This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Texas Legislature in Context (P. 732)
• 31 member Senate representing 31 senatorial districts • 150 member House of Representatives representing 150 legislative districts • Has the eleventh largest state legislature while ranking second in population • Ranks 49th in the nation in its ratio of representation to population • One of only nine legislatures that does not meet for a yearly regular session (P. 736)
Keeping the job of legislator as a part-time function that many citizens can perform • Members of the Texas Legislature receive just $7.200 base pay per year and $139 per day of Legislative Session (P.Texas Legislature in Context • Citizen legislature . 734) • Professional legislatures & hybrid legislatures • Because of the total compensation and retirement benefits provided Texas legislators. we define Texas’s legislature as a hybrid legislature. .
S.S. 734) • • • • • • TX House U. Citizen Qualified Voter 5 year in State 1 year in District 26 yrs old . Citizen Qualified Voter 2 year in State 1 year in District 21 yrs old TX Senate U.Qualifications for Office (P.
2 years Senate . 733) • Party affiliation: Candidates for the Texas House and Senate must run for their political party’s nomination in a party primary and win the seat in the general election.4 years in staggered elections • There are no term limits in the Texas legislature. The election of independent candidates is quite rare. • Terms: House .Length of Terms (P. .
Theories of Representation • • • • Delegate Theory Trustee Theory The Politico Approach Microcosm Theory Asserts that the legislature should reflect the broader society.” . “Evaluating the legislature based on microcosm theory suggests that the legislature is unrepresentative. particularly in terms of gender.
despite periods of rapid population growth in some parts of the state and population decline in other areas. House of Representatives use the Single-Member District Majority system (SMDM).S.Elections & Redistricting (P. the Texas Legislature never redistricted nor added new seats.” . • Redistricting • “Between 1921 and 1951.S. • Texas’s primary elections for state and local offices and primary elections for U. Senate & U. 736) • Texas uses a Single-Member District Plurality system (SMDP) for general elections to the state legislature.
election districts in which the majority of the population comes from a racial or ethnic minority district • Hunt v. Cromartie (1999) .Redistricting Cont.District lines drawn for partisan advantage as long as the principle of one person-one vote is followed . (P. • Majority-minority districts . 737) • RULES OF THE GAME: The Voting Rights Act and similar legislation ensure the representation of minorities who had previously faced discrimination.
” . “…states like Iowa create nonpartisan or bipartisan independent commissions to draw the district lines. 3.The Texas Constitution and Redistricting 1. Districts must respect county boundaries as much as possible. 2. The state must use the Single Member District Plurality method (SMDP). Districts must be contiguous.
The LRB was dominated by Republicans and drew districts to their partisan advantage for the 2002 elections. GLO. 737) created in 1948 steps in if the legislature is unable to pass a redistricting plan for the legislative seats or when state or federal courts have invalidated a redistricting plan (Members: Lt. there was a divided legislature with the Democrats as the majority party in the House and the Republicans the majority party in the Senate. SofH.Redistricting Games • Legislative Redistricting Board (P. . AG. CPA) In 2000. Gov.
House of Representatives seats by the Texas Legislature.S.Redistricting Games (P. House from Texas. the Republicans sought to increase the number of Republican seats in the U.” . • “A mid-decade redistricting of the U. was unprecedented in recent history. • Under the influence of then U.S. without being ordered to do so by a court. 738) • The GOP gained control of the legislature as the majority party in both chambers following the 2002 elections. House majority floor leader Tom Delay of Texas.S.
2.S. Did mid-decade redistricting violate the constitution? Did the new districts disenfranchise minority voters by violating the Voting Rights Act (VRA)? Were the district lines drawn in such a partisan manner as to violate earlier U. Supreme Court rulings? Three issues for the U. the partisan gerrymandered plan was complete. It was immediately challenged in the courts. Supreme Court: 1.S. 738) • After one regular session and three called special sessions. . 3.The Redistricting Plan and the Court (P.
” However.LULAC v. Perry (2006) “In 2006. Supreme Court issued a decision in LULAC v. the U. the high court did rule that some of the district lines violated the VRA by reducing the strength of Hispanic voters in one congressional district. . The lines were redrawn to satisfy the court.S. Perry which stated that mid-decade redistricting was permissible and held that the Texas districts were not drawn in an excessively partisan manner so as to completely dilute Democratic voters.
appointing committee chairs. . thus presiding over two legislative sessions • Powers include assigning members to standing committees. and serving on the Legislative Budget Board (LBB).Legislative Organization (P. 744) Leadership: • Lieutenant Governor is the presiding officer of the Texas Senate • Elected in a statewide election to serve a four-year term.
” • Representatives sign pledge cards of support. .Legislative Organization Leadership: • At the beginning of each legislative session. the members of the Texas House of Representatives select the Speaker of the House from its membership to be its presiding officer. candidates for the position of Speaker campaign for weeks before the vote is taken. • “Although the election is by secret ballot.
• Parties play a key role in the selection of committee chairs and committee members. • At their most basic level.simply the members of a political party in the legislature. the majority party in the Texas Legislature was the Democratic Party. . parties function as a party caucus . • During several decades of Texas history.Parties & Caucuses • Parties provide the basis of organization in the Texas Legislature.
party members who try to encourage party discipline among Republican members of the legislature. • The Republican Party caucus also has floor whips. party cohesion is relatively weak in Texas. both parties maintain party caucuses. • Today. .Parties & Caucuses • Democratic Party discipline emerged once the Republicans began to increase their numbers. • Compared to other states.
745) • Standing committees .permanent. tax rates.The Committee System in the Legislature (P.handles every bill involving changes in the state’s tax laws.every bill that involves spending the state’s tax revenues must pass through this committee. House & Senate exclusive formal work groups that typically exist across sessions and across elections • House Appropriations Committee . and types of taxes levied . regardless of the subject matter of the bill • House Ways & Means Committee .
the Speaker may appoint chairs from the minority party. To reward supporters. the Speaker retains the power to make committee assignments. . Governor may appoint chairs from the minority party. • In the Senate. 746) 36 standing committees in the House 19 standing committees in the Senate In the House. the Lieutenant Governor retains the power to make committee assignments. the Lt.The Committee System in the Legislature • • • • 82nd Legislative Session (P. To reward supporters.
The Committee System in the Legislature (P.committee review of policies and decisions in the executive branch to ensure legislative intent has been followed . 745) • “Presiding over each standing committee is a committee chair.” Standing committee functions: • Make formal changes to a bill referred to the committee in the form of amendments • May make formal line-by-line revision through a bill without formal amendments called markup • Legislative oversight . Committee chairs are quite powerful.
also called “select committees” • Interim committees .as part of the legislative process.The Committee System in the Legislature • Joint committees .temporary work groups created by the presiding officers of each chamber for a special purpose. empanelled to reconcile House and Senate versions of a bill .legislative work groups created in between sessions to address specific problems and to research specific issues • Conference committees .
• “Impact statements” are required on the equalized public education funding formula and on criminal justice policy--a feature unique to Texas.755) • Bills are introduced by their sponsor.The Legislative Process in Texas (P. • Bills may be prefiled following the general election before the legislative session begins and may be introduced up to 60 days after the legislative session convenes. 752) • All bills and resolutions are assigned a number by the secretary of the Senate and chief clerk of the House. 752 . • There are also four types of resolutions (P. The number represents the order in which a resolution or bill was introduced. . • Budget bills must be introduced by the thirtieth day after the session opens.
• A few subcommittees exist in each chamber. debates. mark-up sessions. made up of committee members to provide a detailed examination of a bill and report the bill back to the standing committee. the Speaker formally assigns bills to the appropriate standing committee. and amendments. .” • Bills that pass a majority vote in the standing committee receive a favorable report and are ready to be sent to the floor of the House for consideration.The Committee System in the Legislature • In the House. the standing committee takes a final vote on a bill. • “After a series of public meetings.
” • Killer amendments . • “The trick in both cases is gaining recognition from the presiding officer of the chamber for the purposes of addressing the chamber.Calendar Committees & Debate (P. • The whole chamber engages in floor debate.language added to a bill on an unrelated or controversial topic in an attempt to kill the bill . 755) • The 150 member House of Representatives uses a device called “calendars” to organize and prioritize bills. determining when a bill should be considered and how much time will be allowed for debate. • Supporters and opponents may speak for or against the bill. A distinct difference between the Texas House & Senate is the use of the House Calendar.
the blocking bill is traditionally used as a mechanism for consideration of all bills by the Senate’s requirement of a two-thirds vote to hear bills out of order. to serve as a placeholder at the top of the legislative calendar.The Senate Process • The 31 member Texas Senate goes through the legislative process in much the same way. • In both the House and Senate. those bills receiving a favorable report are ready for consideration. Since bills must be considered in order. Bills are introduced by their sponsors and referred to the appropriate standing committee. a bill must receive “three readings” in order to receive final consideration. .a bill regularly introduced in the Senate in first position. • Blocking bill .
” • The Lieutenant Governor wields tremendous influence over consideration of legislation in the Texas Senate. it takes at least 16 members to pass a bill. but 21 to agree to consider a bill on the floor of the Senate. 11 members can block consideration. Thus. Therefore. • “This situation enables the minority party potentially to threaten any bill because the minority party usually holds at least eleven seats in the Texas Senate. .The Senate Process • The two-thirds vote requirement to consider a bill out of order requires 21 members of the Senate voting in favor.
If the conference report receives a majority vote in each chamber. the presiding officers select members from their respective chambers to serve on a conference committee. • A gubernatorial veto is overridden by a two-thirds vote in each chamber. the bill is sent to the governor for his/her consideration. . • The conference committee report is sent to each chamber for consideration. • If legislation differs between the House and Senate.The Final Process • A bill must pass each chamber in identical form.
similar to the U. coupled with the dominance of the Democratic Party.Winners and Losers • “The relatively weak position of parties. produced a system that concentrated power in the hands of the presiding officer. swapping votes and cutting deals to influence legislation. Congress. remains to be seen.” • “Members of the legislature have acted as independent brokers.S.” • “Whether the emergence of the Republican majority the last few years will produce a party-centered approach to the legislature.” . Informal networking and acting in the interest of constituents rather than the party are what matter.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.