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Chapter 8 - Texas Government

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Information about Chapter 8 - Texas Government
Education

Published on February 24, 2014

Author: twr1028

Source: slideshare.net

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Government and Politics in the Lone Star State: Theory and Practice L. Tucker Gibson, Jr. and Clay Robison Prepared by Darrial Reynolds Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Chapter 8: The Texas Legislature Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Functions  Enacting Laws Every two years, the legislature makes laws and proposals for constitutional amendments.  Requires compromise and accommodation of competing ideas and interests  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Functions  Budgeting and Taxes The legislature establishes programs providing a variety of public services and sets the budget for state government.  It decides whether state taxes should be increased, how high they should be increased, and how the tax burden should be distributed.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Functions  Overseeing State Agencies The legislature assigns state agencies the task of carrying out the laws on a day-to-day basis.  Review or oversight is achieved through legislative budget hearings, other committee investigations, and program audits.  The Senate influences policy by confirming or rejecting the governor’s appointees.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Functions  Educating the Public Lawmakers try to inform the public about their own actions and the actions of the legislature.  They use speeches, letters to constituents, news releases, and the Internet.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Functions  Representing the Public Lawmakers must demonstrate concern for the attitudes and demands of their constituents.  They use public opinion polls, questionnaires, and town hall meetings to learn how their constituents feel.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Organization of the Texas Legislature and Characteristics of Members  Legislative Sessions The constitution limits the legislature to a regular session of 140 days every two years.  Thirty-day special sessions are called by the governor and limited to those issues included in the call.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Organization of the Texas Legislature and Characteristics of Members  Terms     of Office and Qualifications Representatives serve for two-year terms and senators for four-year staggered terms. Representatives must be at least twenty-one years old and a qualified voter residing in Texas for two years. A senator must be at least twenty-six years old and a qualified voter living in Texas for five years. Legislators must live in the district for one year. Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Organization of the Texas Legislature and Characteristics of Members  Pay and Compensation Salaries set in 1975 at $7,200 per year  Since 1991, receive per diems of $139 during sessions  Salary increases require voter approval.  Texas Ethics Commission makes salary recommendations.   Retirement compensation is based on the salaries of state judges. Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Organization of the Texas Legislature and Characteristics of Members  Physical Facilities The Texas Capitol is one of the largest state capitol buildings in the country.  Renovations have expanded office facilities and modernized the entire facility.  When the House or Senate is in session, access to the floor is restricted.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Organization of the Texas Legislature and Characteristics of Members  Membership  In 2011, Republicans had a 19–12 majority in the Texas Senate and a 101–49 majority in the Texas House. The Senate had two African American members, seven Hispanics, and six women.  The House included seventeen African Americans, thirty Hispanics, two Asian Americans, and thirtytwo women.  Business or law is the job of most legislators.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Organization of the Texas Legislature and Characteristics of Members  Legislative Careers Former legislative aides, former prosecutors, and former city council and school board members  Fifteen of the thirty-one senators in 2011 had previously served in the House.  Many first-term legislators arrive in Austin with relatively little political experience.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Organization of the Texas Legislature and Characteristics of Members  Legislative Turnover Low compared to other states  Average length of service in the House is eight years and 14.7 years in the Senate.  Key reasons for turnover are as follows:  Legislative redistricting  Take other government positions  Voluntary retirement  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Representation and Redistricting  Legislature  uses single-member districts Redistricting done every ten years following the national census Legislature controls redistricting  Legislative Redistricting Board   Court Intervention in Redistricting Baker v. Carr (1962)  Reynolds v. Sims (1964)  Kilgarlin v. Martin (1964)  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Representation and Redistricting  1975 amendments to the Voting Rights Act placed Texas under the law. Changes have increased minority and Republican representation.  Issues of racial and partisan gerrymandering remain.  Partisan battles erupted over redistricting efforts in 2001, 2003, and 2011.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Leaders and Committees  Legislative  Leadership House Leadership  Speaker of the House     Elected from the House membership Serves as presiding officer Controls committee assignments Names a speaker pro-tempore Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Leaders and Committees  Legislative  Leadership Senate Leadership  Lieutenant governor is president of the Senate    Elected statewide to a four-year term Greater control over the Senate agenda and committee assignments than speakers in the House Vacancy filled by one of the thirty-one senators that has been picked to be the president pro-tempore of the Senate  Chosen or rotated based on seniority  Third in line of succession to the governor Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Leaders and Committees  Control  over the Legislative Process Speaker and Lieutenant Governor Make committee appointments  Determine committee jurisdiction over bills   Floor Debate and Voting Presiding officers use rules upon advise by House and Senate parliamentarians.  Lt. governor votes only in case of a tie.  Speaker may vote to give direction to members.   The Leadership Team  Committee chairs act as unofficial floor leaders. Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Leaders and Committees  The  Committee System Standing Committees Consist of five to fifteen members in the Senate  Consist of five to twenty-nine members in the House  Substantive Committees     Focus on specific types of legislation Hold public hearings and evaluate bills Procedural Committees   Rules and Resolutions Committee House Calendars Committee Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Leaders and Committees  The  Committee System Conference Committees Composed of five House representatives and five senators  Resolve differences between bills passed by the House and Senate  Conference bills require House and Senate approval.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Leaders and Committees  The  Committee System Select Committees Also called special committees; appointed by the governor, lt. governor, or speaker  Study major policy issues  May include private citizens  Can recommend legislation  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Leaders and Committees  Legislative Staff Staff provides legislators with information on administrative agencies and supports efforts to review the performance of state agencies.  Staff includes the personal staff, committee staff, budget staff (LBB), staff of the Sunset Advisory Commission, and the research staff.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Rules and the Lawmaking Process  The Lawmaking Process Bill Introduction (first reading)  Committee Action (consideration of bill)    Public hearings, studies, and amendments Floor Action (second and third readings)  Bill debated, amendments offered, and votes taken Conference Committee (compromise bill)  Action by the Governor  Signs a bill into law or lets it pass without signing it  Uses veto or line-item veto  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Rules and the Lawmaking Process  Procedural  Obstacles to Legislation Determines if a bill will be debated House Calendars Committee  Senate two-thirds rule and daily intent calendar   Tags   Delays a Senate committee hearing for forty-eight hours Filibuster  Speak against a bill for as long as a senator can stand and talk Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Rules and the Lawmaking Process  Shortcuts, Obfuscation, and  Attach one piece of legislation to another bill   Can be challenged as not germane to the bill Place items on local and consent calendar   Confusion Bills approved without debate Compromise and consensus building Takes place behind closed doors  May discourage or prevent open debate  Record votes required on final passage  Division votes allowed for amendments  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Rules and the Lawmaking Process  Legislative Norms Legislators have perceptions of how they are expected to carry out their responsibilities.  Rules and norms are designed to give conflict an element of civility.  Legislators learn decorum and courtesy.  Personal attacks on other legislators are considered unacceptable.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Emerging Party System  The  Growth of Partisanship Issue Divisions Taxes and revenue shortfalls in 1987 and 2003  Cuts in social services  Abortion, hate crimes legislation, and school vouchers  Republican majorities in the House and Senate  Changing seniority rules in the House   Key committees stacked with Republicans Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Emerging Party System  Republicans Take Control In the 2002 elections, the Republicans increased their Senate majority to 19–12.  In the 2002 elections, the Republicans won a 88–62 majority in the Texas House.  In the 2010 elections, the Republicans held on to all twenty-nine statewide positions.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Emerging Party System  Other  Legislative Caucuses Legislators organize around issues, local constituencies, ideology, gender, and race. Hispanic and African American caucuses  Harris County representatives  Influence speaker elections  Help resolve statewide issues  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Behavior  Legislators  and Their Constituents Represent Constituencies Made up of diverse groups  Determine the will of the people  Voters pay little attention to legislators’ voting records.   Stay in Touch with Constituents Monitor letters, phone calls, e-mails, and petitions  Mail newsletters and distribute surveys  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Behavior  Legislative  Decision Making Factors Shaping Decisions Constituents and public opinion  Information and cues from lawmakers  Evaluations by legislative staff  Information from interest groups  Governor and other statewide officials  The mass media  Personal attitudes and opinions  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Behavior  Legislative Styles Workhorses master the process and spend endless hours producing legislation.  Grandstanders enhance their own reputations.  Opportunists pursue personal or political gains for themselves.  Spectators are uninterested in the drudgery of the job.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Legislative Ethics and Reform  Ethnics Reform Law of 1991 Additional disclosure of lobbying expenditures  Limitations on junkets and honoraria  The creation of an ethics commission  No limits on PAC contributions  $5,000 fine imposed on violations  $10,000 fine imposed on “frivolous” charges  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Discussion Question  The Question of Legislative Ethics What constitutes inappropriate public behavior?  What kinds of laws would be effective in controlling these abuses?  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

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