know how the leg. members voted o Proposition 11 (2006): required recorded votes on bills in legislature, fights ghost voting, says who was absent from a vote § Ghost voting: legislators voting for each other


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