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POLS 2312 - Chapter 7 & 8 notes

by: M.G

POLS 2312 - Chapter 7 & 8 notes POLS 2312-001

Marketplace > University of Texas at Arlington > POLS 2312-001 > POLS 2312 Chapter 7 8 notes
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State and Local Government
Kimberly Harper
Class Notes
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by M.G on Thursday March 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 2312-001 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Kimberly Harper in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 112 views.


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Date Created: 03/31/16
Chapter 7 Framework ● Constituents  ○ The folks back home, voters ● Legislative ○ Article 3 ○ Law Making ○ Oversight ● Executive ○ Article 4 ○ Law Enforcing ● Judicial  ○ Article 5 ○ Law Interpreting Legislators ● TX has a bicameral legislature ● 21 is the minimum age for the House ○ Resident of the state for 2 years ○ Resident of district for 1 year ● 26 is the minimum for the Senate ○ Resident of state for 5 years ○ Resident of district for 1 year ● 30 is the minimum for the Governor ○ Resident of the state for 5 years ● House serves 2 year terms ● Senate serves 4 years ● Governor serves 4 years ● TX has no term limit ● Sessions ○ Special sessions last for 30 days ■ Can be called back to back ○ Regular sessions last for 140 days ■ Every other year (odd # years) ● Redistricting ○ 27 million residents ○ 150 House districts ○ 36 US House seats ○ 2 Senate seats ○ 38 electoral college votes ○ ~40 of 181 legislators are women ● Single districts  ○ Locks us in a temporary party structure ● House ○ Speaker of the House is the leader of the house ■ Chosen within the House chamber via a vote. ■ Open­vote ■ Joe Straus ­ speaker of the house ● Senate ○ President of the Senate is the Lt. Gov. ■ Dan Patrick ■ Serves in the legislative AND Executive branch ■ Elected via statewide election. ■ 2nd in command ● Committee  ○ Delegates tasks to a group of people ○ Once done, the committee can go ○ Substantive ■ House ■ Topic/Subject oriented ○ Standing ■ Senate ■ Topic/Subject oriented ○ Procedural ○ Special Interim ● Caucus ○ “Voluntary interest group” ○ Groups will organize within themselves ○ Legislators may join caucuses that represent their constituents Operations ● The legislative branch ○ Oversight ■ 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 ○ Law­making ○ Perks ■ Cannot be arrested when attending or going to/from  legislative sessions ■ Cannot be held liable for slander ● Joint resolutions ○ Used for constitutional amendments ● Only ⅕ bills will become law ● How a Bill Becomes a Law ○ Ghost voting ■ When legislators vote for absent legislators ○ ⅔ rule ■ Pretty much everything in the Senate must be  passed with a 2/3rds majority ○ Simple majority ■ Required to pass bills in the house ○ Chubbying ■ Occurs in the house ■ Stalling or delaying a bill by elongating discussion  on issues on the calendar before the actual issue comes up ○ Filibuster ■ 3 strikes ■ No aid allowed ■ Must stay on topic ○ Conference committee ■ Introduce a bill in either chamber (or both) ■ It goes to committee ■ It goes to the House floor for vote ■ Goes to senate committee ■ Goes to senate floor for vote ■ Goes to the conference committee ● Made of the two house and senate  committees ● In order to agree on an identical bill ■ Goes to the executive for signatures ■ Goes to the governor for approval ● Governor can sign ● Not sign and let it become law  automatically ● Governor can veto ○ Can be overturned  with 2/3rds majority of each chamber ● Pocket­veto ○ Post adjournment veto ○ If it’s thrown on the  desk in the last ten days of session, the governor can ignore it and let it die. Influences on the Legislative Branch ● 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 Chapter 8 Framework of the Executive Branch ● Article IV (4) ● Law­enforcing ● Governor ○ Rick Perry longest serving ○ No term limits ○ Elected every 4 years in midterm elections ○ We have a plural executive because of E.J Davis ○ Perks of the Governor’s Position ■ 135k salary ■ Use of the governor's mansion ■ Staff for the mansion ■ Staff for the office ● Around 300+ members ● Consists of friends and political  associates ● Usually make 6­digit salaries ○ Running for the office is very expensive with costs in the tens of  millions just to run. ● Plural Executive ○ Is a stepping stone to the governor’s office ● Succession ○ Lt. Gov is next in line for the office of governor ● Impeachment ○ Jim/James (Pa) Ferguson is the only governor of TX to be  impeached ■ Wife was the first female governor of TX due to  voters wanting James Ferguson in power Powers of the Executive Branch ● 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  ■ Executive Order ● Proclamation ○ Calls legislative  branch back ○ Declares disaster in  order for aid ■ 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  ○ Legislative ■ Message ● The governor has the power of using  the media to get information to the public ● The governor gives a State of the  State address at the beginning of every legislative session ■ Veto ● Can be overturned by a ⅔ majority  in both chambers ■ Line­item veto ● Meticulous, line by line ● Pork­barrel projects (earmarking) ○ Pet projects of those  in the government. In the budget, there are large amounts  that go towards these projects ■ Post­adjunment veto ■ Special sessions ○ Judicial ■ Appoint and Remove ● In TX, we elect our judges.  However, if there is a vacancy midterm, the governor can appoint a judge to fill the vacancy ● Roughly ½ are appointed ■ Clemency ● Rarely used  ○ Compromises ‘tough  on crime’ appearance ● Pardon ● Reprieve ○ The way a governor  spares someone from execution ● Cases to know ○ Roper v. Simmons ○ Atkins v. Virginia ○ Baze v. Rees The 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 


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