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Review Gibson, Government and Politics in the Lone Star State, 9E

Chapter 5 The Texas Legislature


Multiple Choice Questions
1. In the context of political science, the development of a legislative body into a formally
structured system with stable membership, complex rules, expanded internal operations, and
the delineation of staff functions is known as __________.
a. politicalization
b. democratization
c. institutionalization
d. socialization
2. The functions of the Texas legislature include __________.
a. enacting laws and overseeing state agencies
b. representing the public and vetoing laws
c. commanding the national guard and educating the public
d. interpreting laws and making appointments
3. When the legislature makes sure that state agencies are doing what they are charged with by
law, it is engaging in what function?
a. representation
b. oversight
c. interpretation
d. enactment
4. The Texas legislature is __________.
a. unicameral and has 181 members
b. bicameral and has 15 senators and 120 House members
c. bicameral and has 31 senators and 150 House members
d. bicameral and has 100 senators and 435 House members
5. Special sessions of the Texas legislature __________.
a. can consider any topics the members of the legislature desire
b. can only occur in odd-numbered years
c. typically last 140 days
d. can only be called by the governor
6. Members of the Texas House are elected for __________ years and senators are elected for
__________ years.
a. two; four
b. two; six
c. four; six
d. four; four
7. When the legislature is in session, access to the floor of each chamber on the second floor of
the Capitol is restricted to __________.
a. lawmakers, spectators, and protestors of a bill being considered during the session
b. journalists, lawyers, and citizens
c. security personnel and legislative leaders
d. lawmakers, accredited media representatives, and certain other state officials
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8. In recent years, the legislature has increasingly become dominated by business owners and
attorneys because __________.
a. new qualifications for one to serve in the legislature require a postgraduate degree
b. low legislative pay and increasing demands on time preclude many salaried people
from serving
c. voters believe that people with these backgrounds are best fit to serve in the legislature
d. doctors and educators, who once dominated the legislature, have shown a declining
interest
9. What are the primary causes of legislative turnover in the Texas legislature?
a. The year-long legislative sessions often have a negative effect on a legislators family
life.
b. The effects of redistricting, low pay, and personal costs of running for office make
the position undesirable.
c. The vicious nature of politics in Austin disenfranchises legislators from seeking
reelection.
d. The lack of benefits and responsibilities outside the legislature lead many not to return.
10. Apportionment and redistricting address fundamental questions of who should be represented
and __________.
a. how they should be represented
b. who pays the costs of campaigning
c. how often officials should be elected
d. the professionalism of legislative institutions
11. As a result of __________, equity in redistricting was extended to Texas under the idea that
state legislative districts had to be apportioned on the one person, one vote principle.
a. Baker v. Carr
b. Davis v. Federal Election Committee
c. Reynolds v. Sims
d. Kilgarlin v. Martin
12. In 2003 Democratic state legislators fled to Oklahoma in a dispute over __________.
a. funding for a new transportation network
b. academic placement tests in public schools
c. redistricting for the states congressional seats
d. cuts in health care for low-income individuals
13. The speaker of the House is __________.
a. elected by the members of the House
b. appointed by the governor
c. held by the legislator who has the longest tenure serving in the House
d. elected by a statewide popular election
14. The powers of the speaker of the House include __________.
a. sponsoring all legislation to be considered by the House
b. selecting the lieutenant governor
c. vetoing bills voted on by the House
d. appointing chairs of all House committees

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15. Why is the office of the lieutenant governor considered by some to be the most powerful
office in Texas state government?
a. This office is elected independently of the governor and can develop a dominant
legislative role.
b. This office, unlike the governors, is protected from being charged with crimes while in
office.
c. The Texas Constitution grants the lieutenant governor more authority than the governor.
d. The lieutenant governor has the sole power and responsibility to appoint statewide
officials.
16. The lieutenant governor of Texas __________.
a. is appointed by the governor
b. has traditionally been allowed to appoint members of all standing committees
c. must bring bills to the floor of the Senate according to the schedule determined in the
chambers calendar
d. is elected for a six-year term by his fellow senators
17. Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock surprised his friends just after the close of the 1997 session
by announcing he would __________.
a. not seek reelection in 1998
b. seek the office of governor in 1998
c. run for the U.S. Senate
d. run for mayor of College Station
18. The __________ is not permitted to vote on legislation unless there is a tie.
a. speaker of the House
b. president pro tempore of the House
c. lieutenant governor
d. governor
19. Why do the speaker of the House and the lieutenant governor typically not participate in
debate over bills?
a. They do not know enough about bills to offer meaningful input.
b. The rules of the chambers do not allow them to participate.
c. They are usually not present in their chambers.
d. They make an effort to act as neutral presiding officers.
20. Why has there traditionally been no formal division along party lines or a formal system of
choosing floor leaders in the Texas legislature?
a. The powers of the presiding officers and the longtime Democratic-controlled system did
not produce a leadership structure comparable to that of the U.S. Congress.
b. Though membership in the legislature includes Republicans and Democrats, the
delegation of power has not been typically done in a partisan fashion.
c. Legislative rules concerning the appointing of floor leaders was removed in the early
twentieth century to reduce partisanship.
d. Though membership in the legislature includes Republicans and Democrats, the
delegation of power has been left to the whim of the presiding officers, which varies
greatly.
21. Approximately what percentage of bills introduced in a legislative session ultimately become
law?
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a.
b.
c.
d.

5 percent
25 percent
50 percent
90 percent

22. The majority of bills that fail to be enacted generally die __________.
a. when the House or Senate refuses to introduce a bill passed by the other chamber
b. on orders of the speaker or the lieutenant governor
c. in either a House or Senate committee
d. through a veto by the governor
23 In the last half-century __________.
a. the percentage of bills introduced that ultimately become law has declined significantly
b. a majority of bills passed by the Texas Senate have been vetoed by the governor
c. standing committees have considered fewer pieces of legislation
d. the number of bills introduced in legislative sessions has increased
24. The House Calendars Committee historically has had more life-and-death power over
legislation than any other committee because __________.
a. it sets the order of debate on the House floor
b. the speaker chairs the committee
c. it sets the order of debate in conference committees
d. it considers discharge petitions
25. Standing committees __________.
a. attempt to reconcile different forms of bills passed by the House and Senate
b. are appointed by the governor
c. specialize in bills by subject matter or play a procedural role in the lawmaking
process
d. are created by legislative leaders for a limited period of time to consider specific issues
26. If a bill passes both the House and Senate but in different forms, the bill is sent to
__________.
a. the governor
b. a conference committee
c. the speaker
d. a standing committee
27. A committee appointed by the governor and convened between legislative sessions to study a
major policy issue would be considered a __________ committee.
a. procedural
b. select
c. conference
d. standing
28 In order for a bill to become a law, its first step must be __________.
a. the first reading
b. passage
c. sponsorship by the governor
d. referral to a committee

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29. At first reading, a bill is introduced, numbered, and then sent __________.
a. to a committee
b. to the governor
c. to the floor of the chamber for a vote
d. to the judiciary to evaluate its constitutionality
30. During the third reading, a bill may be amended by __________.
a. majority approval
b. three-fifths approval
c. two-thirds approval
d. unanimous approval
31. A bill is __________ after a successful third reading in the originating chamber.
a. sent to the opposite chamber
b. brought before debate on the floor
c. brought before the presiding officer for approval
d. sent to committee one last time
32. How does the veto power of the Texas governor differ from that of the president of the United
States?
a. The governor can use the line-item veto on any bill, but the president is restricted to using
it on appropriations bills.
b. The governor can veto a bill twice, but the president can only veto a bill once and is
powerless if the legislature overrides it.
c. Unlike the president, a veto by the governor on a bill cannot be overridden by the
legislature.
d. Unlike the president, if the governor fails to sign a bill by a certain deadline, it is
passed automatically.
33. For what types of bills can the governor of Texas use a line-item veto?
a. appropriations
b. none
c. abortion
d. procedural
34. Bills that __________ are the only type of bill that must originate in the House of
Representatives, according to the Constitution of Texas.
a. affect the judiciary
b. deal with municipalities
c. raise revenue
d. concern redistricting
35. Bringing a bill to the floor of the Senate for debate generally requires __________.
a. the permission of the senior member of the majority party
b. a two-thirds approval vote by the Senate
c. the approval of the chair of the committee that considered the bill
d. the approval of the Calendars Committee
36. How are tags used to derail legislation during the closing days of a Senate session?
a. A Senate committee chair can use this power once a session to force a bill back to
committee, preventing it from being voted on and ultimately killing it.
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b. It allows a senator to postpone a committee hearing on a bill for at least forty-eight


hours, which can be fatal to a bill.
c. A senator can bring the legislation before the judiciary, which can impose an order
stopping consideration of the bill if it is found unconstitutional.
d. It allows a senator to speak against a bill for as long as he or she can stand and talk, thus
preventing it from being voted on before the end of the session.
37. In contrast to the U.S. Congress, the Texas legislature is not organized along party lines, with
rules automatically giving leadership positions to members of the majority party. This is largely a
result of __________.
a. constitutional provisions
b. high numbers of independents and third-party members in the legislature
c. Republican governors not wanting competing power bases in the legislature
d. Democratic dominance of the legislature for almost a century
38. Unwritten rules of institutional behavior are known as __________.
a. agendas
b. alliances
c. tenets
d. norms
39. What is the most meaningful threat a governor can make to a legislator?
a. The governor can threaten to not appoint the legislators supporters to boards and
commissions.
b. The governor can threaten to reveal evidence of a legislators public misconduct.
c. The governor can threaten to veto legislation of importance to the legislator.
d. The governor can threaten to cut the legislators budget for staff and office expenses.
40. What was the primary purpose of the changes made to ethics laws in 2003?
a. to prohibit members of the legislature from becoming lobbyists after leaving office
b. to create greater transparency in donations made to legislators and their personal
finances
c. to prohibit officeholders from owning private businesses
d. to require legislators to keep records available to the public of all letters written to them
and a list of all visitors to their offices

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